Quantcast
The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ANONYMOUS 4 "Marie et Marion" (Harmonia Mundi)

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, June 6, 2014 5:00 am

Since its founding 28 years ago, the women’s vocal quartet Anonymous 4 has staked its place as the “Fab Four”of medieval music. The latest addition to its extensive discography presents 20 selections from the Montpellier Codex, a compendium of motets and liturgical polyphony composed in France during the second half of the 13th century. The performances are characteristically clear-voiced, sweet-timbred, elegantly restrained, and delicately balanced. Medieval French motets may strike modern listeners as curious pieces, mash-ups of worldly song and plainchant, their individual parts delivering completely disparate texts (some in French, others in Latin), with imagery interlacing in a confluence of the sacred and the secular, as in the duple character of the sacred Marie and the secular Marion. The motets range from relatively austere two-voiced pieces to more glamorous settings for four voices, and in these interpretations they cover considerable expressive range, from amorous languor to skipping jollity. Interspersed among them are four solo songs of the period (not from the Montpellier Codex) that spotlight each of the singers. All are beautiful and seductive, but the most unforgettable is Susan Hellauer’s rendition of the spring-song “Volez vous que je vous chant,” the seductive contours of which oddly prefigure Anna Sosenko’s 1935 hit “Darling, je vous aime beaucoup” (also a macaronic piece), which became famous as the theme song of the chanteuse Hildegarde.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 5 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 5 free articles, or you can get complete access to the online edition for $2.49 a week. If you need help, please contact our office at 505-986-3010 You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
  • 2 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 3 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. and please turn off caps lock.
  • 4 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Welcome to the discussion.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Settings

FOLLOW US

Click here for live music & nightlife
Advertisement