The concept for this recording is nearly as experimental as its repertory.
At one level, it is a program of 14th Century French songs that concern the
subject of smoke, “fumee”. At a more esoteric level, the program explores
the medieval French concept of “fumee”, through the performance of
atmospheric, avant-garde impressions. These are titled ‘Haze’, ‘Ephemeral’,
‘Emanation’, ‘Exhalation’, and ‘Perfume’, as though they were elaborating on
ideas in the texts of the songs that precede and follow them. The composers
are well known—Jacques Solage, Baude Cordier, and Johannes Ciconia—and the
two rondeaus ‘Fumeaux fume par fumee’ and ‘Tout par compas’ by Solage and
Cordier are quite famous. The ensemble Santenay performs them sensitively,
sometimes instrumentally by Elodie Wiemer (recorder) with Szilard Chereji
and Ori Marmelin on vielle and lute. Some songs are sung by Julla von
Landsberg as accompanied vocal pieces, often with muted timbres and
inarticulate rhythms to match the songs’ “smoky” subject matter. Texts and
notes are in English.
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