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Blondel | Zephirus: His Sweete Breeth

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Zephirus: His Sweete Breeth

by Blondel

A celebration of wind music from the late 14th & early 15th centuries, performed by Belinda Paul, Emily Baines and Lizzie Gutteridge
Genre: Classical: Early Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ce moys de may
1:52 $0.99
2. L’alta belleza tua
2:16 $0.99
3. J’atendray tant qu’il vous playra
1:52 $0.99
4. Par maintes foys
2:58 $0.99
5. Se zephirus / Se jupiter
2:05 $0.99
6. Quel fronte signorille
1:39 $0.99
7. Dame, se vous m'estes lonteinne & douce dame jolie
3:27 $0.99
8. Marticius qui fu
1:45 $0.99
9. Tres gentil cuer
2:59 $0.99
10. Se mesdisans
2:52 $0.99
11. Puisque celle qui ne tient en prison
2:13 $0.99
12. Ce jour de l'an
1:38 $0.99
13. De plus en plus se renouvelle
2:08 $0.99
14. La danse de cleves & la franchoise nouvelle
3:28 $0.99
15. Je demande ma bienvenue
1:41 $0.99
16. Adieu ces bons vins de lannoys
2:13 $0.99
17. Riches d’amour
3:16 $0.99
18. Nes que on porroit
3:04 $0.99
19. Donnez, signeurs
2:40 $0.99
20. A cheval, tout homme a cheval
2:06 $0.99
21. Or sus, vous dormez trop
3:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Founded in 2010, Blondel specialise in playing wind instruments of the medieval and renaissance periods and blend rigorous research with extraordinary performative flair. Performing on shawms, bagpipes, recorders and more (!) the group's lively performances provide a thrilling time travel experience, opening up the sound worlds of history with great musicality and skill. It is easy to imagine how the bold tones of a shawm band cut across the hustle and bustle of the dance and banquet halls, or even the city square. More surprising to modern ears is the joyful and sophisticated beauty that results from this uniquely blended sound.

This is the group's debut album, and it focusses on three part music from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Don't be deceived by the small group though, these girls can pack a punch as well as move the soul!

Blondel’s past performances include concerts for Cambridge Early Music, King’s Lynn Festival, Fakenham Classic Music, Music by the Commons, The Leeds International Medieval Congress, The Wimbledon International Music Festival and Colchester Early Music.

Here are some of the responses from our audiences and concert promoters:

"Brilliant time travel experience ....Wonderfully varied visually and in sound – strident shawms, the surprisingly sweet sounds of medieval bagpipes blending together, and the soft tones of recorder ensembles."

"an absolute tour de force. People came away stunned by the deep emotional impact"

"An excellent, informative and fascinating concert! Definitely an ensemble I should engage again."

Note on this recording:
The fourteenth century got off to a bad start; apocalyptic floods and famine heralded the beginning of the Little Ice Age. Wars and petty squabbles split the continent; peasants and skilled workers revolted. By the middle of the century the Black Death had wiped out about a third of the population and the church was rapidly progressing towards a worldly and unedifying bust up.
Out of this chaos a new music was born: the Ars Nova. It was expressive, mannered and often mathematically complicated—a musical manifestation of troubled times and a striking shift away from the style of the previous century. It’s greatest exponent was the poet and musician Guillaume de Machaut whose working career almost exactly spanned that of the movement itself.
As the 14th century hurtled to a close the Ars Nova morphed into the Ars Subtilior, expiring in a blaze of extraordinary avant-garde works of extreme complexity. A new, elegantly transparent style then emerged, exemplified by the unforced lyricism of the early 15th century chansons of Dufay, and later Binchois.
This music reveals a world both familiar and utterly, confrontingly, alien. It is difficult to resist the earthy dance rhythms of Machaut’s virelais, and although seven centuries lie between us and Binchois’ captivating De plus en plus, it possesses a transparent immediacy that shakes us as though time were no barrier at all; the thrilling call to arms of A cheval feeds into all our romantic notions of mediaeval chivalry. And yet one of the most popular chansons of the time, Vaillant’s Par maintes foys, superficially a naturalistic collation of bird calls across a forest on a spring day, casually depicts a seething mass of birds ganging up to peck a cuckoo to death; it’s tale which rests uncomfortably alongside our modern sensibilities.



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