Mstation Classical Reviews

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Thu, 30 Mar 2006

French Medieval Songs

Le Jeu d'Amour
The Game of Love in Medieval France
Chant courtois et a danser du Moyen-Age francais
Anne Azema
LP, Apex

This is a nice collection of 13th century French love songs from Warner's low price label, Apex. It's not all love as we know it as it takes in the courtly love of a vassal for the lord's woman and other interesting topics. In the aristocratic courts women had considerable power and freedom and some of what we hear is a celebration of that even if nominally written by men -- though it is said that these sorts of songs were written by women but, through custom, like women writing novels under male nomme de plumes in Victorian times. The most interesting thing is that the songs exist at all in that in times before the only "official" music was sacred music. (Baron K)

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