Les Menestrels - A discography

Conception & research: Pierre-F. Roberge
For comments, additions and corrections pfr@videotron.ca
Last update: 07/21/2002

This is an "under construction and incomplete" comprehensive discography of the Austrian early music ensemble "Wiener Ensemble für Alte Musik, Les Menestrels". This is not the official site, where much more information can be found (you can even order LPs or CDs). This site is limited to discographic information.
The Ensemble Les Menestrels was founded in 1963 by Marie Therese Escribano, Klaus Walter and Michael Walter - all acquainted from the Viennese ensemble for contemporary music, "Der Reihe." Through being involved with the music of the 20th century, interest arose in constructive polyphonic compositions of the 14th and 15th centuries, and above all, the Ars Nova. Despite expansion of the repertory to cover the period around 1600, this has remained the main interest of the group. Instruments were added step by step to make possible the reproduction of each epoch and its characteristic sound. Les Menestrels achieved their first great success at the Vienna Festival Weeks in 1965 with the scenic performance of the cantefable Aucassin et Nicolette, for which H.C. Artmann contributed the translation. Together with purely concert programs, those with a literary theme were also held (such as Le livre du voir dit from Guillaume de Machaut), as well as scenic performances (such as Balletti and Mascherate of the Cinquecento.) The group has not forgotten its origins in contemporary music to this day. In one of their programs ("There is Nothing New in Music!?!") parallel appearances of Ancient and Contemporary Music were compared. Concerts, radio, and television recordings led the Ensemble to almost every European country, the USA, Canada and Japan. The Ensemble took part in numerous festivals ... (excerpts from the CD booklet acommpanying the CD "Oswald von Wolkenstein and his Italian contemporaries").
And still producing; this is one (if not the only one) of the very few Early Music ensembles which is nearly 40 years old.

Part I lists the original (commercially released) recordings (around 15) and re-edited material containing tracks not previously released. Each individual title is (or will be) linked to a descriptive section containing as much information as possible about the original recording; this description is cross-linked to available CDs actually on the market (August 2002) in North America or Western Europe. Great care has been taken to prevent misinformation, and a large part of the data originates from records themselves (although often not as reliable as they should be) and owned by myself. If the recording was not available, the content originates from the usual sources (contributors to this site, periodicals such as The Gramophone (and the Catalogue), Diapason (and the Catalogue), Bielefelder Katalog, Notes, and Fanfare, Goldberg, etc.). Alas, if all else failed, reference was made to the French book "Diapason - Guide de la musique ancienne et baroque" (Coll. Bouquins, Robert Laffond, 1993) [GMAB]; although impressive in terms of the quality and quantity of content, readers should be careful about many recording dates listed. Also data has been re-checked using the IUCAT database of the Indiana University Library, the Melvyl® database of the University of California, BN-Opale database of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and from time-to-time other sources.
For those interested in further discographies of medieval and renaissance period, they should refer to the following publications

  1. Gramophone Shop, inc., New York
    Encyclopedia of the world's best recorded music
    New York, Gramophone Shop, 1930
    214 p. 19 cm.

  2. Gramophone Shop, inc., New York
    Encyclopedia of the world's best recorded music
    2d ed. Completely revised and compiled by Richard Gilbert
    New York, Gramophone Shop, 1931
    x, 371 p. 19 cm.

  3. Gramophone Shop, inc., New York
    The Gramophone Shop encyclopedia of recorded music
    Compiled by R.D. Darrell, with a foreword by Lawrence Gilman
    New York city, The Gramophone shop, inc 1936
    xii, 574 p. 25 1/2cm.

  4. Gramophone Shop, inc., New York
    The Gramophone Shop encyclopedia of recorded music
    2d ed., rev. and enl. by George Clark Leslie, supervising editor
    New York, Simon and Schuster, 1942
    558 p., 26 cm.

  5. Gramophone Shop, inc., New York
    The Gramophone Shop encyclopedia of recorded music
    3d ed., rev. and enl. by Robert H. Reid, supervising editor
    New York, Crown Publishers, 1948
    xii, 639 p. 25 cm.

  6. F.F. Clough and G.J. Cuming; associate editor: E.A. Hughes
    The world's encyclopædia of recorded music (First supplement, April 1950 to May-June 1951: p. 725-860)
    London: Sidgwick and Jackson Limited in association with the Decca Record Company Limited, 1953 and in the U. S. A., the London Gramophone Corp., 1952
    xvi, 1890 p. 26cm

  7. F.F. Clough and G.J. Cuming; associate editor: E.A. Hughes
    The world's encyclopædia of recorded music: second supplement, 1951-1952
    London: Sidgwick and Jackson Limited in association with the Decca Record Company Limited, 1953
    262 p.; 26 cm

  8. F.F. Clough and G.J. Cuming; associate editor: E.A. Hughes; research associate Angela Noble
    Third supplement 1953-1955 to the world's encyclopædia recorded music
    London: Sidgwick and Jackson Limited in association with the Decca Record Company Limited, 1957
    xxvi, 564 p.; 26 cm

  9. James Coover and Richard Colvig
    Medieval and Renaissance music on long-playing records
    (covers earliest LPs - end of 1961)
    Detroit, Information Service, 1964
    Detroit studies in music bibliography, no. 6
    xii, 122 p. 23 cm.

  10. James Coover and Richard Colvig
    Medieval and Renaissance music on long-playing records
    Supplement, 1962-1971
    Detroit, Information Coordinators, 1973
    Detroit studies in music bibliography; no. 26
    258 p. 23 cm.

  11. Trevor Croucher (compil.)
    Early music discography: from plainsong to the sons of Bach
    1981 ed.
    Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, c1981
    2 v.; 21 cm.
    v. 1. Record index (covers 1970-1980)
    v. 2. Composer, plainsong, anonymous work, and performer indexes
    ISBN: 089774018

I tried to list titles according to their release dates. In the linked section, I tried to follow the track order of the recording; in some cases when the recording was not available, the order may need correction by a careful reader owning the disc. In Part I, my goal is to cover all original recordings, but this may well be wishful thinking without comments and corrections. These should be directed to my e-mail address. Credit for any significant contribution will be given at the end of the discography.

The content needs validation and will be regularly up-dated.

Part II deals mostly with editions or reeditions on CDs, but includes some LPs still available; I will try to be complete, but the goal is really to inform readers about currently available recordings on the market.

Part III lists newly released, or soon to be released, CDs when the available information is not sufficient to be added as a specific entry in the preceeding list.

Pierre-F. Roberge

PART I

Notes: Original recordings are preceded by a number; those containing only composite material are not numbered.

  1. Amadeo 5052 [LP]
    Tanzmusik der Gotik und Renaissance
    Rec.: 1965 or prior

  2. Belvedere ELY 04-30 [LP]
    Guillaume de Machaut: La Messe de Notre Dame et les Propres grégoriens pour la fête de l'Assomption
    The London Ambrosian Singers & Ensemble "Les Menestrels" de Vienne - John McCarthy, dir.
    Rec.: 1966 or prior

  3. Belvedere ELY 05-01 [LP]
    Musique au temps de la Renaissance
    London Ambrosian Singers / Franz Tenta Consort / Les Menestrels
    Rec.: 1970 or prior

  4. Belvédère ELY-520 / 521
    Le Triomphe de Maximilien 1er
    Les Menestrels
    Rec.: 1970 or prior

  5. Tudor 0501 [LP]
    Das Fest der Pierbaldo (Le Festin de Pierbaldo) - Nach dem Sonetenkranz "Mundus Pacidus" des Simon d'Orvieto
    Rec.: 1970 or prior

  6. Tudor 0531 [LP]
    Musica Maximiliana
    Les Menestrels & Franz Haselböck (organ)
    Rec.: 1970 or prior

  7. Mirror Music 00001 [LP]
    Musik aus osterreichs vergangenheit von 1200 bis 1550
    Rec.: 1973

  8. Mirror Music 00002 [LP]
    Ein Fest im Palast des umbrischen Grafen Pierbaldo im Jahre 1400
    Rec.: 1973

  9. Mirror Music 00003 [LP]
    Einladung zum tanz
    Rec.: 1975 or prior

  10. Mirror Music 00004 [45 rpm - 17 cm]
    Tänze des mittelalters und der Renaissance - Medieval and renaissance dances - Danse du moyen-âge et du temps de la renaissance
    Rel.: 1975

  11. Mirror Music 00005 [LP]
    Liebe und Minne
    Rec.: 1977 or prior

  12. Mirror Music 00006 / 0009 [LPx4]
    Machaut - Le Livre du voir dit & Messe Nostre Dame
    Les Menestrels / Mozart-Sängerknaben - Klaus Walter, Michel Walter & Eva Brunner
    Rec.: 1977 or prior

  13. Mirror Music 00007a [LP]
    Machaut - Messe Nostre Dame
    Les Menestrels / Mozart-Sängerknaben - Klaus Walter, Michel Walter & Eva Brunner
    Rec.: 1978 or prior

  14. Mirror Music 00010 [LP]
    In adventu Domini - Vorweihnachtliche musik von 1200 bis 1600
    Rec.: 1983 or prior; rel. 1983

  15. ORF "Edition Alte Musik" CD 048 [CDx2]
    In Gottes Namen fahren wir - Musik aus der Zeit der Babenberger
    Rec.: 1995

  16. ORF "Edition Alte Musik" CD 091 [CDx2]
    Resonanzen '96 - Musik aus den Habsburgerlanden
    Various performers
    Rec.: 1996

  17. Arte Nova 74321 58969 2 [CD]
    Oswald von Wolkenstein and his Italian contemporaries
    Rec.: 1998

  18. ORF "Edition Alte Musik" CD 215 [CDx2]
    Resonanzen '99 - Bürger - Bauer - Edelmann
    Various performers
    Rec.: 1999

  19. Arte Nova 74321 89517 2 [CD]
    Ludwig Senfl - Lust hab ich gehabt zur Musica...
    Rec.: 2001 or prior

  20. K&K Verlagsanstalt 95
    Hosanna in Excelsis
    Les Menestrels
    Rel.: 2006


PART II

Material listed above originally issued on CD or transferred to CD (most recent release), or still available LPs.

    under construction


PART III

Newly or soon to be released CDs

....And thanks to all contributors....
Todd McComb <mccomb@medieval.org>
I am waiting.... for others...

Pierre-F. Roberge

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