Thibaut de Champagne - Le Chansonnier du Roi

Thibaut de Champagne - Le Chansonnier du Roi
Amour Courtois et Chevalerie au XIIIe siècle
Alla Francesca - Brigitte Lesne
Aeon 1221

Thibaut de Champagne's oeuvre gives an opportunity to survey a wide variety of forms & subjects, an opportunity dutifully followed in this program, even including a song critical of Thibaut by Hue de la Ferté. The songs are both a lesson in history and in music. Thibaut's position as an active ruler obviously did not interfere with his artistic production.

This performance sets another milestone for both the articulation of trouvère lyrics, and Alla Francesca's interpretation of French monophony. The wide variety of forms puts extra emphasis on the clear reading of text, and the ensemble handles it very well here. There are also some completions of parts without melodies, taken from other sources, some polyphony introduced to mostly improvised accompaniments, etc.

Although it's the singing & articulation that really make the program, the instrumental accompaniment (and dance playing) is also especially rich. Altogether, the program & interpretation make for a landmark offering of secular music from the era.

My only complaint, over time, is that the theatrical quality of the program can wear a bit thin on some hearings. I'm sure that's something that would benefit from many live performances instead of listening to one recording again!

To medieval secular list

Todd M. McComb
Updated: 16 July 2021