Lai, Chansons guerrières et politiques

La Chanson de Guillaume
Lai, Chansons guerrières et politiques (1188-1250)
Diabolus in Musica - Antoine Guerber
Studio SM 2756

This is an interesting program of troubadour-era material. Although it might not be possible to pick out specific items of particular interest, it makes for a compelling whole.

This is a rather text-oriented performance, with a captivating sound nonetheless. It is strongly declamatory much of the time, with an interesting approach to multiple-voice articulation of what is essentially monophony. It is slightly heterophonic, with strong accents off beat. The effect can be hypnotic. It is certainly an original and worthwhile approach.

It took me a while to realize what the lute-accompanied tracks, also accented off-beat, reminded me of... it is the Yemenite 'ud de Sanaa sound. So distinctive, now that I make the connection, that I do wonder if Guerber used it as inspiration. Even with this remark, the production does not sound at all "Middle Eastern" in the sense that most people might expect that to mean (unlike, say, Binkley).

To medieval secular list

Todd M. McComb
Updated: 11 June 2000