Adam de la Halle: Le jeu de Robin et Marion

Adam de la Halle: Le jeu de Robin et Marion
Ensemble Micrologus
Zig-Zag Territoires 040602

This is an impressive program, featuring some of Adam de la Halle's famous rondeaus, as well as some motets of the era, together with the famous Robin & Marion play. The accompaniment of the latter lyrics is often treated here in polyphonic fashion, whether based upon the counterpoint in Adam's rondeaus or on actual usage of many of the melodies in contemporaneous polyphonic pieces.

The result is revelatory for the monophonic sections of the play, making it almost impossible not to believe that such an adaptation might have been natural for the minstrels of the time. Of course, Adam de la Halle is famous for combining folksy & trouvère tunes with scholarly academic polyphony & notation.

The performance is superb, with a wonderful energy & clarity throughout. Alternation in texture and sonority is used to good effect, keeping the overall drive of the narrative alive.

To medieval secular list

Todd M. McComb