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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: September 18, 2012 Archive

On the Air This Week

Posted at 11:13 AM on September 18, 2012 by Rex Levang (0 Comments)
Filed under: On the air

Highlights from Sep. 25 to Oct. 2

Wednesday, 8 pm: Minnesota Opera: Mozart's Così fan tutte.
Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: From the Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Erin Keefe and Tony Ross.
Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Cameron Carpenter at the BBC Proms.
Sunday, noon: From the Top.
Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: From the BBC Proms: The St. Louis Symphony, led by David Robertson.
Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Music of Mendelssohn and James MacMillan.
Monday, 10 pm: Music for the High Holidays.
Tuesday, 8 pm: Best of Carnegie Hall, Season One: Cleveland Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

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Guillaume de Machaut, a primer

Posted at 2:35 PM on September 18, 2012 by Emily Reese (0 Comments)
Filed under: Choral Music, Composers

Guillaume de Machaut was born sometime around 1300 in Champagne. As is the case with so many medieval composers, and even beyond, no one knows his exact date of birth.

That means we never get to celebrate it.

So I wanted to share a song written by Machaut, called Rose, liz, printemps, verdure, performed by the Gothic Voices. Not only is this one of my favorite Machaut songs, it's one of my favorite pieces of music ever.

My ear is immediately drawn to the open harmony and the unusual cadences (endings of phrases). The cadences are, though, as they should be given the time period - it's just not how we're used to hearing phrases end.

For living in the 14th century, Machaut's music and poetry was well-preserved and cataloged. Although the majority of his music is secular, his mass, Messe de Nostre Dame, is the first extant copy of a composer's complete mass setting. Machaut's hundreds of poems tell tales of the Black Death, the French countryside, love and more.

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