Marie et Marion, Music from the Montpellier Codex
On their 1994 album Love's Illusion the extraordinary female vocal quartet Anonymous 4 brought 13th-century motets of courtly love to the top of the classical charts, spending 29 weeks on Billboard's Top 200. Twenty years later they return to the source, this time exploring the juxtaposition of love and desire for the earthly lady Marion and the ardor for the heavenly Marie.That source is the French Montpellier Codex, collected c. 1300.
On “Marie et Marion” Anonymous 4 continue to bring their signature exquisite vocal blend to these captivating and ethereal ancient songs. In a recent concert review, The New York Times described "Marie et Marion" as "a rich compilation of French motets...lovingly and radiantly sung."
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Adagios & Fugues
It has too often been overlooked that, between J.S. Bach’s death and the triumphant revival of his St. Matthew Passion by Mendelssohn, other composers had already investigated the oeuvre of this “old master.” Mozart was the most fervent among them. He once wrote to his father, “Every Sunday at twelve I go to Baron van Swieten’s and nothing is played there except Handel and Bach. I’m currently making myself a collection of Bach fugues.” On this release, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin perform Mozart’s string arrangements of Adagios and Fugues from Bach’s The Well- Tempered Clavier, bringing the work of two brilliant composers to life.view
The arrangements of Scottish ‘national melodies’ (nearly 400 in all) are among the little-known gems of Haydn’s last years. Already an acknowledged master of the piano trio medium (as is proved by the inspired Trio Hob. XV:27 also included here), Haydn turned his accompaniments to these songs into miniature chamber music masterpieces brimming with vigor and wit. This recording featuring tenor Werner Güra offers a selection of these works that covers a wide expressive range, from tender love songs to songs rich with sarcastic folk humor.view
Les anges musiciens...
Francis Poulenc’s songs are among the most beautiful and accomplished in the entire French repertoire. A friend of poets like Apollinaire, Éluard, Aragon and Louise de Vilmorin, he was constantly alert to their imaginative worlds and their mystery. The voluptuous or nostalgic nonchalance, the gentle melancholy or the impertinent flippancy of these works never appear to take themselves seriously, and invariably represent the highest art. On this recording, the renowned Belgian soprano Sophie Karthäuser returns to harmonia mundi for her first recital program, performing a generous selection of Poulenc’s Mélodies.view