Autumn of the Middle Ages: A six-part history in words and music from the Low Countries, Part 2

This programme is part of the series Autumn of the Middle Ages
Presentation of the Chronicle of Hainaut at the court of Duke of Burgundy Philip the Good (1419-1467) (© Wikipedia)

In the Middle Ages, the Netherlands played a very prominent role in European musical life. By “Netherlands”, we mean the so-called Low Countries, the region along the North Sea which includes the present-day Netherlands as well as Belgium. Both countries formed one whole which, in turn, was part of the Burgundian realm. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Dutch composers from the southern Netherlands occupied positions of importance in the music ensembles of monarchs and princes and also as leading figures in the choirs of many European cathedrals. The music they produced is known as the Dutch School, and the composers gained fame as creators of impressive contrapuntal choral works on religious texts. But in this series, we present them also as composers of secular music, including songs and dances.

In this second part of the series we look at music of the 15th century, the age of the court splendour and sophistication of the Burgundian dukes. By this time the composers were no longer anonymous. The indisputable master of the age was Guillaume Dufay, a pupil of Nicolas Grenon and famous for his choral works and motets.

Presenter: Robert Haslach

Producers: Dr. Jos Wouters (script and project coordination) and Willem G. Van Maanen

Recorded by Radio Nederland and released this recording as a set of six LPs for broadcast by our partner stations on January 27, 1976. Many of the pieces were performed by the internationally renowned early Dutch early music ensemble Syntagma Musicum.

  • 02:48 O flos flagrans – (Johannes Brasart) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 06:57 La plus jolie et la plus belle – (Nicolas Grenon) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 08:59 Gloria, laus et honor – (Gilles Binchois) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 10:44 Deuil angoisseus – (Gilles Binchois) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 13:17 La Perontina – (Anonymus) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 15:13 Helas mon deuil – (Guillaume Dufay) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 18:23 Qui latuit in virgine – (Guillaume Dufay) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 20:05 L ‘alta belleza tua – (Guillaume Dufay) – Syntagma Musicum
  • 22:48 Dit le bourguynon – (Anonymus) – Syntagma Musicum
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