Nuits Occitanes, Ensemble Céladon, P. Bündgen
(released on May 27, 2014)
Ricercar RIC340 | 68'25"
The performances recorded here remind me of one of the classic recordings of the music of the trouvères, the descendants of the troubadours, recorded by Sequentia (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, 1991). The two voices, countertenor Paulin Bündgen and soprano Clara Coutouly, are both attractive and not overdone in any way. A quartet of musicians on a range of instruments (fiddle, lute, recorders, percussion) provides a completely fabricated but entirely plausible accompaniment, while the application of some simple types of organum, easily improvised, yields intriguing results as well. Two of the more beautiful poems are attributed to Bertran de Born, punished with the schismatics in the eighth circle of Dante's Inferno for his role in splitting apart the sons of King Henry II of England, and to one of the few female authors of troubadour poetry, Beatriz de Dia, the wife of Guillaume de Poitiers.