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Songs and polyphonies of the Ladies Trouvères

Released: 2010

1 Las, las, las
2 Onques n'amai

3 Helas tant vi de male eure
4 L'on dit q'amors est dolce chose
5 Douce amour confortez moi
6 Margot, Margot
7 Trop est mes maris jalos

8 Je ne quier – Dieus ! – Misit
9 Soufre, maris
10 Diex comment pourrai savoir – Estampie dies comment
11 Amours que vous ai meffait
12 Toy servir en humility
13 Flur de virginité

14 Amour voules vous acorder

15 Du dous jhesu

16 Li debonnaires dieus

17 Chanter voel par grant amour – Estampie dam

18 Li solaus qui en moy luist

19 Amis, amis

Flur de virginitéDiabolus in Musica
00:00 / 05:11


The voice of women in the Middle Ages is an enigma. Georges Duby has frequently commented on this: in this "Male Middle Ages", "all the discourses which, in their time, were attributed to them, are masculine", making the real experience of women inaccessible, their speech almost inaudible. If the diversity of their voices is considerable, if many varied artistic genres give us the illusion of approaching it, these voices were always transmitted by men, clerks, scribes, directors of conscience. What about the repertoires of this recording that we have audaciously subtitled "songs and polyphonies of the Ladies trouvères" while the first woman recognized as a writer in her own right, Christine de Pizan, did not live until the end of the fourteenth century?

The program presented here seeks to highlight the female part of the minstrelsy repertoire. Several sources are used: the most obvious concerns the songs whose authority is attributed in the handwritten sections to a woman (genetic femininity). It is also the thinnest part. Out of 250 names of known trouvères, we find only 8 women and out of the 1362 melodies in the corpus, a tiny number can be attributed to one of these Dames trouvères. On the other hand, it is easy to identify the songs whose poem is written in the feminine but whose author is either a man or anonymous (textual femininity). Half of the trouvère's songs being anonymous, it is also quite possible that women wrote some of these works which make women speak in the first person singular or plural. These 8 women are: Blanche de Castille, the Lady of Gosnai, the Lady of Chaucie, the Duchess of Lorraine, Lorete, Lady Margot, Maroie de Diergnau and Sainte des Prez.

We wish by this recording to give voice to the women of the Middle Ages, even if the image that we give of them passed through the male prism, through the clerical filter of the scribe. The muffled echo sometimes retains an astonishing and singular strength and vitality, lifting a part of the veil that obscures the mystery of women's voices in the Middle Ages.


Sopranos: Aino Lund-Lavoipierre - Estelle Nadau

Soprano, transverse flute: Estelle Boisnard

Bowed fiddle: Evelyne Moser

Percussion: Bruno Caillat

Roman harp: Antoine Guerber

Recorded at the Lutheran Church, rue de Grenelle in Paris from October 07 to 10, 2008

Sound recording, editing: Jean Marc Laisné


"The texts that the three singers adopt, seem charged, filled with a very simple, deep, and pure poetry, which these stamps carry, elevate, and send to the soaring listener."

Charles Di Meglio -, December 2010

"This new recording of Diabolus in Musica therefore stands out, in my eyes, as one of the most relevant and inspired records devoted for a long time to the trouvère repertoire, in the particular and fascinating perspective which consists in giving back their voice to the Its radiant balance, its science, never ostentatious or heavy, make Rose tres bele an already classic anthology, essential for any discotheque of medieval music, whose superb blossoming will bring intense listening pleasure to whoever picks it up."

Jean-Christophe Pucek - Past of the arts, February 2010

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