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Sat, Mar 05


Church of St. Leger

Conon de Béthune and company...

Songs of the minstrels of Artois (12th and 13th centuries)

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Conon de Béthune and company...
Conon de Béthune and company...

Heure et lieu

Mar 05, 2022, 8:30 PM

Church of St. Leger, Rue Achille Chatelet, 62199 Gosnay, France

À propos de l'événement

Our poets come from all the regions where the different dialects of langue d'oïl are spoken, which constitutes a vast geographical area encompassing all of northern France and the south of present-day Belgium. Some provinces have played a leading role in this matter, and we find their dialectal traits in the songs of authors from these regions: Picardy, Champagne, Lorraine... Artois and the city of Arras in particular constitute real breeding grounds with a considerable number of trouvères and songs that the manuscripts have transmitted to us, called "chansonniers". Strong personalities have come out of it and our program gives a large place to Conon, one of the youngest sons of Robert V, lord of Béthune. Conon distinguished himself during two crusades, the first following Philippe Auguste, who returned prematurely and left Richard the Lionheart alone in Palestine, the second time playing a leading role during this disastrous expedition which took Constantinople in 1204. It is especially his songs that keep us here, in which he knows how to show a great personality of tone, while the genre gives pride of place to conventions and laws normally strictly observed by trouvères. Conon, he does not hesitate to criticize the reception he received at the court of France, or to make fun of the courteous lady, usually put on a pedestal by his fellows.

The tradition of the trouvères seems to be very early during the 12th century a veritable institution in Arras. The "brotherhood of the holy candle", which brings together all the trouvères of the city, is one of the most powerful and rivals those of the great traditional trades, weavers, butchers and other goldsmiths. Very big names of trouvères until the end of the courtly period are Arrageois and Adam de la Halle is one of the most prestigious. Adam moved away from Arras and made his great talents known elsewhere, notably at the court of Charles of Anjou, younger brother of King Louis IX, future Saint Louis, and King of Naples and Sicily. Adam will give the trouvère song a decisive impetus by writing the first polyphonic rondos with 3 voices. He will also be the author of the first "games", the first secular plays in our history.

Between these two great major figures, our program is a journey through the lyrical production of Béthune and Artois in the 12th and 13th centuries, of extraordinary richness and flavor.

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