Think Subtilior: Cercle des fumeux - Songs and Sounds | Ricercar RIC386

Think Subtilior: Cercle des fumeux - Songs and Sounds


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Label: Ricercar

Cat No: RIC386

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 18th August 2017







The Ensemble Santenay invites us on an enthralling journey through the French Ars Subtilior (‘more subtle art’) repertory of the fourteenth century. These pieces with their often esoteric texts are presented here as a genuine sound project. Just as works of art are  framed with the greatest care, the musicians have devised sound frames for the compositions on this album, in order to introduce them, link them with each other, take them further than usual, and above all make sure our ears and our consciousness are alert at the moment when the art makes its appearance. These sonic atmospheres are realised with the aid of sounds produced by instruments, scraps of pieces of music, sometimes a single voice.

Santenay sets Medieval and Early Renaissance music on instruments typical for the period, that is, on the recorder, the vielle, the lute and the organetto. In the original manuscripts there are no indications of instrumentation; therefore it is open to the musicians to decide on the most suitable instrument for each part.

- Julia von Landsberg (voice, organetto)
- Elodie Wiemer (recorder)
- Szilard Chereji (vielle)
- Ori Harmelin (lute)


Compelling. An unusual but effective approach
MusicWeb International
With its bizarre harmonies, jagged rhythms and wayward lines, the 14th-century “ars subtilior” style sounds strangely contemporary to our ears…Santenay’s four musicians handle its unusual demands superbly, linking pieces by Solage, Hasprois et al with Thor-Harald Johnsen’s electronic evocations of smoke-related phenomena
The Times 10 September 2017

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