a remarquable end of season
Les Idées Heureuses concert explores the secular musical repertoire of the late Middle-Ages
By Luc Archambault
Les Idées Heureuses will have weaved a particularly rich season this year, and they ended it with a memorable concert on May 16, titled Love’s Lament, a concert exploring the secular musical repertory of the late Middle-Ages.
Focusing on the late Middle-Ages and early Renaissance period, the Ars Nova era, and bringing to the front stage music from France and Italy, the ensemble, under the guidance of Natalie Michaud and Geneviève Solly, displayed their musical mastery one last time this season.
The concert featured works from Guillaume de Machaut, Francesco Landini and Zaccara de Teramo, among others. For this concert, the ensemble consisted of Geneviève Solly, who played on a clavicymbalum or clavisimbalum, the first keyboard instrument in the history of music, a primitive harpsichord. Natalie Michaud, playing various recorders, directed the concert. Vincent Lauzer played the flutes, Esteban La Rotta the lute, Ziya Tabassian was in charge of the percussions, and Angèle Trudeau, soprano, charmed the audience with her rich voice.
Les Idées Heureuses will have weaved a particularly rich season this year, and they ended it with a memorable concert on May 16, titled Love’s Lament…
The musical pieces were all composed between the years 1350 to 1450. Bringing the Ars Nova to the Ars subtilior periods, the concert opened with the main composer of the late Middle-Ages, Guillaume de Machaut.
One of the characteristics of this period was the use of polyphonic composition, but applied to secular music, whereas in previous time it was only applied to sacred works. It thus shunned the limitations of the earlier rhythmic compositions with an expanded polyphonic sophistication, through the use of isorhythm and the motet. Often linked with the revolutions in painting and literature of the early Renaissance, Ars Nova brought to the forefront a new degree of musical expressiveness. As Ars Nova evolved into Ars subtilior, the degree of refinement and complexity expanded dramatically, earning the title of manneristic style.
The ensemble Les Idées Heureuses was founded in 1987 by harpisichordist and artistic director Geneviève Solly. It has created more than 120 concerts, most of them devoted to forgotten Baroque works. Natalie Michaud, co-artistic director since 1990, is given annually a free-reign over her ‘carte-blance’ concerts, which reach beyond the Baroque era, such as Love’s Lament, a concert of secular songs from the late Middle-Ages. She has produced close to 30 thematic programs of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. Her approach is centered on the study of old masters, period sources and techniques. Angèle Trudeau is a soprano who gratuated from McGill University and the Schola Cantorum of Basel, Switzerland. She has a distinct passion for early music singing, and is a member of the OSM choir. She has been performing with Les Idées Heureuses since 2012.
Love’s Lament was held at La Salle Bourgie on Tuesday, May 16.
Images : Les Idées Heureuses
Writer and journalist, globe-trotter at heart, passionate about movies, music, literature and contemporary dance, came back to Montreal to pursue his unrelenting quest for artistic meaning.