Ensemble Syntagma


Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917219029
Catnr: CC 72190
Release date: 04 January 2008
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72190
Release date
04 January 2008

"The sound is gorgeous as is the performance."

walboi.blogspot, 05-6-2017

About the album

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias often mention Gautier d’Épinal in articles dealing with the music in Lotharingia. Several writers refer to an obscure mediaeval figure to whom are attributed some 15 to 30 chansons.

The researches of the Marquis of Pange a century ago have identified him as the chevalier Gautier V d’Épinal (“dominus Galterus/Walterus/Wautiers dictus miles de Espinal”), who was born between 1205 and 1230, and died in 1272. This Gautier belonged to a remarkable family that had ruled the town of Épinal from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries.

However, Robert Lug proposes a completely different identification in his publication Der Chansonnier de Saint-Germain-des-Prés. According to Dr. Lug, Gautier was a cleric, the nephew of the Bishop of Metz. This Gautier died ca. 1232. Gautier’s writings reveal the hand of a seigneur rather than a cleric or a functionary, while the absence of compositions after 1232 is easily explained by the fragility of documentation in the hands of time and by the eternal human passion for destruction.

In any case, the traits discernible in Gautier’s biography can be attributed either to a chevalier, a cleric, or a functionary. Even his chivalrous, courtly and pragmatic Ars amatoria can be interpreted in all sorts of ways.

Contrary to the conventions of courtly literature of his time, the poetry of Gautier gives us considerable insight into his inner world. Whatever Gautier’s lot, whether he was a seigneur from humble Ruppes or a lowly cleric from Metz, the essence of the man is found in his music. As with all the trouvères, it would be dangerous to place a definitive ascription on these melodies. But the cycle associated with Gautier represents a body of work characterized by undeniable unity, cohesion and uniqueness of style.
Muziek uit de 13e eeuw
Dit is het eerste album van Ensemble Syntagma bij Challenge Classic en het bevat meerdere premières van eeuwenoude werken. Het Ensemble Syntagma is in 1995 opgericht en staat sindsdien onder leiding van Alexandre Danilevski. Het gezelschap voert stukken uit uit de 13e eeuw, zoals op dit album, tot en met werken uit de 21e eeuw.

Op dit album staan de werken van Gautier d’Épinal en zijn tijdgenoten centraal. Gautier d’Épinal wordt vaak in verband gebracht met de muziek uit Lotharingen, waarvan 15 tot 30 chansons zijn overgebleven. De essentie van zijn passie en liefde is terug te vinden in zijn muziek. Zoals bij alle troubadoursmuziek is het bijna onmogelijk om zeker te weten wie de oorspronkelijke melodieën geschreven heeft, maar in het geval van Gautier is er een onmiskenbare eenheid, samenhang en eigenheid die zijn werk kenmerken.

Bij het uitvoeren van middeleeuwse muziek ontstaat er altijd een probleem door het gebrek aan eenduidige ritmenotatie: het is vaak aan de uitvoerder om het ritme van de muziek te interpreteren. Ensemble Syntagma erkent dit probleem en voert op dit album Aÿmans fins et verais tweemaal uit, één keer met een bedacht ritme en één keer op hele noten.
Gautier d'Èpinal war ein bedeutender Komponist aus dem lothringischen Metz und hat etliche mittelalterliche Lieder hinterlassen, die vom Ensemble SYNTAGMA -neu bei CHALLENGE CLASSICS- zum ersten Mal auf vorbildliche Weise zu Gehör gebracht werden. Die internationale Presse spricht von einer "Offenbarung" und würdigt den großartigen Einsatz des Ensembles für diese bislang unbekannten Schätze der frühen Musik.


Ensemble Syntagma
Artistic director: Alexandre Danilevski

Syntagma gave its first concert in 1995 as part of the Luxemburg European Capital of Culture, with a programme combining arias by G. Frescobaldi and Spanish songs of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The critics acclaimed it as “an absolute revelation” and as a “splendid championing of early music”.

The ensemble’s repertoire extends from the thirteenth to the twenty- first centuries. This diversity is best explained by the ensemble’s director and founder: «[I do not have any] specific priorities, as long as the music makes sense. Personally, in monodies I like what is sophisticated, with rhythmic problems, or rich in melodies, complex, in short, displaying genius... I like every kind of music, as long as it is of the highest quality. I try to gather round me pieces that are still unpublished or rarely performed... There are some contented souls who can play the same music their whole life long... But I need change. I don’t know if this is good or bad, it’s just the way it is.

... I think that unfortunately medieval music is in need of a certain rehabilitation: often its profundity is hidden behind its exoticism. I place the emphasis on the former aspects: profundity and seriousness.” Syntagma searches for the harmony of individual artistic expressions that belongs to the musical spirit of the Middle Ages and remains an aspiration of our times.


The sound is gorgeous as is the performance.
walboi.blogspot, 05-6-2017

Play album

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Ensemble Syntagma