Ensemble La Rota

Heu Fortuna

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The reign of Philippe IV the Fair of France, from the late thirteenth through the early fourteenth centuries, was marked by prosperity and a flourishing of the arts. During Philippe's reign, several important collections of music were copied, including the Montpellier Codex, the Chansonnier Cangé, and the Robertsbridge Codex, which remain the most significant sources of music of the era. The selections from those manuscripts recorded here are delightfully diverse: estampies -- perky folk-like dances, polyphonic secular motets, and soulful Trouvère love songs. The music has a rough-hewn quality to it -- it was written well before the conventions of western classical music had fallen into place, and it follows a logic that's foreign to modern sensibilities accustomed to music from the Renaissance to the Contemporary periods. La Rota's musicians sing and play with pure tone and polished technical skills, but they don't soften the music's rough edges. The group's performances have a spontaneity and an almost reckless freedom that feel absolutely right for this repertoire, written in a period when music notation left performers with considerable freedom of interpretation. La Rota engagingly brings these works to life so they never come across as museum pieces. Atma's sound is warm and vibrant.

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