What I Like About...
Friday, February 13, 2004
  Motet: Amours mi font/En mai/Flo Filius eius
13th century

The morose eroticism of this work relies primarily on the text and performers. The pitches and rhythms of this work are not entirely different from the two pieces that precede it on this CD. However, the Sederunt could be described as morose but not erotic. And the Ave virgo virginum may approach a sacred kind of eroticism but is not morose. With some obnoxious yet simple alterations these piece could all have the same mood. It is strange that part of a gradual, a conductus, and a motet could be so much alike. I have to wonder if this quandary is simple a problem of historical distance.

Historically, this piece is important to our survey because of its Franconian style. That is, the duration of each pitch was indicated in the original score. With the help of rhythmic modes and an ear toward cadences, the composer of this work, I am sure, focused his effort on one line at a time. The beauty of each line individually must have preoccupied the composer. A little voice crossing is no bother. Also, the harmonic consequence does not seem to carry the emotional content as much as the contour of the line. And by this time, musicians have a massive resource in Gregorian Chant that is exclusively a study of line. However, this work is also a step toward a harmonic language. When the performers become more accustomed to counting out beats the composer can then become more adventuresome in the way the parts stack up.

What I like about this piece is the way the parts dovetail. Especially because they are presenting different texts the small rests in each part are very expressive. 

<< Home
In January 2004 I starting writing an opinion for each selection in the Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music. Now, more than a year later, I am almost finished. Soon, I will have an archive full of opinions on the music we so carelessly call "classical." And no one can stop me.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Director of the Contemporary Performer's Workshop... Music Teacher for St. Aloysius Gonzaga School... Principal 'Cellist of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra... Composer

Read Also...
Music Reference Links
Links to Composers and Collaborations
Miscellaneous Links
What I Said About...