Motet: Amours mi font/En mai/Flo Filius eius
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.