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Fleurs de Lys

Fleurs de Lys are Anne Marie Summers, Helen Wilding and Charlotte Bulley, three like-minded musicians based in the Welsh Marches who specialize in Medieval and early Renaissance music. Using authentically reconstructed instruments and sourcing their material from mediaeval manuscripts they aim to re-create the beauty and stillness, energy and excitement of our distant musical past.

"Absolutely brilliant - instruments super - v. interesting and the voices blended beautifully"

"If Medieval music can rock, this did! We had a fantastic time!"

"What a wonderful evening! Your voices blended beautifully with stunning harmonies and the playing just as amazing - Thank you!"

"Absolutely fascinating. Many thanks."

"Festive perfection! Thank you for an inspiring evening - music plus humour!"

Visit Fleurs de Lys website (external).

'Music and song from Medieval Europe' --

a programme of Medieval Music celebrating the end of winter and the start of the season of Love.
We've survived another winter and now the sap in rising! The coming of Spring has always been a time of joy, festivity and amorous adventures. It was the season when life the Middle Ages became not just bearable but joyful again.  Many of the most delightful and evocative medieval songs celebrate the pleasures of Spring and Summer. In this new programme Fleurs de Lys explore the age old relationship between springtime and love, with songs and music from Medieval England, France and Italy. 
As well as new renditions of familiar favourites like Sumer is icumen in and Ecco la Privavera, Fleurs de Lys are also focusing on some of the  lesser known 13th C. French Motets. These  often feature the voices of women talking intimately of  the intrigues of love and passion on a domestic scale. Interspersing the songs are the estampies – music for dancing at the royal courts and castles; and the carols -  dance music for the masses, often pastoral, spontaneous and sensual and thoroughly disapproved of by the church authorities.

Further Notes
The music in this programme is almost exclusively from the Medieval period with two exceptions - a 17th C. pavanne and the 16th C. 'Tordeon'. It is worth considering that this era spans nearly 700 years, and many different musical styles and directions may have florished and died back within that time. As you will hear, however, there is a strong unifying aspects to the music which makes it instantly recognisable as 'Medieval', despite coming from several different centuries and countries. There is also a very definite break in style with the arrival of the Renaissance.

Anne Marie notes "In the 12th and 13th centuries it became fashionable to write poems of courtly love, put them to music, then perform them to friends or instruct a professional musician to perform them on your behalf. By the 13th C. it also became popular to layer on different harmonies and words, often using a well known religious chant as the bottom line and building up from there with the top line of lyrics becoming occasionally risque. One might imagine that songs such as 'je suis jonnette et jollie' were sung within an exclusively female presence!"

The programme

First half
1. Sumer is icumen in                  13th C. English song celebrating the start of summer. Anon
2. En Mai                                     12th C. Provencal song by the Troubadour Colin Muset
3. Estampie Royal                        13th C. French instrumental dance music.  Anon
4. Volez Oyer                                13th C. French song for three gossiping voices.  Anon       
5. Tordeon                                    16th C. French drinking song by Pierre d’Attaignant
6. Kalenda Maya                          12th C. Provencal song about the first of May. By Raimbou de Vaquerias
7. Miri it is while sumer ilast       13th C. English song. Anon           
8.Saltarello                                   14th C. Italian instrumental dance tune.  Anon
Second half:
1. A Vos Vieg Chevalier Sire        13th C. French motet of love and death. For two voices.  Anon
2. Je sui Jonete et Jolie                13th C. French motet  for three voices about an ill devised marriage.  Anon
3. Son me Regard                         13th C. French motet for three voices about love and jealousy.  Anon
4. Prendes i Garde                        13thC. French carolle about pastoral love.  Anon
5. Estampie on Prendes i Garde   21st C. by Anne Marie Summers
6. Ecco la Primavera                      14th C. two part song welcoming in the spring. by Landini
7. Ductia                                        13th C. English instrumental.  Anon
8.Que ferrai                                   13th C. carolle on the theme of love. Also in its Motet form for three voices. 
9. Tanzatza                                    17th C. Instrumental dance music by Pretorius