Believed to have been compiled as a gift for Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen of France from 1385 to 1422, the Pennsylvania Chansonniere [Penn Ms. Codex 902] contains a wealth of poems that were created for songs, though their musical notation is absent from this rare book. Many of the songs represented in the collection were the work of Guillaume de Machaut, set down here perhaps in honored remembrance of the great poet-composer’s music-making at court.
In this concert, Trefoil, “a hearty trio of medieval minstrels” (Philadelphia Inquirer) active since the start of the current millennium, will present songs from the Pennsylvania Chansonniere by Machaut and his contemporaries. With its trademark combination of voices and medieval plucked strings, Trefoil will bring these meta-texts alive in “otherworldly harmonies” (New York Times) with “subtlety, blend and nuance” (NPR) for the modern listener.
The pre-concert talk is at 6:15 pm, followed by the concert at 7:00 pm. There will be no intermission.
Trefoil is a trio of singer-instrumentalists long active in early music. The ensemble performs intricate medieval songs on harps, lute and voices and has appeared in numerous concerts and master classes around the country.