Even in the Middle Ages, the Mediterranean Basin retained its significance in terms of both European history and the arts. Beyond the influence of its ancient culture, the new secular literature written in the native languages of the local populations found both fertile ground and a receptive audience. In what is now the South of France, the formal language of courtly love poetry was cultivated by the Occitan-speaking troubadours. This tradition was developed further by the trouvères of northern France, and later by their Galician, Italian and German-speaking successors, who spread it all over Europe. These poets of eight centuries ago were not only lyrical innovators, they were also singers and composers. Their ranks included just as many noble and even monarchs (English king Richard the Lionheart, for example) as it did craftsmen, who were able to achieve prominence through their art. Two famous troubadours, Peire Vidal and Gaucelm Faidi, even made it as far as Hungary, visiting the 12th-century court of King Imre. In the monophonic music of the troubadours, the ancient legacy could be combined with the musical culture of the Arabs and the possibilities offered by the new instruments introduced from the Orient, such as the stringed rebab and rebek.
Providing a taste of this fresh-sounding, springtime-inspired music are the Musica Historica Ensemble and a true latter-day troubadour who also excels at improvisation, Miquèu Montanaro. The audience will be able to hear early gems of this fin'amor love poetry in a Hungarian translation from an anthology of the same name. Some of the melodies evoke the music of the Iberian peninsula, with others from the Carmina Burana codex preserving the Latin songs of French and German students, while there is even some Italian dance music included.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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