BLONDEL Of arms and a woman

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‘You’ll love this’ (Record Review, BBC Radio 3)
FHR69 Categories: , , ,


‘Of arms and a woman’
Emily Baines
Lizzie Gutteridge
Belinda Paul
recorders, shawms, bagpipes

Daniel Serafini
slide trumpets, sackbut

Louise Anna Duggan
frame drum, tabor, tamburello

‘Of arms and a woman’ is a chronicle of love, loss, chivalry and memory built around the late medieval wind music of Dufay, Binchois, Ciconia, Landini and Machaut, performed on shawms, slide trumpet, recorders, sackbut, bagpipes and percussion.

The album is inspired by the writing of Christine de Pisan, whose work touched on every aspect of courtly life, from romantic poetry to military strategy and feminist critiques of the position of women in society. It includes rousing calls to battle, arresting love songs, and the heartbreakingly beautiful Dueil angoisseux, the only contemporary musical setting of any of de Pisan’s poems.

Recorded at St Mary’s Church, Stoke-by-Nayland,
UK, 24-27 July 2015
Produced and engineered by Adrian Hunter
24bit, 96kHz hi-resolution recording & mastering

Guillaume DUFAY (1397-1474)
1. Se le face ay pale
(2 soprano shawms, alto shawm, tenor sackbut, tabor)

(attrib. Guillaume DUFAY)
2. Or me veult bien Esperance
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms)

Guillaume DUFAY
3. Belle, veulliés moy retenir
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms, frame drum)

John BEDYNGHAM (c.1422-c.1460)
4. O rosa bella
(alto recorder, 2 tenor recorders)

Gilles BINCHOIS (c.1400-1460)
5. Les tres doulx ieux du viaire ma dame
(alto recorder, 2 tenor recorders)

ANON. (arr. E. Gutteridge)
6. A Cheval, tout homme, a cheval
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms, slide trumpet, tabor)
7. Reveillez vous piccars
(2 bagpipes, slide trumpet, tabor)

8. Gardés le trait della fenestre
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms, tabor)

9. Dueil angoisseus
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms, tenor sackbut)

Johannes CICONIA (1370-1412)
10. A Le ray au solely
(2 alto recorders, tenor recorder)

Baude CORDIER (1380-1440)
11. Tout par compas suy composes
(2 alto recorders, tenor recorder)

Guillaume de MACHAUT (1300-1377)
(arr. E. Baines 1 & E. Gutteridge 2)
12. Aymi! dame de valour 1 • Je vivroie liement 2
(3 bagpipes, tamburello)

SOLAGE (fl. late 14th Century)
13. Corps femenin par vertu de nature tant noblement (soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms)

Robert MORTON (c.1430-c.1479)
14. Le Souvenir de vous me tue mon seul bien
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms, tenor sackbut)

Guillaume DUFAY
15. Le Serviteur hault guerdonné
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms)

John BEDINGHAM (1422-1460)
16. Le Serviteur (Superno nunc emittitur)
(alto recorder, 2 tenor recorders)

17. De quan quʼon peut belle et bonne estrener (alto recorder, 2 tenor recorders)
18. Anxci bon youre
(soprano shawm, alto shawm, slide trumpet)

Francesco LANDINI (c.1325-1397)
19. Adiu, adiu dous dame (soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms)

20. La Spagna
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms, tenor sackbut)

ANON. (attrib. ENRIQUE)
21. Pues serviçio vos desplaze • Cançión contrahecha Pues serviçio vos desplaze, letra y punto
(alto recorder, 2 tenor recorders)

ANON. (arr. E. Gutteridge)
22. Allez a la fougere
(3 bagpipes)

JOSQUIN DES PRÉS (c.1450/55-1521)
23. Lomme arme • ANON. Lome arme (falsum) • Robert MORTON Lom arme
(soprano shawm, 2 alto shawms, tenor sackbut)

24. Files a marier ne vous mariez ja
(2 soprano shawms, alto shawm, tenor sackbut, tabor)

Press Quotes

“…you’ll love this…such an enjoyable listen…excellent booklet notes…an intriguing and rewarding release” (Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3, Record Review)

“The playing is wonderfully engaging, and the players revel in the variety of colours that their instruments can achieve, whether it be the meaty sounds of the shawms or the gentler recorders.” (Planet Hugill ****)

“The striking artwork, informative notes, selection of instruments, programming and the presentation of the music itself, makes this CD a joy to review. It is usually easy to be critical of musical performance, but Blondel have really got everything right.” (

“Brits blazersgezelschap Blondel speelt loepzuiver op hun schalmeien, trombones en blokfluiten” (de Volkskrant ****)

“This is a fascinating disc, sonically and musically so impressive… The punchier numbers really hit home: “Reveillez vous piccars” is rousing stuff. Dance numbers like the little “Anxci bon youre” are winning, as is the closing “Filles a marier ne vous mariez ja”, the three shawms blasting out. This anthology should be listened to alfresco, at high volume. Great fun.” (Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk)