A Calliope CD, released March 2003

10 de Répertoire, Paris (highest award) "Tout simplement ......miraculeux" François Camper

Anne Azéma, voice and hurdy-gurdy


Shira Kammen, vielle, rebec, harp

Tales, legends and miracles were as important to religious life in the Middle
Ages as the litrugy and theological treatises. Like stained-glas windows in
churches and cathedrals, the recitation and singing of miracles stirred the
religious fervor of the faithful The songs and poems on this programme bring
the divine into everyday life and lend immediacy and a worldly context to
medieval spirituality.

Anne Azéma and Shira Kammen re-interpret for us forgotten works that are
lively, tender and colorful. Most of the works are recorded here for the first
time by these two outstanding musicians of international renown.

Track List

I. De l'estoile toute ma vie chanterai

1. De l'estoile, mere au soleil - Anonymous - 4'13
2. Novel amour qui si m'agree - Rogeret de Cambrai (13th C.) - 2'35

II. Les maus d'amer

3. Pour yver, pour noif ne pour gelee - Gauthier de Coinci (1177/8-1236) - 14'55

III. Porte dou ciel et sourse de miel

4. La quinte estampie/Ma vièle - Anonymous (13th C.) - 2'53
5. Ma vièle et Dou cierge qui descend au jongleour - Gauthier de Coinci - 10'43
6. A Virgen Santa Maria - Attr. à Alfonse le sage (1221-1284) - 5'47

IV. Maravillosos et piadosos

7. Rose cui nois ne gelee - Gauthier de Coinci - 2' 52
8. Gran' dereit - Attr. à Alfonse de Sage - 2'15
9. Un brief miracle - Gauthier de Coinci - 1'37
10. Dou tres douz nom - Thibault de Champagne (1201-1253) - 5'32
11. Maravillosos et piadosos - Attr. à Alfonse de Sage - 2'50


Textes lus
Numbers 4 and 8 are instrumentals

Transcriptions, editions, arrangements: 1-8, 10-11: Anne Azéma and Shira

Sources and editions:
1. Basé sur: Paris, BN. f fr 24406, f 154r
2. Paris, Arsenal 5198, f 259
3. Paris, BN., nouv. acq. fr. 24541, f 117
4. Basé sur: BN., f fr 844, f 104v
5. Paris, BN., nouv. acq. fr. 24541, f 118
7. Paris, BN., f fr 846, f 95c
10. BN, f fr 846, f 36e

For the Cantigas, we have consulted the edition of Higini Anglès, La Música
de las Cantigas de Santa Maria del Rey Alfonso el Sabio. Barcelona, Spain,
1943-1959, as well as Walter Mettman, Alfonso X. el Sabio, Cantigas de Santa
Maria, Castalia, Madrid, 1988.

Edition of the texts of Gauthier de Coinci: Fréderic Keonig, Les Miracles de
Notre Dame. By Gauthier de Coinci. Geneva: Droz, 4 vol., 1955-1070.

Nos remerciements les plus chaleureux vont à: Annick Lepôtre, Howard Lowell
et Suzanne Establie ainsi qu'aux Amis de la Boston Camerata sans l'aide
desquels ce projet n'aurait pas vu le jour. Nous remercions également Pierre Bec, F.
Regina Psaki, Jean-Michel Verneiges et le Département de l'Aisne qui, par
leur acceuil, ont rendu cet enregistrement possible.

National Post , Toronto
Monday, May 26, 2003


Anne Azéma, Shira Kammen

Etoile du nord: Gauthier de Coinci et le miracle médiéval


This is not the first CD to explore music devoted to the Virgin Mary, but it's unquestionably one of the most beautifully conceived and performed. French soprano Anne Azéma and Berkeley-based string player Shira Kammen breathe warmth and humanity into obscure (to most of us) 12th- and 13th-century songs from northern France to the court of Alfonso the Wise in Spain, in a program that reveals intriguing musical links between the two.

Most of the songs recount miracles -- often wacky ones, to modern minds— allegedly worked by the Virgin Mary. The heart of the CD, however, is the touching devotional song, Pour yver, pour noif ne pour gelee, in which the poet, Gauthier de Coinci, addresses Mary in the intimate, courtly love tradition of the troubadours. Musical soul mates, Azéma and Kammen are at the height of their formidable powers in this recording. Azéma's gift for storytelling, her vocal freedom, the depth of her knowledge, and above all her purity of spirit go straight to the heart of both song and listener. Kammen's accompaniments -- her own inventions -- are miracles in and of themselves: with the simplest of means, playing medieval fiddles and harp, she lifts the affect of each verse off the page. Her virtuosic dance interludes leap about with the most mischievous, infectious fun I've ever heard in medieval music. Tamara Bernstein.