Alla francesca - Discantus - Brigitte Lesne

To the King of Keroubims

Jews and trouvères, North of France, 13th and 14th centuries


In this program an entire cultural universe is resurrected, where the langue d'oïl and Hebrew are closely intertwined. Songs from the Jewish communities living in Northern France in the second half of the 13th century have been transmitted in the Hebrew alphabet and they use the melodies of minstrels, their contemporaries.


Shalfu tzarim / Piyyout

Ensemble Alla francesca
Brigitte Lesne / voice, psaltey-harp, percussion, co-direction
Pierre Hamon / recorders, flutes, pipes, co-direction
Lior Leibovici / voice
Vivabiancaluna Biffi / fiddle
Michaël Grébil / lute, cittern, voice, percussion
Conception and musical transcriptions: Brigitte Lesne, on an idea by Colette Sirat

During this troubled period, a time spanning the burning of the Talmud (1242-1244) to the great expulsion of 1306, Jews shared much of their daily life and language with Christians. They also shared a common taste in literature, in monuments, in the sounds of cities and fairs, in their joie-de-vivre and in popular music.
The Jewish communities sang songs about daily life as well as solemn occasions, both happy and sad. These songs reflect their deep attachment to ritual and tradition but also their strong connection to their environment and its language, langue d’oïl. Only the recitation of liturgical poems, prayer and study were still performed in Hebrew.
The final result is astounding. From the pages of centuries-old manuscripts rises the boisterous and sensual music of a colorful world inhabited by Jewish people who proclaimed their faith, pain and joy. This world vanished following the final expulsion of the Jews from France in 1394, and we are proud to give it life once more.

CD Jews and trouvères released by IEMJBuda musique : Coproduction Centre de musique médiévale de Paris
Juillet 2014 / Creation Paris EAJS congress
2015 / Concerts Strasbourg, Roma (Italia)

Alla francesca / IEMJ

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