Mediaeval love songs en Français

Galway Early Music Festival takes place from May 12 to 15

Brigitte Lesne.

Brigitte Lesne.

THE GALWAY Early Music Festival, taking place this weekend, with its theme of 'Play, Lady, Play, is all about women and nowhere are women more to the fore than in Trobar et Joglar, a programme of 12th century French troubadour songs.

The concert will be given by Brigitte Lesne and the Alla Francesca ensemble, from France, this Saturday at 8.30pm in St Joseph’s Church, Presentation Road.

Central to the songs is the theme of love – love betrayed, love gone cold, love that drives the lover mad. This was the age of chivalry and of amour courtois, or courtly love. The songs are part of a game of seduction between the songwriter and his lady.

Interestingly, not all the poets were men. Trobairitz, female troubadours, composed, wrote verses, and performed for the Occitan noble courts. They are exceptional in musical history as the first known female composers of Western secular music. Trobairitz poetry tended to offer less idealised conceptions of love than did their male counterparts, with a more conversational and less flourished style of writing.

For more information and booking see www.galwayearlymusic.com

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