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Straight from the Heart - The Chansonnier Cordiforme
Hark, Christendom! - Sacred Music by the Last of the Minnesingers
The greatest German poets of song lyrics during the late Middle Ages, the Monk of Salzburg and Oswald von Wolkenstein, as the 'last of the Minnesingers', are not only representatives of the flowering of the secular poetry and music of their time. They were also important composers of sacred music in the German language.
Argentum et Aurum - Music from the Early Habsburg Renaissance
The period of the early Habsburgs, from c.1340 to c.1520, saw the development of a richly diverse musical culture in the Austrian region. This pioneering selection, the product of an extensive research project conducted at the University of Vienna, presents an overview of music in everyday life, in many cases in première recordings performed by Ensemble Leones.
The Cosmopolitan—Songs by Oswald von Wolkenstein
Oswald von Wolkenstein: politician, diplomat, castle owner, Knight of the Reign and bon vivant... these were his "main professions". Today, he is primarily known for his most important "hobby": he was a poet, musician and composer, a fine singer and player of diverse instruments and, ostensibly, mastered about ten languages. Alongside rarely heard pieces, Ensemble Leones presents a series of premiere recordings: these range from multilingual "macaronic" Lieder and travel descriptions to true musical gems.
Colours in the Dark—The Instrumental Music of Alexander Agricola
Agricola's (1445/6-1506) oeuvre set new standards for the genre of instrumental ensemble music: He was a master of the "dark style" and his compositions appeared "unusual, crazy and strange" to his peers. Ensemble Leones explores the densely woven and refined counterpoint of his textless compositions using an ensemble of period instruments.
Neidhart—A Minnesinger and his 'Vale of Tears'
Neidhart was one of the most popular Minnesingers—or “poet-musicians”—of the late Middle Ages. His songs deal with rustic, erotic and violent topics mediated, however, through court culture, which gives them a stylised, ironic sense of detachment. The instrumental music carries a rural character. The “Frankfurt Fragment” manuscript has never been recorded in full, before.
Les fantaisies de Josquin—The Instrumental Music of Josquin Desprez
The debut CD of Ensemble Leones is devoted to one of the key composers responsible for the blossoming of instrumental music: Josquin Desprez. This is intended as a fitting tribute to his previously neglected secular instrumental works. The bonus track presents a new composition "Sei gelobt, du Baum" by Arvo Pärt. The composition binds together the old instruments and tonal quality of the early music ensemble with the present day.