Various: French troubadour songs

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LABELS: Harmonia Mundi Classical Express
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Paul Hillier
WORKS: French troubadour songs
PERFORMER: Paul Hillier (voice), Andrew Lawrence-King (psaltery, harp, organ)
CATALOGUE NO: HCX 3957184 Reissue (1996)
Anyone contemplating a life of minstrelsy, take heed. The outdoor life, a dedication to courtly love, freedom from the routines of the office – all of this should make for a much happier existence than Paul Hillier portrays here. ‘The Birds from my Native Land’, rather than a sweet memory of ornithological glory, is a litany of loss and regret, while ‘When I see Fresh Blooms appear’ practically has our troubadour in tears. Hillier is an eloquent witness to medieval melancholy, accompanied by exquisitely nuanced playing on harp, psaltery and portative organ from his companion in misfortune Andrew Lawrence-King. Christopher Wood