Amor de Lonh - The Distant Love of the Troubadours

The theme of Distant Love was a major focus for the Provencal Troubador poets of the late twelfth century. It revolved around an idealised, mostly nameless, and frequently unattainable Lady, to whom a poet - musician addressed highly accomplished verses of intense longing. It also came to be expressed through a widespread burgeoning of the adoration of the Virgin Mary, and it has been argued that the Lady of the courtly lover was so close in form and inspiration to the Mother of Christ as to be indistinguishable from her. This disc attempts to explore this juxtaposition of human longing and religious adoration in a context of the earthy music of the dance.


In stock
Catalogue Number




"The skill of the musicians, vocalists and lyricists leave no doubt that this was indeed also an age filled with splendid ability in the art of composition, performance, and an age filled with refinement and culture."


This one comes from 1997 and seems to have been one of the last in the sequence. As can be seen below the Troubadour's names are from the 12th Century and these are contrasted with 13th Century dances and some sacred works from an earlier period… Even so he (Martin Best) always sang this music with character and precision.

Troubadours like Ventadorn and Jaufre Rudel hail from the 'classic' early and middle period of artists and we know quite a bit about their life and times from a surprising amount of archival material which has survived. In fact 460 names have come down to us. But only 42 seem to have left their own melodies. Ventadorn has left at least forty pieces in various sources and was one of the most popular performers of his age.

So this is one of those discs which, because of its varied pattern, gentle songs and lively dances, you can play through in one go. Original texts are supplied with good translations and there is an essay by Martin Best discussing the troubadour tradition, performance style and the programme design.

Music Web International – Classical Review

© 2010-2023 Wyastone. All Rights Reserved.