The Black Dragon – Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula
Annette Bauer – recorders, voice, percussion, citole, bells Phoebe Jevtovic – voice, bells Shira Kammen – vielle, harp, voice Tim Rayborn – psaltery, percussion ‘ud, citole
Tonight, we were delighted that we had a fantastic opportunity to attend a concert by Cançonièr. Cançonièr, “songbook” in medieval southern French, was formed in 2008 and hail from the San Francisco Bay area. They are an early music group who play medieval music from the 12th to the 15th centuries centred around Scandinavia, the Middle East, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Balkans.
The concert was held at the lovely St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in downtown Kalamazoo and it was a full house. We heard beautiful music from Hungary, Romania, Russia, Germany and Byzantium. The theme was “Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula”. The music focused on areas and times associated with Vlad Dracula (1431 – 1476) whose terrible reputation has followed him across the centuries and made him the evil character in Bram Stoker’s beloved “Dracula”. The music was of a sad note but beautiful in its melodic and unusualness. The instruments used were curious and unique (pictured here), and we were fortunate to have the ability to snap pictures of them during the intermission.
Phoebe Jevtovic’s vocals were haunting and lovely. Annette Bauer’s recorder playing was incredible and Tim and Shira’s accompaniment on the harp and ‘ud and drum made added an exotic twist to the music. I enjoyed this concert because I haven’t had the chance to hear music from these regions. It was nice to hear something sung in old Hungarian and Moldavian. Some of my favorites included, “Aźt gondoltam, esö esik”, a Hungarian/Transylvanian folk song, “Volek sirolmtudotlon”, a 13th century Hungarian lament and “Už vy golubi”, a pilgrim song from medieval Russia.
Their newest album, “The Black Dragon, Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula” is now available. You can learn more about Cançonièr’s music on their website www.canconier.com We would love to see Cançonièr come to Canada!