Neidhart: Vale Of Tears (Naxos: 8.572449)
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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. His division of songs into"summer" or"winter" adds another layer of complexity, with melancholy or dance-orientated topics prevailing, depending on the season. The instrumental music carries a rural character. The"Frankfurt Fragment" manuscript has never been recorded in full, and is here performed by one of the most outstanding ensembles in the field.
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