Songs of the Troubadours and Trouvères: An Anthology of Poems and Melodies

  • Troubadour texts edited and translated by Margaret Switten
  • Trouvère texts edited and translated by Samuel N. Rosenberg
  • Music edited by Gérard Le Vot
  • (Series: Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, 1740)
  • New York and London: Garland [now Routledge], 1997
  • 378 pages
  • Hardcover: ISBN 0-8153-1341-1

Two linked repertories constitute the vernacular lyric heritage of 12th-and 13th-century France: the work of the troubadours, who wrote their texts in langue d’oc, the language of the south (Old Provençal), and the trouvères, who worked in langue d’oïl, the language of the north (Old French). Their monophonic compositions range across various genres and thematic concerns, not at all limited to the songs of “courtly love,” for which they are particularly renowned. With 63 Occitan Songs and 81 Old French songs, this anthology is representative of their melodic and textual art.

The CD

“Songs of the Troubadours and Trouvères: Music and Poetry from Medieval France.” Peter Becker, baritone. Robert Einstein, medieval fiddle. Bard Records / Folder Consort.

The original (1997) printing of the book contained an audio CD; at that time, the CD was also released separately by the Folger Consort. It is my understanding that a reprinting (around 2010) does not include the CD. That recording is available separately, though it can be difficult to locate because of the oddities in how it is listed. As of this writing (in 2019), it remains available from the Folger Shakespeare Library (search under “Troubadours and Trouveres”). Other than work on the underlying book that the performers used, I had no hand in the making of this lovely recording.