Advent Calendar Day 17 – There is no rose of such virtue (Chanticleer)

Are you ready for more roses?  Today’s rose is a 15th century English rose, and is a text that has been sung to many different arrangements.  Interestingly, it seems to have become a big thing in the last century or so – I’ve found melodies and arrangements by artists who I know – Britten, the Mediaeval Baebes, Joubert, and, regrettably, Sting – and ones who are new to me – Young, Koppin, McDonald, Memley (my favourite of this lot), and, honestly, each YouTube video leads to another new version of this piece.  I’m beginning to feel I could fill an Advent Calendar just with this text.

(It’s a lovely text, but really?)

Anyway, I’m feeling a bit traditional this week, so we are going to eschew all this 20th and 21st century madness for a proper, old-fashioned version, which goes to what I understand to be the original tune, as sung by Chanticleer.  After all those lush dissonances, it’s a pleasure to hear a nice open fifth or two, and a melody that makes sense on its own…

… and that, apparently, is all I want to say about it.  I’m exhausted after listening to fifteen different 20th-century arrangements of this song*…

… oh, I will add that I rather like the slideshow on this one.  Nicely put together.

*Andrew is now mocking me because I told him that after a while all the 20th century arrangements start blurring together into one lush yet spoooooky dissonance.  He says that they aren’t that alike, really**.  He wasn’t in here listening to them.  (They aren’t that alike, really.  But there is a definite trend in the direction of being slow, atmospheric and just a little bit atonal, and I’m afraid my palate is just not refined enough to care.  I’m too busy looking for my next cheap Baroque fix.)

**Andrew now claims that I am misrepresenting him.  This is what a surfeit of 20th century music does to me.  It completely destroys my moral compass.  Or, alternatively, it leads me to make what I maintain was a perfectly reasonable paraphrase of what was actually said.  But apparently, Andrew does not agree with me.  Unfortunately for Andrew, this is my blog, so I get to write whatever I like.  He will have to start his own blog.

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