Thursday, 12 August 2010

Hillier covers Jaufré

Paul Hillier, co-founder of the Hilliard Ensemble and general early music bloke, recorded the six surviving and uncontested songs of Jaufré Rudel on an album for Harmonia Mundi called Distant Love.

For reasons I won't go into here, Hillier was a guest at my wedding in Bloomington, Indiana back in 1998, and during a lull in the small talk, mentioned that he'd just recorded the Rudel songs. I jumped in eagerly to contribute my recollection that a French ensemble had structured an album around the Jaufré legend and included some of his songs.

'Oh, well I won't bother with mine then,' said Hillier. There followed the kind of awkward atmosphere that you only get when you put two shy Englishmen in a foreign setting and leave them to make conversation. I think he was joking rather than offended, but I guess I'll never know...

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