Evo at Manresa from Michal Shapiro on Vimeo.

The Cathedral “La Seu” in Manresa was the venue for some lovely performances over the course of the festival. This one was particularly good, although I found the acoustics to be problematic. Sometimes you want that massive church echo (great for Gregorian chant); but sometimes it turns the music to mush. Even as I was shooting, I was wondering if the audio track was going to be usable. As it turned out, it wasn’t. So I was thrilled when the leader of the group, Efrén López sent me a recording that was made from the performance, and while it still had a goodly amount of reverb, it had decent separation of the sounds.

The group is made up of: Efrén López Sanz, Miriam Encinas Laffitte, Laia Puig Olives, Iván López Sanz, and for this performance, Pau Marcos. The song is “De la iensor qu’om vey” by Berenguer de Palou, a 12th century troubadour also known as Berenguier de Palazol or Palol. However you spell the name, the man could write a great melody, and although I do not speak Catalan (and don’t even try a computer translation, it is NOT going to work) I suspect the lyrics are equally eloquent. It is a song of unrequited love, and part of a series of songs the troubadour wrote on the subject of courtship. The arrangement is by Efrén López.

Here are the medieval Catalan lyrics (translation is welcome!):

De la iensor qu’om vey, al mieu semblan,
On nueg e jorn velh e pens e cossir,
Mi vurlh lunhar, si·l cor mi vol seguir,
Ab tal acort que mais no·l torn denan,
Quar longamen m’a tengut deziron
Ab belh semblan, mas tan dur me respon
Qu’anc jorn no·m volc precx ni demans sofrir
Ai! belhna dona, ab belh cors benestan,
De bel semblan e de gent aculhir,
A penas sai de vos mo mielhs chauzir,
Si·us vey o no, o si·m torn, o si m’an:
Non ai saber ni sen que mi aon:
Tan suy intratz en vostr’amor prion,
Qu’ieu non conosc per on m’en puesca essir.
Pero, dona, si·us vis cor ni talan
Que·m denhessetz l’amor qu’ie·us ai grazir,
So es us mals don no vogra guerir;
Mas, pus no·us plai, al ver Dieu vos coman;
De vos mi tuelh, e non ab cor volon,
Quar res ses vos no·m pot far jauzion;
Vejatz si·m puesc ab gaug de vos partir!
Senher Bernart, no·ns part ren viu del mon,
Mas la belha que·m destrenh e·m confon
Tem que·m fassa per mort de vos partir.

For more information about the festival visit: http://www.firamediterrania.cat/en
For more information about Evo, visit: http://www.myspace.com/evomedievalmusic

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