Oxford Trobadors Video Recordings
Videos from the Joint Concert with Nadau and Peiraguda 2017
Lo Boier (the herdsman)
The herdsman returns to find his wife disconsolate (tota desconsolada) by the fireplace. He reassures her that the Saracens, the English, and all the other invaders, will not return; there will be peace …. she will have a kiss (auretz ‘na potonada) and the sun will shine from deep in her heart (e lo solelh n’en raiara au prigond de vostre arma).
Nadau Ta Baptista (Christmas for Baptiste) – Joan de Nadau
A gently lilting Pyrenees lullaby. Baptista sleeps while father Christmas (lo pair Nadau) flies through the night and gentle snowflakes fall on the lovers (sus los amoros). From the depths of his heart (Jo tot au dehens) he loves the child always (que t’aime, tostemps).
Quan vei la lauzeta mover (Bernat de Ventadorn c 1150)
When I see the lark flap its wings with joy against the sun, when sweetness touches its heart (per la docor qu’al cor li vai), so great is my jealousy that I wonder that my heart does not melt with desire (lo cor de desirier no’m fond)
Arron d’Aimar — After Love (Joan de Nadau)
“After making love” (Arron d’aimar) he dreams of the laughter of children (aus arrisers gaujos), and of a country where lovers are forgiven (ont lo monde es perdonan aus qui s’aiman, uros). The chorus repeats ‘how I love you’ (Que t’aime) ‘through water and lightening’ (per l’aiga o l’eslambrec).
Molt m’es bon e bell (Peire Vidal, 12th C)
Na Vierna was Peire Vidal’s inaccessible love who he had to leave behind when he was banished from Toulouse. As he admires the beauty of nature he is mournfully reminded of Na Vierna. This performance is Ray’s arrangement of a song for which the original medieval melody has been lost.
Entre la Reula e Marmanda (Peiraguda Traditional)
Peiraguda’s accordion intro leads to this stunning traditional song Entre la Reula. A dove (paloma) is perched on the dovecote (pijonier) but a hunter (caçaire) arrives. The refrain, dessús lo bòrd del pijonièr, arrièr lauret lèva lo pé, means “on the edge of the dovecote, behind, the ox raises one leg”. The sense is “keep back!” Sadly, the hunter kills the dove.
Lo Camin de l’ostal (path to the house) Peiraguda
Lo camin es long que monta a nòstre ostal (the path is long that leads up to our house); Dempuei lo vent de mai al solelh d’abrial (from the winds of May to the April sun); Lo camin es long que monta a nòstre ostal (the path is long that leads up to our house); Si fasem çò que cal li farem Carnaval (If we do what we must we will make carnival).
Los Bateus (The Boats) Peiraguda
What happens to the ships when they become old and tired of dancing on the sea? (Que fan los bateus, Quand son venguts vielhs, Quand son sadolats, De dançar sus l’aiga ?) They get stuck in the sand, and the wind sings them sea songs (Conhats dins lo sable e lo vent que passa, Que los a possat, Lor canta per amistat, ’Na cançon de marinier).
Lo Leberon (the werewolf)
The Leberon (werewolf) prowls on full moon nights. Meeting her lover, the countess is tipped into a ditch (per mitan d’un valat), the curate is made to confess (per li far confessar), while a policeman loses part of his anatomy (las malurosas causas) while jailing a thief. The Occitan words are tongue-twisters, so we appreciate singing along with the composers: Peiraguda.
L’aiga de la Dordonha (Waters of the Dordogne)
Lo Bailero (traditional)
Lo Bailero is one of the most famous and haunting Occitan songs, performed by top sopranos, usually to orchestral accompaniment. Chris Britton has adapted the composition specially for the Oxford Trobadors. A shepherdess and shepherd sing to each other across the valleys of the Massif Central. They play with each other as one tells the other that the grass is greener where they are.
La Sestina (Arnaut Daniel c 1180)
He proclaims his firm love (lo ferm voler qu’el cor m’intra) to his unreachable lover, before he finds paradise, and his joy is doubled (qu’en paradis, n’aura doble joi). The song contains tant fina amors com cela qu’el còr m’intra (such noble love as in my body enters). Fin amor is a trobador theme. Arnaut Daniel was highly praised in the Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri for his poetic virtuosity.
Nuech de Mel (Night of honey) Peiraguda
Qu’era una nuèch, una nuèch de fred , una nuèch de mel (It was a night a cold night a night of honey). This song is on Peiraguda’s 2004 CD Lo temps de la memoria.
Catí qu’ei, shens mentir, Beròja com lo matin. Catarineta, se’n va lo temps, Se’n va lo temps, se’n va lo temps, Catarineta, se’n va lo temps, Jo que t’aimi per tostemps. Cathy, you are honestly beautiful as the morning. You make time pass, I love you always. This catching traditional song is one of the great favourites of Nadau concerts, with performers and audience performing the snake dance!
An exquisitely beautiful song with a lilting melody. Per Sant Laurens a Morlana, I avè lua sus los teits, E la hèsta a las platanas, Qu’arrivavi de la nuèit. Morlana cantava, Jo qu’èri amorós, Quimèra, enqüera, Lo ser qu’èra tant doç. Adiu donc, adiu Morlana , Qu’as la lua sus los teits, E la hèsta a las platanas, Que me’n torni ta la nueit.
Las Fialaires (traditional)
Sung a capella by Nadau and Peiraguda
L’Autrier sus una Subissa (Marcabru — 12th Century)
This early pastorel by Marcabru is typical of the dialogue between a courtly knight and a country peasant girl. The Knight proposes to her that they should “form a couple.” The peasant girl responds “No sir, for my thoughts and actions are elsewhere.” In modernising the song we have tried to convey the humour and light joy of the song.
Ara es l’Ora (now is the time) Ray Noble
Ara es l’ora. Per tot çò que que jo senti, Lo temps que garis, Lo temps que garis
(Now is the hour. For all that we have done, for all that I feel, time heals, time heals).
Composed and performed by Ray Noble
Los de qui Cau (those who do what they must) Nadau (arr Ray Noble)
These are my people (Que son los mens), those who till the earth, raise the livestock, they are as they must be (los de qui cau). He reflects as he leaves the slopes of the Pyrenees for Bordeaux (Qu’avi de partir ta Bordeu). He sees that they are the memories of all who have gone before (e quian hons de la memoria, tot los qui son passat abans).
This is THE song of the Occitan-speaking areas of France, sung everywhere. The chorus is catching:
Haut Peirot, vam caminar, vam caminar, de cap ta l’immortela,
Haut Peirot, vam caminar, vam caminar, lo pais vam cercar
Se Canta (traditional)
A traditional song that has also become like an Occitan anthem.
The chorus is also catching, so everyone sings along:
SE CANTA QUE CANTA, CANTA PAS PER IO, CANTA PER MA MIO, QU’ES AU LUENH DE IO
Its singing, always singing. it doesn’t sing for me, it sings for my loved one who is far away from me.