The basse danse La Franchoise Nouvelle, from the Dance Book of Marguerite of Austria (c1470) Brussels MS. 9085. Live video from the San Francisco Early Music Society Recorder Workshop, 2013. Marguerite’s dance book, presumably a gift from Marie of Burgundy, is one of the earliest sources for renaissance dance and renaissance choreography. The black vellum book is beautifully inscribed and illuminated, with silver music scored on gold staves; the dance steps, represented by the letters “s” for “simple” and “d” for double, are written underneath the melody. The performers here improvise countermelodies in the style of the time, sometimes drifting above the melody in 15th century discant style. The Flemish bagpipes are based on Bruegel’s drawing The Fat Kitchen.
Featuring Rotem Gilbert, bagpipes; Shira Kammen, vielle, and Saskia Coolen, renaissance recorder. A coproduction of Voices of Music and SFEMS.