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“Let us have a merry kerfuffle with laughter,
and slag off those we do not like.”

This sliver of text from one of Oswald von Wolkenstein's 15th-century contributions to the Argentum et Aurum compendium reminds us how things were ever thus: ancient airs with the emotional grate of everyday life that continues to resonate today. Sacred and secular, vocal and instrumental, decorous and naughty – all life is on this significant new release.

Naxos 8.573346
ARGENTUM ET AURUM - Musical Treasures from the Early Habsburg Renaissance
Ensemble Leones, Lewon

The period of the early Habsburgs, from c.1340 to c.1520, saw the development of a richly diverse musical culture in the Austrian region. This pioneering selection, the product of an extensive research project conducted at the University of Vienna, presents an overview of music in everyday life, in many cases in première recordings performed by Ensemble Leones. The music is sacred and secular, allowing the listener to eavesdrop on Tyrolean palaces, dance halls and bourgeois homes, and on the singer-poets who travelled the country where old local styles fused with the latest international fashions.

Listen to Oswald von Wolkenstein's
Skak - Frolich geschrai so well wir machen

About the Artists

Ensemble Leones, a high profile ensemble of Early Music specialists founded by director Marc Lewon, is dedicated to presenting Medieval and Renaissance music. The ensemble’s work is characterised by performances that take into account historical sources to create subtle reconstructions and stylistically informed arrangements, which flow into their inspired interpretations. The ensemble’s signature features are the search for unknown compositions and sources as well as the re-introduction of rarely heard instruments into the performance practice of Early Music.

Marc Lewon specialises in medieval instruments of the lute family and medieval Germanic languages and literature. After gaining a Master’s degree in musicology and medieval German from Heidelberg University, he moved to Basel to further his practical music studies in the Medieval Department of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis where he completed his diploma in medieval lute, graduating with honours. Marc Lewon is founder and head of Ensemble Leones.

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