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  • Concert

Trefoil: Music to Lighten the Heart

Medieval Love Songs of the Pennsylvania Chansonnier 

This event has already occurred

March 17, 2023, 6:15pm - 9:00pm
Kislak Center Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, 6th Floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
Open to the Public

Hosted by: Kislak Center

Page from Pennsylvania Chansonniere

Believed to have been compiled as a gift for Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen of France from 1385 to 1422, the Pennsylvania Chansonniere [Penn Ms. Codex 902] contains a wealth of poems that were created for songs, though their musical notation is absent from this rare book. Many of the songs represented in the collection were the work of Guillaume de Machaut, set down here perhaps in honored remembrance of the great poet-composer’s music-making at court. 

In this concert, Trefoil, “a hearty trio of medieval minstrels” (Philadelphia Inquirer) active since the start of the current millennium, will present songs from the Pennsylvania Chansonniere by Machaut and his contemporaries. With its trademark combination of voices and medieval plucked strings, Trefoil will bring these meta-texts alive in “otherworldly harmonies” (New York Times) with “subtlety, blend and nuance” (NPR) for the modern listener. 


The pre-concert talk is at 6:15 pm, followed by the concert at 7:00 pm. There will be no intermission.

Event Series

Ludwig Abielle Sheet Music.

Music in the Pavilion Series

Presented by the University of Pennsylvania's Music Department, the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library.

Featured image: Chansonnier [France, ca. 1400] (Ms. Codex 902)