Leuven Chansonnier © Rob Stevens
In 2015, the Alamire Foundation tracked down a fifteenth-century song book. The previously unknown manuscript, containing fifty polyphonic compositions of which twelve were unique, was bought by the King Baudouin Foundation at the request of the Alamire Foundation in 2016 and entrusted to the latter’s care. This find, which is exceptional in terms of both its material and content, became known as the Leuven Chansonnier and has attracted attention from around the world and was recognized by the Minister of Culture, Sven Gatz, as a Flemish Masterpiece in 2018. Ryan O’Sullivan’s doctoral research is based on a multifaceted research question.
Four themes in particular will be developed:
A documentary was created for Polyphony Connects to present and communicate the Leuven Chansonnier, the state of affairs and current research issues to a wide, international audience. The performance of all the compositions in the manuscript during the Laus Polyphoniae 2018 festival resulted in the production of the second of four CDs in 2020 that will make the entire chansonnier accessible in audible form. The songs were performed by the Sollazzo Ensemble and produced by the label Passacaille, in partnership with the Centre Culturel de Rencontre et Festival d’Ambronay.