programs for adults

'Jongleuresque' performance: narrative with music

The Tale of the Werewolf (Old French/Anglo-Norman, 40 min)
Marie de France's "Lai de Bisclaveret" ("the Tale of the Werewolf") from the Harley 978 MS. Likely the earliest story in which the werewolf is the hero.

It is thrilling to hear the sounds of Anglo-Norman with its mix of the familiar
and unfamiliar… surtitles are really rendered unnecessary by the fine acting
and detailed mime…. A magical visit from a seer from another world. 
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭  Stage Door, April 2017

Floris and Blancheflour (Old French/Middle English, 90 min)
This popular romance of inseparable lovers features 18 memorable characters,
mimed, recited and sung by the narrator, over continuous, tightly-scripted music.

        Floris and Blancheflour was *stunning* Entrancing to watch, and the feat of
        memory was just as impressive. The standing ovation was thoroughly,
        richly deserved.  - audience member

The Nun's Priest's Tale (Middle English, 50 min)
Chaucer's wildly digressive fabliau about the kidnapping of Chanticleer the rooster by Russel the Fox, narrated by a young priest keen to demonstrate his learning and sophistication, while showing off his astrolabe.

Pneuma Ensemble has presented these talks, with live musical examples, for non-specialist audiences:

Medieval Composers
An introduction to four famous personalities in medieval music: Hildegard von Bingen, Bernart de Ventadorn, Neidhart von Reuental, and Guillaume de Machaut.

Medieval Instrumentarium
Medieval instruments and modern attempts to reconstruct them

The quasi-legendary troubadours: some better known works, some rarities.

Trade Routes and Translation Schools
"Wandering musicians" in medieval Europe and beyond.

Dante and Music
Musicians and music theory in the Divine Comedy; music in Dante's life

Medieval Philosophy of Music
The music of the spheres: music in medieval thought and education