In a literal case of art imitating life, symphonic music is freed from its traditional structures and takes a programmatic turn.
Tone poems usually tell a story without words. Instrumentation is used to let the ear know what is going on. The week's opening piece told a story with AND without words. The King's Singers perform Janequin's Escoutez tous gentilz "La bataille de Marignan; La guerre"
I don't know French, but this song has something to do with a battle! You'll notice in the song that eventually the words disappear and the singers use syllables to mimic different sounds. When I listened to the recording on Monday, it sounded like there was laughter. As you view the video, pay attention to the performers, and you will notice one guy thumbs his nose. I am guessing the opponents on the battlefield were taunting each other during this section of the piece.
This is one song that you should watch as well as listen to. If you don't know French, the actions and expressions of the performers can give you a clue as to what is going on.
Those of you who do know French or know something about this piece, drop a comment here at All for Hymn and tell us the story!
You can listen to Exploring Music on wfmt.com weeknights at 7:00 pm Central.
This website will tell you if the program is airing at this minute, and will give you some station information as well.