Trefoil: Music to Lighten the Heart

Music in the Pavilion

March 17, 2023 (Friday) — 6:15 pm to 9:00 pm

Kislak Center Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, 6th Floor
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
3420 Walnut St.
University of Pennsylvania

Open to the Public; Registration is Required (link)

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.




Trefoil is a trio of singer-instrumentalists long active in early music. The ensemble performs intricate medieval songs on harps, lute and voices and has appeared in numerous concerts and master classes around the country.

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, the music series Music in the Pavilion takes place in the beautiful sixth-floor Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion in Van Pelt Library. (Link to website)


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


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