Discography

Midgard    Convivencia    Barbarossa    Gibraltar    Miracle!
Listen online: lamandragore.bandcamp.com

BR8939_Midgard_FrontCover

Midgard

Big Round Records 2015

La Mandragore, a historical five-member ensemble from Quebec, Canada, imagines the music of the Vikings had they had the time and leisure to notate it. Playing folk instruments from the Mediterranean and Scandinavian regions, and singing songs and tales in Swedish, Norwegian, Old Norse, and French, the ensemble presents an authentic and eclectic collection of Vikinginspired music on their debut Big Round Records release, MIDGARD.

Enthusiastic, engaging, and expressive, La Mandragore capture the voice of a culture that disseminated throughout Europe, masterfully playing Scandinavian folk instruments such as the sackpipa and the nyckelharpa (a Swedish keyed fiddle), while displaying their modern sensibilities and aptitude.

« (…) Bien sûr, La Mandragore conserve des instruments qui ont fait leur marque, tels la flûte à bec, l’oud, le cistre et quelques percussions ; bien sûr que des métissages avec le Moyen-Orient sont encore explorés, mais la présence nordique, tout comme le développement du chant collectif, confère à ce disque un fort caractère.»
Y. Bernard, Le Devoir (28 août 2015)

«(…) La Mandragore nous sert en islandais, en suédois, ou même en français, des interprétations intuitives et des compositions inspirées de textes anciens jouées sur des instruments qui le sont tout autant (chalémie, cistre ou traverso, entre autres). Pour voyager!»
R. Beaucage, Voir (19 août 2015)

« The 12 tracks on the CD are remarkably effective in generating a sense of otherworldliness (…) The presentation of the material is uniformly excellent, with all members of La Mandragore except cellist Amanda Kesmaat providing vocals at some point in addition to their instrumental contributions. Midgard is scarcely a clear window into the past, but it is a fascinating, even exhilarating way to explore a possible past through music that has considerable charm and a character quite unlike that with which modern listeners are likely to be familiar.»
The Infodad Team (11 juin 2015)

Interview at Radio-Canada (June 3d, 2015) in French
Interview at CIBL (May 26th, 2015) in French

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Convivencia

Convivencia: Living together. La Mandragore began a quest for Andalusian convivencia, this peaceful and almost mythical coexistence between Christians, Jews and Muslims. In this album, the nay meets the flute, the oud rubs shoulders with the cittern, the darbukas join the palmas, and languages intermingle. The group did not attempt to create a historical document, but rather a passionate and vibrant tribute to the mix of cultures.

“… Sephardic poetic singing, melancolic melodies, the sensitivity of the Arab-Andalusian music, and even references to World folk and improvised music. A mesmerizing mix “

Le Devoir, Yves Bernard, October 29th 2010

“A sound recording of an incredible quality … five masterful instrumentalists”

1ere Chaîne, Radio-Canada, Eric Langlois, November 10, 2010

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Barbarossa

The Holy Western Roman Empire was quite a strange realm, stretching from the North Sea to Sicily … And Frederick the First was quite the character, known as Redbeard (Barbarossa): a monarch of a domain without a capital who spent much of his life on horseback. La Mandragore provides a musical portrait of the time of Barbarossa and his descendants: excerpts from Carmina Burana, the Laudario di Cortona, the work of Hildegard von Bingen and French manuscripts.

“Many colourful sounds, played masterfully! And there’s always the seraphic soprano voice of  Ingried Boussaroque that we never tire of hearing. “

Culture Hebdo, October 2005

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Gibraltar

La Mandragore continues its exploration of medieval Spain and the great manuscripts that were created there. From Llibre Vermell of Montserrat, through the Cantigas of Santa Maria, Sephardic and Arab-Andalusian songs, the listener will enjoy a seductive and exotic portrait of the era. This album, recorded in concert, allows you to hear a wide range of instruments as well as genuine passion uniquely expressed by La Mandragore.

«These very merry musical troubadours are back again with a new album. They allow us to rediscover the vibrant sounds of a distant era.»
L’Oriflamme, Fall 2002

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Miracle!

Alfonso X, a very pious king of Castile and had a compilation made of more than 400 accounts of miracles performed by the Virgin Mary put to music. These are the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Witnesses from all walks of life : merchants, knights, priests, artisans, men, women, the elderly and children. La Mandragore presents a variety of musical medieval tales mainly taken from the Mediterranean repertoire in this first album.

“Enjoy it as a Grand Cru” 
F. Hurthubise, L’Oriflamme, Spring 2001

“All the elements for a “Miracle” are there …
Gilles Plante, Ensemble Claude-Gervaise

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