Anguilles, anguilles!

Food and wine in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Medieval banquet and music
Medieval banquet with music

Food is one of the most universal aspects of life and one of its greatest joys! From obtaining food, be it through farming, hunting, or at the marketplace, to the preparation of the meal itself, it has always been the major hub of social interaction. In our lives, where the abundance of fresh products all year seems to be a matter of course, we should not forget that food was a far more precious thing in medieval Europe – the risk of shortages was never far away and the seasons produced the greatest variety of available ingredients.

This universal theme thus allows us to gain a glimpse into medieval society as a whole: from the richest to the poorest, men and women, young and old, all have a role to play in that great system.

The repertoire about food encompasses these diverse aspects: lively hunting scenes preserved in 14th century manuscripts, market cries from 16th century Italy, and music played at the most prestigious feasts such as the Banquet du Faisan at the Burgundian court. Our concert presents a tasty slice of this music!

British Library manuscript Sloane 2435, f. 44v
A cellarer testing his wine

Option with three musicians: 1 singer, vielle, harp, organetto, and recorders
Option with five musicians: 2 singers, vielle, harp, hurdy-gurdy, organetto, and recorders
Duration: c. 70 minutes