L’Homme Désarmé

Down and Out in Late Medieval Burgundy

(8 performers)

Commissioned by the 2023 Utrecht Early Music Festival

Without a doubt, the “L’Homme Armé” tune was one of the greatest hits of the 15th and 16th centuries. Over 40 masses inspired by the melody were written by some of the greatest composers of the era, and today it is considered a symbol of the glory of the Burgundian court. “L’Homme Désarmé” shows the backstory of this search for glory, in particular, that of Charles the Bold, often considered the model, or at least one of the models, for the “Armed Man”. A talented musician in his own right, he was also the patron of Dufay, Busnois and others. However, while he was fostering his splendid musical chapel, he was also razing cities and slaughtering innocent civilians across Northern Europe, while subjecting them to punishing taxes for his glorious court and endless wars. In an early version of polarized news, numerous poems that damn or praise Charles according to their author’s political affiliation have survived. In L’Homme Désarmé, Lucidarium sets many of these to music, performing them for the first time in modern history, together with songs about poverty, war, and inequality, giving a glimpse into the joys and sorrows of the common people during the late Middle Ages.


Carla Nahadi Babelegoto – voice

Simone Marcelli – voice, organetto

Élodie Poirier – voice, viola da gamba

Avery Gosfield – recorder, pipe and tabor

Jacob Mariani – viola da gamba

Ludovico Mosena – hurdy-gurdy, dulcian

Fabio Accurso – lute

Massimiliano Dragoni – percussion, hammer dulcimer.