Mother & Son

Richard the Lionheart and Eleonor of Aquitaine

Romanesque harp - Photo: André Wagenzik

It was in the special light of south-western France, that a new poetry was born, lyrical, witty, full of power and in the vernacular. All stiffness of the past was left behind.

At the courts of Eleanor and Richard I the art of the troubadours flourished. Singers who traveled with their kings through the larger parts of the known world – from London via Lisbon and Sicily to the Holy Land. This is their story.

Michael Dollendorf received his musical training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has since performed with many well-known ensembles: Les Arts Florissants in Paris, the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington, D. C., and with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco.

At the University of Bonn, Germany, he read old languages at the German and the English department with Manfred Kaempfert, Christoph Cormeau, Monika Unzeitig and Karl Reichl. He has done extensive research on oral poetry and traditions of storytelling. His programs are in Old High German, Middle High German, Gothic, Old Saxon, Old English, Middle English and Provençal.

German heroic poems, songs of French Troubadours, and the German Minnesinger repertoire of Walther von der Vogelweide, Neidhart von Reuental and Oswald von Wolkenstein form the basis of his work.

He accompanies himself on harps, psaltery, lyre, fiddle and various types of hurdy-gurdy.