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Against the dark tapestry of the Albigensian crusade, the shining light of Occitania...

Occitania in the 13th century:
A blossoming culture, a land of tolerance, mobility and equality,
a land of music and laughter, a land of love and romance.

The Albigensian Crusade:
A jealous pope, a greedy king, began a war of genocide against
the gentle people there - The Good Christians, the Cathars.

But some resisted and fought to keep alive the Light of civilization
and of Pretz and Paratge.

This is their story, a song that will touch your heart and transport you
back in time to the land of Occitania in the 13th Century.

The Meaning of Pretz and Paratge

Pretz means someone's intrinsic worth or merit. It has nothing to do with gender, class, race, or religion.

Paratge was a fundamental concept in medieval Occitania, and the word was very frequently used in the literature of the period; for example, in what is now known as the Cansó de Crozada(Song of the crusade) it is used over fifty times. This concept encompasses a variety of moral virtues, which include being just, wise, loyal, frank, of noble heart, pleasant, tolerant, hospitable, generous, chivalrous, of good faith, sincere, compassionate, courteous, honorable, having right thought and action and balance within oneself and in the world.

"Music, poetry, and history are interwoven in this CD as singer and historian Rai d'Honoré describes the convivencia of thirteenth century Occitania as an early renaissance tragically cut short by the Albingensian crusades. Dr. d'Honoré combines her scholarship of medieval French history with her poetic and musical talents in this dramatic account of the struggles of the Cathars led by their brave Esclarmonde de Foix, and an intriguing story of a lost—or stolen—gospel. Narration alternates with the hauntingly beautiful melodies that Dr. d'Honoré composed to her original poetry in medieval Occitan. I was fascinated by the culture of Occitania, so well described in this performance, and I recommend this CD for its authentic musical and narrative voice."

-Jocelyn Nelson, PhD
Teaching Assistant Professor
Fletcher School of Music
East Carolina University

If interested, more troubadour music is available for purchase on Amazon.