Bernart de Ventadorn

views updated

Bernart de Ventadorn

1147–1180 or 1217


A Troubadour Lover.

Bernart de Ventadorn (c. 1147–1180 or 1217) is one of the numerous troubadours whose biographies come to us in vidas, stories of the poet/composers' lives that were included in the manuscripts along with their compositions. The accounts, which are known to be fanciful and are therefore highly suspect, record that Bernart was the son of servants in the castle of Eble II, viscount of Ventadorn (near Limoges). He fell in love with the lady of the castle about whom he wrote a number of songs, and was therefore banished from the castle. He next went to the Norman court of Eleanor of Aquitaine, again falling in love and composing songs in her honor until she left to become the wife of King Henry II of England. One theory is that at this point he stopped composing and joined a monastery. Another account suggests that he became abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Martin de Tulle and continued composing. Approximately forty of his poems survive, half of them with music.


Elizabeth Aubrey, The Music of the Troubadours (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996).