True troubadours are rare in the 20th century, but baritone Paul Hillier is just that. For years he has laid musical cornerstones–as founder and director of the English early-music vocal group the Hilliard Ensemble, an internationally acclaimed and widely recorded ensemble known for linking past and present in a unique, brightly focused sound with perfect clarity. As solo artist, Hillier tenders us a glimpse of the intimate medium of medieval love songs of southern France–songs whose melting poetry evokes ideas of chivalrous love, beauty, death, pain, elation, and events from historic times. Of knights there may be no obvious modern-day counterparts, but the concepts that pummel our emotions today remain the same. Hillier is one of the leading exponents of this music, which scarce few venture to do, let alone do exquisitely. With lute and harp accompaniment, this concert should be relished by all. Saturday, 8 PM, Church of the Ascension, 1133 N. LaSalle; 989-5951.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Suzie E. Maider.