Conceptio tua

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Program: #14-48   Air Date: Nov 24, 2014

The Schola Antiqua of Chicago has a new release for Advent, including the world-premiere recording of Pierre de la Rue’s mass (perhaps the first ever) for the newly-declared Dec. 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

NOTE: All of the releases on this program are from recent recordings of seasonal material for Advent and Christmastide.

I. Aquilonis (Trio Mediaeval). ECM CD246.

Aquilonis by Trio Mediaeval, Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth, Berit Opheim (2014-11-24)

Trio Mediaeval - three Scandinavian women whose singing produces "a sound of extraordinary and consoling beauty," says the Boston Globe - offer a collection of polyphony from the medieval to the modern titled after the North Wind, 'Aquilonis'.

On this recording one can sense a reference in the title to the Nordic roots of the singers, as well as the bracing purity of their voices; moreover, the album's repertoire travels from Iceland to Italy, from north to south like the Aquilonis wind. In creatively realising the music of one Saint Thorlak - who died in Iceland just before Christmas 1193 - Trio Mediaeval accompany their vocals with discreetly textural instrumentation. The group has also arranged 12th-century Italian chant and sings 15th-century English carols, with timeless Scandinavian folk melodies in the air, too.

From our contemporary age come pieces by the Swede Anders Jormin (best known as a leading jazz bassist), American William Brooks and Englishman Andrew Smith. Former Hilliard Ensemble tenor John Potter, in his liner notes for 'Aquilonis', aptly describes Trio Mediaeval's ability to "create a synthesis of sound and atmosphere...history and geography blending seamlessly".

The album was recorded, like four of Trio Mediaeval's previous five, at the monastery of St Gerold in the Austrian Alps - in June 2014. It's the first of the trio's discs to feature Berit Opheim, alongside Anna Maria Friman and Linn Andrea Fuglseth.


Vespers reponsory
Ave rex angelorum
Ecce quod natura mutat sua jura
Ave maris stella
Vespers antiphon and psalm I,II,III
Ioseph fili David
Ave regina caelorum
Alleluia: A newë work
Vespers antiphon and psalm IV, V
Fammi cantar l’amor
Gud unde oss her at leve så
Benedicti e llaudati
Special antiphon
Ingen vinner frem til den evige ro
Fryd dig, du Kristi brud
I hamrinum
Vale, dulcis amice

 II. Missa Conceptio tua—Medieval and Renaissance Music for Advent (Schola Antiqua of Chicago/Michael Alan Anderson). Naxos CD 8.573260.

Missa Conceptio Tua: Medieval & Renaissance Music for Advent


This collection of early music for the Advent season provides a glimpse into the days of anticipation and hope leading up to Christmas during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Pierre de La Rue spent his professional life serving some of the most influential rulers of that time, and the glorious polyphony of his Missa Conceptio tua celebrates the Immaculate Conception in a manner appropriate to the extravagant liturgy of the Habsburg-Burgundian court. The seven O Antiphons focus on the theme of Jesus’s imminent arrival, while the concluding English carols centre on the Virgin Mary’s birth of the Christ child.

Show Details O Sapientia (with Magnificat)
1. O Sapientia (with Magnificat) 00:05:27
Show Details O Adonai
2. O Adonai 00:01:05
Show Details O Radix Jesse
3. O Radix Jesse 00:01:04
Show Details O clavis David
4. O clavis David 00:01:13
Show Details O Oriens
5. O Oriens 00:00:51
Show Details O rex gentium
6. O rex gentium 00:00:55
Show Details O Emmanuel
7. O Emmanuel 00:00:57

Show Details Pierre de la Rue: Missa Conceptio Tua
8. Kyrie 00:03:30
9. Gloria 00:05:45
10. Credo 00:08:54
11. Sanctus 00:08:40
12. Agnus Dei 00:04:13
Show Details Alma Redemptoris Mater [Portuguese manuscript, 14th century]
13. Alma Redemptoris Mater [Portuguese manuscript, 14th century] 00:02:21
Show Details There Is No Rose of Swych Vertu [English, 15th Century]
14. There Is No Rose of Swych Vertu [English, 15th Century] 00:05:21
Show Details Hail Mary, Full of Grace [English, 15th Century]
15. Hail Mary, Full of Grace [English, 15th Century] 00:05:14
Show Details Nova, Nova! [English, 15th Century]

 III. Adoro te—Gregorian Chant, Hymns & Marian Antiphons (Donna Stewart). Mignarda CD mp010.

Adoro Te: Gregorian Chant Hymns & Marian Antiphons

Gregorian Chant is a rare and precious link to our remote past, but as the embodiment of Christian liturgical practice, it is also a living, breathing form of worship still in use today. The vast repertory of chant both describes the outline and fills in the minute details of the cycle of the liturgical year.

Sacred chant heard in a sacred space has a special transporting quality and has moved hearts, minds and souls for the past few millennia. The chant hymns and antiphons selected for this project have special meaning, and we are very pleased to offer this beautiful, contemplative recording to the many listeners who have requested it.

For us, liturgical chant has many facets. We met in a schola singing this music together, and having spent decades singing chant and sacred renaissance polyphony in its liturgical context, we embrace both the spiritual and the functional aspects of the music. However, a working familiarity with chant has also enriched our professional artistry immeasurably, since other genres of early music were liberally laced with quotes from sacred chants, quotes that would have been recognized and appreciated by contemporary musicians and listeners.

For chant more than most music, the sound of the space is part of the music. Recorded live in the warmly resonant Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Cleveland, Ohio, we have captured the essence of the music’s devotional character with directness, clarity and a sense of musical purpose informed by two decades of singing chant in its liturgical context. We are delighted to have the opportunity to share the transformative power of experiencing these ancient hymns and antiphons in one of our favorite sacred spaces.


  1.  Salve Regina 03:26  
  2. Jesu Redemptor Omnium 04:26    
  3. Veni sancte spiritus 03:49    
  4. Creator Alme Siderum 02:38    
  5. A Solis Ortus Cardine 05:06    
  6. Jesu Dulcis Memoria 02:31    
  7. Ave Regina Caelorum 01:10    
  8. Ubi Caritas et Amor 03:34    
  9. Crux Fidelis 11:30    
  10. Ave Maris Stella 04:16    
  11. Veni Creator Spiritus 04:13    
  12. Pange Lingua/Tantum Ergo Sacramentum 04:21    
  13. Ut Queant Laxis 03:54    
  14. Ave Maria 01:27    
  15. Adoro Te Devote 04:55      


Composer Info

Pierre de La Rue, Anders Jormin, William Brooks, Andrew Smith

CD Info

ECM CD246, Naxos CD 8.573260, Mignarda CD mp010