Medieval Meditations

Program: #20-30   Air Date: Jul 13, 2020

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Chant for Emperor Heinrich and his wife Cunigonde, troubadour nights, and the live last collaboration between Jan Gabarek and the Hilliard Ensemble.

I. Heinrich & Kunigunde: Gregorian Chant for an Imperial Couple (Schola Bamberg/Werner Pees). Christophorus CD CHE 0215-2.

Heinrich & Kunigunde: Gregorian Chant for an Imperial Couple Product Image
Emperor Heinrich II and his wife Cunigunde of Luxembourg were an extraordinary Imperial couple. Henry was canonized in 1146, Cunigunde in 1200. Both were revered as saints in the Middle Ages. Bavarian Duke Heinrich II was crowned German king in Mainz Cathedral on June 7, 1002 (Coronation as emperor 1014). The first album in this set presents a selection of Gregorian chants from the coronation ceremony and the subsequent coronation mass. In 1288 the "Nova Historia Kunegundis" was written and set to late Gregorian Style music in order to celebrate the feast days of St. Cunigunde with specific texts and melodies. You can hear the evening songs of the Vespers as well as those for the night- the first and second nocturns. 

CD1 [76:49] 
Heinrich Zeremonie zur Königskrönung
(Dom zu Mainz, 7. Juni 1002) 
1 Abholung des Königs 0:59
2 Responsorium zum Einzug 3:43
3 Befragung von König und Volk 2:07
4 Salbung 3:00
5 Responsorium nach der Krönung 2:37
6 Hymnus In Adventu Regis 2:29
7 Te Deum laudamus 7:40

Krönungsmesse · Coronation Mass
8 Introitus Factus est 2:42
9 Kyrie Fons bonitatis mit Tropus 7:49
10 Gloria 3:30
11 Laudes Regiæ 10:43
12 Lectio scripturæ 1:36
13 Resp. Graduale Ad Dominum 3:47
14 Alleluja Domine Deus meus 3:02
15 Lectio Evangelii 2:07
16 Credo VI 7:08
17 Offertorium Domine convertere 4:25
18 Sanctus 1:24
19 Agnus Dei 1:46
20 Communio Cantabo Domini 2:48
21 Oratio ad complendum 1:28 

CD2 [61:22] 
Nova Historia Kunegundis (1288) 

Gesänge zum Fest der Hl. Kunigunde
1 Kunigundenglocke 0:33

Ad vespera
2 Incipit 0:58
3 Antiphona I & Psalmus 109 2:12
4 Antiphona II & Psalmus 112 1:53
5 Antiphona III & Psalmus 121 2:04
6 Antiphona IV & Psalmus 126 2:02
7 Antiphona V & Psalmus 147 1:50
8 Capitulum 0:40
9 Responsorium 2:59
10 Hymnus 2:20
11 Versiculum 0:26
12 Antiphona & Magnificat 5:15
13 Oratio 1:05
14 Versiculum 0:46

Ad primam nocturnam
15 Invitatorium 0:39
16 Antiphona I & Psalmus 8 2:06
17 Antiphona II & Psalmus 18 2:09
18 Antiphona III & Psalmus 23 2:09
19 Lectio I & Responsorium 2:56
20 Lectio II & Responsorium 3:14
21 Lectio III & Responsorium 3:52

Ad secundam nocturnam
22 Antiphona I & Psalmus 44 2:14
23 Antiphona II & Psalmus 45 1:33
24 Antiphona III & Psalmus 86 2:21
25 Lectio I & Responsorium 2:54
26 Lectio II & Responsorium 3:39
27 Lectio III & Responsorium 4:27

28 Kunigundenglocke 2:05


II. Nuits Occitanes (Céladon/Paulin Bündgen). Ricercar CD RIC 144.

Under the title Occitan Nights, a few troubadour songs have been collected here. Those poet-musicians celebrated the beauty of women, praised the courage of men and evoked the parting of lovers at daybreak. The Céladon Ensemble offers us a poetic, inspired vision of these lovely melodies. Taking its name from the hero of Honoré d’Urfé’s Astrée, the Céladon ensemble explores the early music repertoire with charm and fantasy, striving to reinvent the form of its concerts at each appearance. Led by countertenor Paulin Bündgen, Céladon seeks to avoid the beaten tracks and enjoys surveying the repertoire linked with the countertenor timbre, between mediaeval, renaissance and baroque music.
From the Céladon site: 

The music of the troubadours is the subject of many questions, the first of which concerns the importance of music in the troubadour tradition, given that this tradition was both the mirror of a society as well as one of its most refined poetical expressions. What remains from almost two centuries of troubadour art is limited to a few manuscripts which contain approximately 2,500 poems (only 350 had been assigned melodies). 

Nuits Occitanes is devoted to songs about love and the usually vain research for it. This is always at the primary level of physical love, except for the less frequent songs in which the lovers are reunited, only to be separated again at daybreak. This programme, based on the theme of night, transports us into a world of courtly chilvary that despite its savagery and wildness also knew moments of extreme refinement. As musicians, the Céladon Ensemble’s greatest concern was to reflect the emotions that they had experienced when they first read these troubadour’s songs and poems. Real men and women of flesh and blood are described.  Their underlying and almost palpable presence makes this music even more alive and moving.

Before nightfall

    1. Marcabru: Lo vers comens
    2. Raimon Jordan: Lo clar temps vei brunezir
    3. Bertran de Born: Rassa tan creis

During the night

    1. Beatriz de Dia: A chantar m'er
    2. Cadenet: S'anc fui bela ni prezada

After the night

  1. Guirault de Bornelh: Reis glorios
  2. Bernat de Ventadorn: Can l'erba fresch'
  3. Raimon de Miraval: Cel que no volh auzir chanssos
  4. Berenguier de Palazol: Tan m'abelis

III. Remember Me, my dear (The Hilliard Ensemble, Jan Gabarek, saxophone). ECM CD 2625.

25 years on from the release of Officium, the groundbreaking alliance of Jan Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble, comes Remember me, my dear, recorded during the final tour the group made in October 2014. The program is emblematic of the range of repertoire the Norwegian saxophonist and British vocal quartet explored together– from Pérotin, Hildegard von Bingen, Guillaume le Rouge, Antoine Brumel to Komitas , Arvo Pärt and more. It could be said that the Hilliard/Garbarek combination, in concert, transcended its source materials, with early music, contemporary composition and improvisation interfused in the responsive acoustics of sacred spaces. And this final album reminds us that the unique Garbarek/Hilliard combination, and its unprecedented exploration of sound, was consistently breathtaking.
From Jazz Times: There is rich history to the pairing of Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and British early-music vocal team the Hilliard Ensemble, history that resonates in every nuance of their latest (and, we presume, last) collaboration, Remember me, my dear.

Garbarek, David James (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), Steven Harrold (tenor), and Gordon Jones (baritone) worked together on 1994’s stately, experimental Officium and 2010’s Officium Novum. Like Remember me, my dear, those albums’ radical dissections of early classical music and its contemporary cousin resonated with holy harmonies, allowing both saxophonist and singers to soar as one sheet of sound, though acting separately from the other. The throes of the past were the focus—primitive-sounding chants and deep, aged rolling r’s, with Garbarek’s reeds offering up plaintive wails and playful howls—but there was, too, a distant sense of the now. If the Art Ensemble of Chicago hadn’t already taken the “ancient to the future” slogan, Garbarek & Co. could have.

Recorded during their final tour together in 2014 at the Chiesa della Collegiata dei Santi Pietro e Stefano in Bellinzona, in the Ticino canton of Switzerland—shortly before the Hilliards disbanded permanently—Remember me, my dear isn’t radically different from their previous work. But the monastery atmosphere that gave their studio work a dank chill is warmed here.

They open gently with Garbarek’s ever-so-slightly distorted soprano sax and lead into the vocal wind of prayer that is “Ov zarmanali,” then turn the equation sideways on the moodily medieval “Procurans odium.” Here, the saxophonist toys with the subdued breathiness of the Hilliards’ lead in a manner that’s less hymnal yet no less majestic. The quietly energized invocation that is “Agnus dei” becomes what Brian Wilson called his own Pet Sounds album, a symphony to God that also soliloquizes the joy of collaborative music itself.

1. Ov zarmanali (Armenian tratidional, Komitas)
2. Procurans odium (Anonymous)
3. Allting finns (Jan Garbarek)
4. Litany (Nikolai N. Kedrov)
5. Dostoino est (Anonymous)
6. Sanctus (Anonymous)
7. Most Holy Mother Of God (Arvo Pärt)
8. Procedentum sponsum (Anonymous)
9. Se je fayz deuil (Guillaume le Rouge)
10. Alleluia nativitas (PĂ©rotin)
11. O ignis spiritus (Hildegard von Bingen)
12. We are the stars (Jan Garbarek)
13. Agnus Dei (Antoine Brumel)
14. Remember me, my dear (Anonymous)

Composer Info

Jan Garbarek, Nikolai N. Kedrov, Arvo Pärt, Guillaume le Rouge, Pérotin, Hildegard von Bingen, Antoine Brumel

CD Info

Christophorus CD CHE 0215-2, Ricercar CD RIC 144, ECM CD 2625