The Late Middle Ages

To listen to this show, you must first LOG IN. If you have already logged in, but you are still seeing this message, please SUBSCRIBE or UPGRADE your subscriber level today.

Program: #19-12   Air Date: Mar 11, 2019

A recently discovered Italian Trecento manuscript, music from 1300, and four centuries of chant from the Birgittine Order.

I. Maria! Maria!: 400 Years of Chant in the Birgittine Order (Ensemble Gemma/Karin Strinnholm Lagergren). Sterling CD CDA 1828-2.

Maria! Maria!: 400 Years of Chant in the Birgittine Order
Welcome into the Birgittine sisters’ world of Gregorian chant! Also known as Frälsarorden, the Birgittine Order is the only one with Scandinavian origins. Saint Birgitta (ca 1303-1373) and her collaborator and confessor, Petrus Olavi of Skänninge, laid its foundations in Rome, in the 1350s. Birgitta had moved there in 1349, and remained in that city for the rest of her life. After the first Birgittine abbey opened in Vadstena in 1384, the order rapidly spread across Europe. The chants on this recording are from the Birgittine Abbey, Maria Refugie in Uden, The Netherlands and this is the first time that chants from the rich collection in Maria Refugie have been recorded. It is also the first recording of the Birgittine repertoire from sources dating after the Middle Ages. The ensemble has selected 37 chants that reflect the musical and textual richness of Cantus sororum. The material spans more than 400 years, yet forms a coherent repertoire that belongs to the Gregorian chant tradition in all important aspects, with a Birgittine twist.     
The Birgittine Order is the only female monastic order with origins in Scandinavia. Founded by Saint Birgitta in Rome in the 1350s, a Birgittine abbey opened 30 years later in Vadstena, Sweden. Under this monastic order monks and nuns lived separately in the same complex, and worshipped separately as well. This practice gave rise to a collection of liturgical plainchant known as cantus sororum (“chant of the sisters”), the only known liturgical chant repertoire compiled specifically for use by women; some pieces are Gregorian, but others exist only in this collection. The ones performed on this program have never been recorded before. Ensemble Gemma, a six-voice group, sings them with restrained luminosity in the acoustically lovely sanctuary of a church in Hemmesjö.
  1. Trinum deum  (07:58)
  2. O trinitatis, matins hymn  (02:37)
  3. Maria summe, responsory  (03:36)
  4. Omnia mandata, antiphon  (00:53)
  5. Regem angelorum, invitatory  (00:40)
  6. Angeli, Archangeli, antiphon (1st Vespers, Feast of All Saints, 1 November)  (01:16)
  7. In throno Deo, hymn  (02:49)
  8. Angelorum domina, responsorium  (00:57)
  9. Magnificetur rex, magnificat antiphon  (01:32)
  10. Filium Dei, invitatory  (00:37)
  11. Benedictus sis tu, benedictus antiphon  (01:36)
  12. Omnem potestatem, vespers antiphon  (01:33)
  13. Victum vitalem, compline hymn  (03:08)
  14. Ortum virginis  (00:39)
  15. Solem iustitiae, Responsory  (03:17)
  16. Nativitas gloriose, lauds antiphon  (00:33)
  17. Nativitatem recolamus, antiphon  (00:28)
  18. Ave Maria, initatory in mode 7  (00:36)
  19. Congratulamini Filio Deo, antiphon  (00:57)
  20. O admirabile commercium, antiphon in mode 6 (Liber Usualis 442)  (01:01)
  21. Benedicamus devotis mentibus  (00:59)
  22. Germinavit radix Jesse, antiphon  (00:33)
  23. Regem virginis  (00:21)
  24. Benedictum sit nomen, antiphon  (00:58)
  25. Spineo serto  (01:19)
  26. Tremor terre, antiphon  (01:15)
  27. Annuntietur in universa, antiphon  (01:27)
  28. In honorem virginis  (00:26)
  29. Que est ista, responsory  (02:32)
  30. Assumpta est Maria, antiphon (Antiphonale Romanum)  (00:22)
  31. Quae est ista quae ascendit, antiphon in mode 1 (Liber Usualis 1600)  (00:47)
  32. Maria virgo assumpta est  (00:30)
  33. Ad coronam leticie, responsory  (00:51)
  34. Jam letaris, antiphon  (01:01)
  35. O quam glorifica, hymn in mode 2  (02:09)
  36. Maria, Maria, magnificat antiphon  (01:19)
  37. Cum iocundate, antiphon  (00:32)

 II. Anno Domini MCCC: Canti dei pellegrini medioevali (La Rossignol). III Millennio CD CDC 0133.

La Rossignol is a cultural association that presents Italian Renaissance music and dance. Their study of direct sources, alongside historical, organologic and iconographic research, has brought the members of this ensemble to esteemed artistic activities across Europe, Asia, and North America. Their portfolio includes collaboration with the greatest world broadcasting companies, consultancies, and artistic direction, training and refresher courses, and the composition of music for theatre shows and medieval dancing. In "Anno Domini MCCC" they propose an example of music that accompanied pilgrims towards the Holy Destinations of faith in the medieval days, and that were a discovery symbol of the world and of themselves. Those songs were handed down from some manuscripts in which the curators gathered and transcribed the heritage, till then handed down orally over centuries.
For some years, and especially lately in the approaching of the Jubilee Year, there has been a revival of studies and initiatives on the phenomenon of pilgrimages. Born in the Middle Ages and successfully pursued over the centuries, they represented from the beginning a symbol of a journey of "discovery" of the world and of themselves; beyond the religious and spiritual value in fact, because of the huge circulation of men, pilgrimages have always involved a cultural osmosis, through the exchange of ideas and experiences, as well as economic goods: the first great "proof" of European cultural unity . In the figure of the pilgrim (the "homo viator") the experience of the pilgrimage, annulling for a certain period of time those phenomena (birthplace, house, family) in which man naturally tends to take root, allowed to translate into real terms the fact that we are all "advevae et peregrini", on the way to the kingdom of heaven. In an era of strong religious sensitivity, what was the Middle Ages, the pilgrimage with the harsh physical tests that implied, did not respond as reductively was affirmed, to a desire to expiate sins, but aimed above all at achieving a more personal and direct of one's faith. The rebirth of spirituality coincided with the profound changes in medieval society which, for the first time, allowed a growing number of people to undertake long journeys. Pilgrims, due to their territorial and social heterogeneity, are also the main architects of the first great diffusion of ideas and of the cultural contamination that is born of them. The numerous documentary, poetic and musical texts of this period are in fact the most vivid testimony of this great cultural ferment and driven to rework. On the way to one of the holy destinations of faith on the medieval streets, the pilgrims also met the crusaders - who embodied the ideal of triumphant knightly life in late medieval Europe - and the famous "clerici vagantes", characters that combined the message spiritual with the elaboration of poetic symbolic and cultured texts. Anno Domini MCCC wants to re-propose an example of the music that accompanied those ancient travelers.

1. Dum pater familias  [4:25]
Canto d'Eultreya | Codex Calixtinus   cc 117

2. Edi beo tzu  [2:05]
anonimo sec. XIV | strumentale

3. Magdalena degna de laudare  [2:55]
Laudario di Cortona

4. Chevalier mult estes  [3:46]
anonimo | croisade 1147

5. Hui matin  [2:24]
organum strumentale | Ms. Wolfenbüttel W1

6. Troppo perde'l tempo  [4:53]
Laudario di Cortona

7. In seculum  [3:26]
strumentale | Ms. Bamberg

8. Stella splendens  [4:39]
Llibre Vermell   LV 2

9. Palästinalied   [3:26]   Walther von der VOGELWEIDE

10. Sol sub nube  [2:38]
strumentale | C. Pluteus

ALPHONSO EL SABIOCantigas de Santa Maria
11. Sancta Maria loei  [2:48]   CSM 200
12. Des oge may  [4:29]   CSM 1
13. Santa Maria strela do dia  [4:41]   CSM 100
14. Como poden  [4:04]   CSM 166

III. Splendor da ciel: Rediscovered Music from a Florentine Trecento Manuscript (La Morra/Corina Marti & Michal Gondko). Ramée CD RAM 1803.

Splendor da ciel

The Chapter Archive of San Lorenzo in Florence houses a manuscript which served to record church properties. However, its parchment leaves originally belonged to a music manuscript compiled around 1410–20 in Florence. Later, the music was erased to create space for new content. Although its musical origins are known for over thirty years, its 216 compositions have been considered largely illegible. Recently, scholars and scientists from the University of Hamburg were able to render it visible again, using the technology of multispectral imaging. The San Lorenzo Palimpsest, as the collection is known today, is an invaluable source of secular polyphonic music composed between the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. The anthology not only includes new readings for compositions known from other contemporary manuscripts, but contains completely unknown works by Florentine composers. La Morra breathes new life into these rediscovered musical treasures, most of which are recorded here for the first time.

A co-production with the University of Hamburg (SFB 950). Multispectral images of the entire San Lorenzo Palimpsest, including documentation and editions of previously unknown compositions, have been published by the musicologists Andreas Janke and John Nádas.

From Early Music review: This CD is subtitled ‘rediscovered music from a Florentine Trecento manuscript’ but the remarkable story of the way in which this music survived as a palimpsest, overwritten with bureaucratic records when the music was no longer fashionable, meaning that it has had to be physically ‘recovered’, makes it all the more valuable a treasure. Music by known composers such as Piero Mazzuoli, Jacopo da Bologna, Paulo da Firenze, Hubertus de Salinis and Antonio Zacara da Teramo makes up just a small part of the 216 compositions preserved in the San Lorenzo Palimpsest. The final stage in what must have been an extraordinarily laborious procedure is the committing by La Morra of 17 of the pieces to CD, and it is hard to imagine a more capable group or a more triumphant outcome. The playing and singing of La Morra, a group springing originally from the seminal Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, is superbly idiomatic, expressive and technically impeccable, evoking vividly the manuscript’s early 15th-century context. In Scotland, we have generally made a more thorough job of disposing of our musical manuscripts, but in the case of one 16th-century church manuscript, The Inverness Fragments, pages of church music deemed superfluous were used as stuffing in the binding of a law book, and in due course they could be ‘recovered’ and reconstructed. We enjoyed the same thrill as we sang this ‘retrieved music’ as I am sure La Morra felt when this stunning Florentine music sprang back to life before their eyes.
1. Piero Mazzuoli (1386-1430): Donna s’io ò errato   [4:20]

2. Douls m’est amer   [2:11]
Anonymous - Corina Marti & Michał Gondko

3. Soiez liez   [4:07]
Anonymous - Doron Schleifer, Michał Gondko & Natalie Carducci

4.  Giovanni Mazzuoli (c.1350/61-1426): 

Dopo ch’i’ so   [2:50]
Corina Marti & Natalie Carducci

5. Paolo da Firenze (1355-1436):  Poc’ hanno di mirar   [3:30]
Paolo da Firenze - Doron Schleifer, Ivo Haun de Oliveira & Corina Marti

6.  Giovanni Mazzuoli: A’ piè del monte   [2:21]
Anna Miklashevich & Roman Melish

7.  Piero Mazzuoli: Lasso dolente   [7:31]

8.  Antonio Zacara de Teramo (c.1360-1416):  Dicovi per certança   [3:18]
Doron Schleifer & Natalie Carducci

9. Sotto l’imperio   [3:12]
Jacopo da Bologna - Corina Marti, Michał Gondko & Natalie Carducci

10. Giovanni Mazzuoli: Splendor da ciel   [6:08]
Doron Schleifer & Ivo Haun de Oliveira

11. Le souvenir de vous dame   [1:57]
Anonymous - Corina Marti & Michał Gondko

12.   Piero Mazzuoli: A Febo Damn’e   [5:02]

Doron Schleifer, Roman Melish & Ivo Haun de Oliveira

13. Hubertus de Salinas (fl. 1390-1420):   Ihesu salvator / Quo vulneratus   [1:36]
Anna Miklashevich, Doron Schleifer & Natalie Carducci

14. Hubertus de Salinas : Si nichil actuleris / In pretio pretium   [2:03]
Doron Schleifer, Roman Melish & Ivo Haun de Oliveira

15. O tu, cara sciença mia, Musica   [5:27]
Giovanni da Cascia - Anna Miklashevich & Roman Melish

16. Uom ch’osa di veder   [2:43]
Paolo da Firenze

17. Amor mi stringe assai   [5:16]
Paolo da Firenze

Composer Info

Piero Mazzuoli (1386-1430), Giovanni Mazzuoli (c.1350/61-1426), Paolo da Firenze (1355-1436), Antonio Zacara de Teramo (c.1360-1416), Jacopo da Bologna , Hubertus de Salinas (fl. 1390-1420)

CD Info

Sterling CD CDA 1828-2, III Millennio CD CDC 0133