Program: #20-04 Air Date: Jan 13, 2020
The beautiful compositions of Waclaw z Szamotuly, Polish lute music, and celebratory works for the Union of Lublin treaty of 1569.
I. Sub Ursae: Under the Northern Sky (Cracow Singers/Marc Lewon, lute/Agnieszka Budzinska-Bennett). Raum Klang CD RK3801.
This album of Cracow Singers has been nominated for the prestigious International Classical Music Awards 2020.
For the ICMA 2020 awards, the Jury nominated 390 audio and video productions from 130 labels (such as Alpha, Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, Harmonia Mundi or BIS)
Sub Ursae is a unique publishing project, especially important for Polish culture. The album contains all previously known works of the Polish Renaissance composer – Wenceslaus of Szamotuły – considered the greatest Polish composer before Chopin.
Oratorio pro Republica et Rege
Chrzescijanie posluchajcie (Dekalog wietszy)
Christe qui lux es et dies
Kryste dniu naszej swiatlosci
Nunc scio vere
Lamentatio prima (Prolog - Aleph - Beth - Gimel)
Lamentatio seconda (Daleth - He - Vau)
Lamentatio tertia (Heth - Teth - Iod - Caph)
Ego sum pastor bonus
Ach m j niebieski Panie
Juz sie zmierzka
Benedictio mensae - Gratiarum actio post mensam
Alleluia Chwalcie Pana Boga
Chwala Bogu z wysokosci
I kt z bedzie przemieszkawal
Naklon Panie ku mnie ucho Twoje
In Te Domine speravi
Pochwalmyz wszytcy spolem
II. Polish Lute Music of the Renaissance (Joachim Held, lute). Hänssler CD HC19034.
Since 2005 Joachim Held has regularly recorded solo CDs for Hänssler Classic. In 2005 a selection of the "Schele Manuskripts" from 1619 was published in collaboration with Radio DRS Zurich and a CD with works by Austrian Baroque composers for Baroque lute "Erfreuliche Lautenlust". For this CD Joachim Held received the "Echo Klassik 2006" for the best solo recording in the category 17th/18th century.
This CD Polish Lute Music HC19034 contains tracks from composers as Albert Dlugoraj (1558-1618), Diomedes Cato (1565 – 1628) and other compers of the 16th century.
Courrante Sophla Monycha VB
III. Vivat Rzeczpospolita! (Schola Gregoriana Silesiensis/Trombastic/The Gorczycki Sarmatian Choir/Robert Pozarski). DUX CD 1549.
We cannot but remember this day with gratitude. We believe that following the diplomatic success all the participants in this event gathered at the Dominican Basilica of Holy Cross Relics, where a solemn High Mass was celebrated. Our CD is a fantasia on the theme of such a thanksgiving Mass, which would certainly have been thanksgiving to Divine Providence. The propers for the votive Mass of the Most Holy Trinity, which most probably would have been chosen for that occasion, were found in the Graduale of Brother Wiktoryn, dating back to around 1540 and kept in the library of the Dominican monastery in Cracow. This kind of chant would certainly be performed in those days in the Lublin monastery as well. The ordinary of the Mass had to be the solemn Missa Te Deum by Krzysztof Borek. This little-known Renaissance composer died around 1573, leaving only two Masses which were found in the collection of the royal Rorantist Choir. There is no indication as to whether his Missa Te Deum could have featured in the repertoire of Lublin’s Dominican choir, but since it is based on a cantus firmus taken from the thanksgiving hymn Te Deum, it seemed the most proper one for this laudatory spectacle, especially as it was composed in the times we are referring to. For all we know Krzysztof Borek might have been commissioned to write it by the king…. The piece owes its unusual character to the use of the imitation technique in its texture. Each part of the Mass ordinary contains quotations from the Te Deum. These selected verses are formally unrelated to the content of these pieces and are woven into their polyphonic structure. As a dominant cantus firmus, they serve as an element ordering this originally loose structure. The composer matched the sense of particular verses from the hymn with the content of each part of the ordinary in which they were used. To enhance the dramatic effect of the thanksgiving service it was only proper to round it off with the Te Deum itself. We made use of Dominican chant in order to preserve the unity of the monodic forms featured throughout. However, such a solemn celebration, perhaps with the king himself in attendance, needed to have some additional splendor added by iubilaeorum, i.e. parts played by instruments allowed in liturgy at the time. Trombones and cornets were chosen, the rationale being that all trumpets produce sound not by themselves but as a result of instrumentalists blowing them. Moreover, these instruments sound very powerful and at the same time sparkle with the most mellow light. This is why an alternatim version of the Te Deum was created specially for this recording, combining the Dominican chant with fragments of Krzysztof Borek’s Missa Te Deum transcribed for a trombone ensemble and a cornet. These fragments correspond to the passages of the Mass featuring cantus firmus fragments of the hymn analogous to the selected verses. It can be said that we composed this hymn specially for this event….
Needless to say, the instruments add splendor to the entire event appearing as they do in other parts of the celebration as well. The whole thing begins with a solemn intrada which highlights the ceremonial entry of the sovereign. Then a cantor sings a laudatory song in honor of King Sigismund the Old – Sigismund August’s father – who was the real driving force behind renewing the union initiated with the pact concluded by Władysław Jagiełło in Krewo. Thus ends the Jagiellonian era in the most splendid period of Polish history. The instrumental music accompanying the whole celebration was entwined with the liturgical parts with due care for the coherence of the ceremony. Thus, we start off with an instrumental version of the Introit Benedicta sit; then a short Preambulum separates the Gradual from the Alleluia; the homily is replaced with a beautiful epic Resolutum, while a solemn Preambulum played during the Elevation accompanies the Canon of the Mass. A plainsong Benedicamus unfolds into the solemn thanksgiving hymn Wesel się polska Korona (Rejoice, Polish Crown) played by the instruments, which go on to accompany the singers performing the triumphant song Jeśli greccy Hektorowie (If the Greek Hectors) by Krzysztof Klabon. The instrumental music comes from two organ tablatures: one from Cracow’s Holy Ghost Monastery and the other by Jan of Lublin. Some of the pieces it contains were composed by Mikołaj of Cracow, one of the greatest Polish composers. It was specially for this project that we made transcriptions of this music for trombones and a cornet. We dare to think that some of them are given their world premiere on our CD.
Waclaw of Szamotuly (ca. 1520/25ca. 1560), Albert Dlugoraj (1558-after 1618), Diomedes Cato (1565-1628), Jakub Polak (c.1545-1605), Mikołaj z Krakowa, Krzysztof Borek, Wiktoryna, Jana z Lublina, Krzysztof Borek
Raum Klang CD RK3801, Hänssler CD HC19034, DUX CD 1549