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Program: #13-04, Air Date: 01/21/13

The lovely Estonian ensemble Vox Clamantis with a superb medieval program; and Arianna Savall's lovely new disc dedicated to her mother, Monterrat Figueras.

NOTE: All of the music on this recording is from recordings on the ECM label. For more information, you may visit:

www.ecmrecords.com

 

I. Filia Sion (Vox Clamantis/Jan-Eik Tulve, cond.). ECM CD 2244.

Estonian ensemble Vox Clamantis brings together singers and instrumentalists who share an interest in Gregorian chant as the basis of all European art music. Their interpretation of medieval music is never purely ‘historical’: while always remaining true to the spirit of this repertoire, the approach to the work and the selection of pieces is contemporary. On the present disc, drawing upon the rich tradition in music history on the theme of „Filia Sion“, Vox Clamantis presents medieval music from Gregorian chant to works by Perotinus, Hildegard von Bingen and Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz. In the Old Testament, "Filia Sion" – the Daughter of Zion – refers to both the holy city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people who built the Temple on Mount Zion. In medieval Christian tradition, Holy Mary became the incarnation of the Daughter of Zion as the personification of the church.

1
Ecce venit / Psalm 94
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
9:36

2
Virgo prudentissima / Magnificat
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
4:59

3
Gaudeamus
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
2:47

4
Rex virginum
Anonymous, Codex Las Huelgas
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
3:35

5
Gloria
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
3:31

6
Beata viscera
Pérotin
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
8:20

7
Audi filia
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
5:22

8
Prelustri elucentia
Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
2:43

9
Ave Maria
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
6:09

10
O ignis spiritus
Hildegard von Bingen
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
6:25

11
Agnus Dei
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
1:07

12
Exulta filia Sion
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
3:05

13
O Maria
Anonymous, Montpellier MS
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
4:46

14
Salve regina
Gregorian Chant
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
2:52

15
Ma navu
Jewish Traditional
Vox Clamantis / Jaan-Eik Tulve
5:41                  

 

II. Hirundo Maris: Chants du Sud et du Nord (ECM CD 2227).

Hirundo Maris is Latin for “sea swallow” and, like that bird’s nomadic flight, harpist Arianna Savall’s quintet – part early music ensemble, part folk group – drifts on musical currents between Norway and Catalonia, and adds its own songs, created on the wing. Savall and co-leader Petter Udland Johansen have shaped a band with a bright, glistening timbral blend, capped by Arianna’s ice-clear voice, well-equipped to address songs of the north and the south. From Allmusic.com:

Hirundo Maris is dedicated to the memory of Montserrat Figueras, the legendary advocate, researcher, and performer of Renaissance and Baroque music, particularly that of the Mediterranean basin, who died in 2011, after the album was recorded but before it was released. It features her daughter, singer and harpist Arianna Savall, in arrangements of folk repertoire from the Catalan, Sephardic, Norwegian, and Scottish traditions. The title, Latin for Sea Swallow, refers to the centrality of the sea in all these traditions, and its subtitle, "Songs of South and North," to the connections between the traditions that sea facilitated, connections that are evident in the similarities between the songs. Savall and singer Petter Udland Johansen, who also plays a Hardanger fiddle and mandolin, made most of the arrangements, and are joined by Sveinung Lilleheier, guitar, dobro, and voice; Miquel Àngel Cordero, double bass and voice; and David Mayoral, percussion and voice.

Savall has a pleasing, sweet, pure voice, not as expansive or as penetrating as that of her mother (to whom she bears a striking physical resemblance), but especially well suited to this folk-style repertoire. She and the other singers perform these evocative, melancholy songs with clear, focused tone and terrific intonation, and with the unmannered directness of folk singers. The tone of most of the songs is understated but poignantly yearning, and that mood is beautifully expressed in the delicacy and sensitivity of the performances. The accompaniments are lovely and simple but sophisticated; they reflect Savall's lifetime exposure to her parents' disciplined and lively approaches to early music interpretation and its relation to folk traditions. The sound of the ECM New Series album, produced by Manfred Eicher, is characteristically immaculate and natural. The recording should appeal not only to fans of international folk music but of historically informed performances of early vocal music for which Savall's family is famous.

1
El Mestre
Catalan Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
6:33

2
Buenas noches
Sephardic Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
5:49

3
Ya salió de la mar
Sephardic Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
2:36

4
Om kvelden
Norwegian Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
4:38

5
El Mariner
Catalan Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
6:14

6
Le Chant des étoiles
Arianna Savall
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
3:44

7
Morena me llaman
Sephardic Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
6:10

8
Bendik og Årolilja
Norwegian Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
7:01

9
Ormen lange
Norwegian Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
2:50

10
Tarantela
Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
4:46

11
The Water Is Wide
British Isles Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
5:24

12
El Noi de la mare
Christmas Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
3:32

13
Josep i Maria
Christmas Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
3:28

14
Penselstrøk
Petter Udland Johansen
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
5:19

15
Halling
Norwegian Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
2:53

16
Yo m'enamori d'un aire
Sephardic Traditional
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
5:35

17
Trollmors vuggesang
Margit Holmberg
Petter Udland Johansen / Arianna Savall
3:13

Composer Info

Perotinus, Hildegard von Bingen, Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz

CD Info

ECM CD 2244, ECM CD 2227