Latin Mass Society

Cohors Leta Ducat Chorum CD

Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge

Music in honour of the Blessed Virgin from the mediaeval convents of Fontevraud and Las Huelgas. The Cantors and Choir of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge with the Bristol University Schola Cantorum

Jeremy White – Director
Philip Duffy – Associate Director
Dr Emma Hornby – Director of Bristol University Schola Cantorum
Dr Mary Remnant – Instrumentalist
Prof Alison Wray – Language Coach

Standing in one of Europe’s medieval churches, one often wonders what music sounded and resounded here, seven, eight, nine centuries ago, or even earlier. Gregorian chant, in one of its many local forms, could be the simple answer. But a number of exceptional manuscripts have survived, which show how in some places, alongside the universal practice, special chants and polyphonic pieces might heighten the solemnity of the great festival days of the church year. Two of these manuscripts have inspired our programme, music books from two of the most remarkable churches of medieval Europe, Fontevraud just south of the Loire between Tours and Angers in northwest France and Las Huelgas near Burgos in northern Spain.

Remarkable churches indeed. Fontevraud was founded in the early twelfth century by the inspiring preacher Robert d’Arbrissel, winning the support of the Plantagenet family, who were then approaching the zenith of their power in France and England. Robert founded a group of five religious communities all in the one place, each with its own church or chapel, cloisters and living quarters: nuns following the Benedictine rule and devoted to prayer and praise; monks also observing a religious rule but with the duty of working for the well-being of their sisters; and houses respectively for fallen women who had repented, for lepers, and for aged sisters.

Robert appointed Petronilla of Chemillé to succeed him with authority over the whole complex. Thereafter Fontevraud was always ruled by an abbess, who appointed a prior for the monks. Fontevraud was eventually mother house of well over a hundred priories in France, England and Spain.

Track listing
1 Cohors leta: Benedicamus trope Chant
2 Ab arce siderea: Sequence Chant
3 Virgines egregie: Sequence Chant
4 Rex virginum amator: Kyrie Chant
5 Parit preter morem: Conductus
6 Boen crestien/Lectio libri Sapientiae: Epistle Chant
7 Propter veritatem/O Maria: Gradual Chant
8 Ecce adest: Alleluia Chant
9 Nigra sum: Alleluia Chant
10 Maria Virgo virginum: Sequence Chant
11 Quae est ista: Responsory Chant
12 Resonant interna Chant
13 Recordare/Ab hac familia: Offertory Richard Rodney Bennett
14 Gloriosa spes reorum: Agnus Dei Chant
15 Clemens et benigna: Sequence Chant
16 Castrum pudicicie: Benedicamus Chant
17 O Maria mater: Benedicamus trope Chant
18 Hark! The herald angels sing Medelssohn Desc. Willcocks
19 Carillon de Westminster Louis Vierne

Product Dimensions: 
12.5 × 14 × 1 cm
Running Time: 
80 minutes
Audio CD

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