GOD SHALL BE PRAISED – MUSIC FROM LÜNE CONVENT
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Code: CANTATE 58032
|Admission to the Convent: Procendentem sponsum de thalammo; Nonnenkrönung - Praise: Cantate domino canticum novum; Ad te domine levavi oculos meos; Revela oculos meos; Si oblitus fuero tu/Super flumina Babylonis; Ibant gaudentes - Suffering: In omnibus his non peccavit lob; Si bona suscepimus - Promise: Tribus signis deo dignis; Puer nobis nascitur - Protection: Protector noster; Scapulis suis obumrabit tibi dominus; Pastor bonus; Genti peccatrici; Redemit dominus populum sum; Pastor bonus; A facie furoris; Scapulis suis obumrabit tibi dominus - Heaven: Locutus est ad me unus de septemn angelis; Audivi vocem in celo
On the Lüneburg Heath there are six women’s convents which are still alive as protestant convents (after the reformation) until today. In their archives respectively in libraries abroad there are lots of music manuscripts of the middle ages almost unknown today which are in their singularity of enormous importance not only for the music history but the history of convents in northern Germany in general. The Hanoverian musician Prof. Ulrike Volkhardt and the music historian Dr. Ulrike Hascher-Burger undertook a first sighting of the musical material in all convents on the Lüneburg Heath. On the basis of scientifically recognition they put the middle aged music into the context of the “devotio moderna”, transcribed and instrumented the pieces. Well bases science, artificial practice and knowledge in mediation of both aspects work here together fruitfully. So for the recordings middle aged musical instruments were reconstructed and learned to play. Selected musical examples are now, interpreted by the Ensemble devotio moderna, for the first time made accessible for the public on the label CANTATE. Every CD of this series has it‘s own theme. Besides music devoted to the daily life of the convent one liturgical high feast has it‘s special focus. The series is accompanied by detailed, illustrated booklets which inform in all aspects of this singular musical culture.
NPR Review of Cantate 58032:
Musical premieres happen all the time. A new piece makes its debut in a concert hall or music club. But there's another kind of premiere — when centuries-old music, lost in the dust of history, gets rediscovered and performed once again.
Music commentator Tom Manoff has made something of a discovery himself. He's been listening to a new CD of very old music — a collection of anonymous medieval sacred songs, recently discovered in manuscripts from convents in an area of Northern Germany called the Lune Heath.
Spiritual Emotion In Music
The new CD, God Shall Be Praised, Music from Lune Convent, features music from a cloister first established in the year 1170. The pieces date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, and have remained unknown for hundreds of years. It's like listening to a lost musical world.
Many spiritual traditions share something universal in their music — a sense of devotion and of the way music turns that emotion into pure sound.
The music on this CD may sound simple, but it's not. The rising and falling patterns of the melodies were composed with subtle genius, to interest the ear but also create a sense of calmness and inner reflection. The performances are by the Ensemble Devotio Moderna, a group of fine musicians who took these recently discovered manuscripts and transformed them into a remarkable world of music, sound and culture.
There are several ways to enjoy this recording. One is to follow each piece with the Latin text, taking notice of how the melody makes a particular text sing. For example, Tribus Signis Dignis tells the story of the three kings who follow the star to Bethlehem. After the soloist sings a verse, there is a group response, always on the same words, translated as: "The star, the star shines, the whole congregation rejoices."
Another way to listen is to just let the music float beyond such details and experience it as a lost world — a world less cluttered, when time was measured by shadows on a sundial in a garden. - All Things Considered, May 13, 2009