From Hyperion Records:
This project is directed towards finding, and reclaiming through performance, a range of synergies between music and image. The result is intended to be vivid and immediate—experiential, as well as historical and documentary. We therefore approach our task recreatively, via a combination of research and performance. Through a shared exploration in partnership with museums, curators, scholars, artists and musicians, we have brought together traditions of English late-medieval alabaster carving and polyphonic singing from a period of more than a century (c1380-c1520). This was the era of the later Plantagenets: Edward III, the Lancastrians, the epic Hundred Years’ War, the Wars of the Roses. Artistically, politically and dynastically it was as brilliant and as culturally formative as that of the Tudors, yet to emerge from the end of Richard III’s brief, dramatic reign. (The new altar at Richard’s modern tomb in Leicester Cathedral is made from a large slab of alabaster from the same quarries as had supplied the workshops of Nottingham, Burton and Chellaston in the fifteenth century.)
As our project demonstrates, the two English traditions of music and alabaster were widely diffused and highly distinctive. In each case, their artistic style was recognized all the way across Continental Europe, and was highly valued for exactly what it was: English art that took a full part in the wider European cultural landscape while remaining distinctive. Beyond their intrinsic technical, material and aesthetic interest, both arts were socially and culturally grounded in a shared religious culture. Their common ground was marked out by their principal themes and subject matter: saintly, biblical, picturesque, theological. Such themes informed the visual imagery of painting, sculpture and stained glass alike, and were also present in the sung texts of the liturgy. As for spiritual life in general, the specific motifs of individual feasts and devotional ideas were closely mirrored in the art with which religious existence was enriched—this was as true in its way of popular religion as it was of clerical and liturgical thought, though there were naturally great differences of treatment and emphasis.
Please read the rest there and listen to samples here.
The album's contents:
DE BEATA VIRGINE MARIA—INTERCESSION AGAINST PLAGUE 1 - Stella celi extirpavit - John? Cooke (c1385-?1442) 2 - Salve sancta parens - Anonymous - liturgical 3 - Kyrie 'So ys emprentid' - Walter Frye (d1475) 4 - Gloria (Movement 1 of Missa Flos regalis) - Walter Frye (d1475) 5 - Stella celi extirpavit / [So ys emprentid] - Guillaume Le Rouge (fl c1450-1465) THE ANNUNCIATION TO THE VIRGIN 6 - Superno nunc emittitur - John Bedyngham (dc1459/60) 7 - Ave maris stella - John Dunstaple (c1390-1453) 8 - Credo (Movement 2 of Missa Flos regalis) - Walter Frye (d1475) 9 - Salve porta paradisi - [Thomas?] Damett (? 1389/90-between 15 July 1436 and 14 April 1437) 10 - Gaude virgo salutata / Gaude virgo singularis / Virgo mater comprobaris / Ave gemma celi - John Dunstaple (c1390-1453) THE ASSUMPTION AND CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN 11 - Sancta Maria, succurre miseris - John Bedyngham (dc1459/60) & Walter Frye (d1475) 12 - Sanctus & Benedictus (Movement 3 of Missa Flos regalis) - Walter Frye (d1475) 13 - O quam glorifica - [John?] Fowler (fl c1460-1460) 14 - Qualis est dilectus - Forest (fl 1400-1450) 15 - Sancta Maria, succurre miseris - John Dunstaple (c1390-1453) LINEAGE OF THE VIRGIN 16 - Virga Jesse floruit - Anonymous - Renaissance 17 - Matronarum hec matrona - Anonymous - liturgical 18 - Anna mater matris Christi - John Plummer (?c1410-c1484) 19 - Agnus Dei (Movement 4 of Missa Flos regalis) - Walter Frye (d1475)
As September, dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, ends today, October, dedicated to the Holy Rosary, begins tomorrow. Pope Francis has asked Catholics to pray the Holy Rosary, the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and the “Sub Tuum Praesidium”, an ancient prayer asking Mary's intercession every day in October:
“Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude. Amen”.
[Saint Michael Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen].
“Sub tuum praesidium confugimus Sancta Dei Genitrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo Gloriosa et Benedicta”.
[We fly to Thy protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin].
Image Credit: The Wilton diptych; right-hand panel