Saturday, December 29, 2007

MUST BUY: A Christmas Recording to Celebrate All 12 Days of Christmas


For the second year in a row, I'm going to encourage you to purchase a recording that celebrates all 12 Days of Christmas.

In case you didn't get the message last year, or in my previous post a few weeks ago about my favorite Christmas music recordings, I cannot recommend highly enough Tydings Trew - Medieval English Carols and Motets by a group called Lionheart. I have been listening to it throughout most of the Christmastide.


On this CD:
1. A solis ortus cardine (5:04)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Chant / Hymn / Motet
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


2. Nowell, nowell: Tydings trew (2:45)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Date Written 15th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language English
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


3. Hayl Mary, ful of grace (3:08)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Date Written 15th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language English
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


4. Venter tuus, o puella (2:12)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Motet
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


5. Facta est cum angelo (0:38)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Chant
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003
Notes Arranged: Sarum rite


6. Benedicite omnia opera (3:00)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Chant
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


7. As I outrode this endres night (2:05)
Composer Traditional
Genre Carol
Date Written 15th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language English
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


8. Ecce quod natura (4:25)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Date Written 15th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language Latin
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


9. Nesciens mater (2:26)
Composer Byttering (15th Century)
Genre Rondeau
Date Written circa 1410
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


10. A my dere sonne (6:34)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Song
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language English
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


11. Nowel, nowel, nowel: Owt of your slepe aryse and awake (2:28)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Date Written circa 1430
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language English
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


12. Sancte Dei preciose (2:02)
Composer Anonymous
Date Written 1100
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Country Canterbury, England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


13. Eya martir Stephane (2:47)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Date Written 15th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003
Notes This selection is sung in Latin and English.


14. Hic est discipulus qui testimonium (2:37)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Responsory
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


15. Worcepe we this holy day (4:22)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Ensemble Lionheart
Language English
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


16. Lully, lulla, thow littel tyne child "Coventry Carol" (3:57)
Composer Traditional
Genre Carol
Date Written 15th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language English
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


17. Seynt Thomas honour we (3:38)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language English
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


18. Magi videntes stellam (0:54)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Chant
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


19. Ave rex angelorum (3:07)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Carol
Date Written 15th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Renaissance
Language Latin
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


20. Gaude virgo mater Christi (5:34)
Composer Anonymous
Date Written 14th Century
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Country England
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


21. Omnes de Saba (0:30)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Antiphon / Chant
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003
Notes Arranged: Sarum rite


22. Nunc dimittis (1:53)
Composer Anonymous
Genre Chant
Ensemble Lionheart
Period Medieval
Language Latin
Recording Studio
Venue Church of the Ascension, New York, NY
Recording Date 3/2003


Program Description:
Weary of Messiah? In "Tydings Trew: Feasts of Christmas in Medieval England," the six-man vocal ensemble Lionheart presents carols, chants and motets for the Christmas season as it was celebrated in the cloisters, palaces and streets of England in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The medieval carol was originally a dance form with worldly and often lewd associations. Franciscan monks converted the carol into Christian usage as part of their long struggle with native English paganism. Some of the carols included in the program retain the rollicking rhythms of their profane ancestors. "Noel . . .Tydings Trew" recounts the angel's message to Mary with a boisterous chorus. Other carols are gentle and meditative, such as the well-known "Coventry Carol," a lament for the children of Bethlehem who were slaughtered by the raging King Herod.

Chants from a medieval English monastic book, and an authentic medieval English pronunciation bring to life the music and poetry of a distant age. The program follows the cycles of monastic observance through the twelve days of Christmas, which includes feasts of martyrs such as Saint Thomas of Canterbury. The carol "Saint Thomas honor we" glorifies the murdered Archbishop, who died defending the rights of the Church from the encroaching power of King Henry II.


Also included are mystical motets from the Old Hall Manuscript, and "Gaude virgo mater christi," by King Henry VIII's court composer William Cornysh.
(emphasis added)


Complete "Tydings Trew" program and notes can be found here.

You can hear samples here.

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