The Force of the Past

During the annual meeting on 2 March 2018 of the Societas Mediaevistica, this year at the Staatsunabhängige Theologische Hochschule Basel in Riehen, Switzerland, Ulrike Hascher-Burger (Utrecht team) presented an aspect of her research titled “Die Macht der Vergangenheit: Das Hostienwunder von Amsterdam vor und nach der Reformation” (The Force of the Past: The Miracle of Amsterdam before and after the Reformation). In her presentation, she focussed on influences of the medieval miracle cult and its processions on Amsterdam in later times.

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Performance workshop with Katarina Livljanic and Anonymous III in Cambridge

On Tuesday 20th February the Cambridge team welcomed Katarina Livljanic (Université Paris-Sorbonne and director of “Dialogos”) to Emmanuel College to work with Adam Mathias, Anonymous III (AP), and a number of choral scholars from the university. Over the course of the day, singers worked on a range of pieces, from chant through to 13th century Parisian polyphony, hymns to motets. In particular Katarina spent time preparing material with singers for an upcoming concert – medieval music in honour of the Virgin Mary – that took place on 9th March at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

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Collaborative SoundMe meeting in Heidelberg

On the 25th and 26th of January 2018, the SoundMe teams convened in Heidelberg for a collaborative meeting with members of the project Die frühe Messvertonung zwischen liturgischer Funktion und Kunstanspruch, based at the Departments of Musicology in Mainz and Weimar-Jena. The meeting was organised as a series of eight papers, in which the speakers gave insights into their own research, addressing core issues that underlie both projects. Discussions were enriched by the attendance of Corina Marti and Michal Gondko, the artistic directors of the early music ensemble “La Morra” (Basel).

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Research by Prague and Warsaw teams at the City Library in Trier

On 23-24 January members of the Prague and Warsaw teams conducted research at the Stadtbibliothek in Trier. They were interested in little known manuscripts containing Central European repertory from the fifteenth century. Their attention focused in particular on manuscript 322/1994, which is the principal source of polytextual motets and Latin songs. The investigation concentrated on establishing the provenance and the date of creation of this manuscript.

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‘Monteverdi’s Vespers?’ article by Bartłomiej Gembicki in a Polish music journal

The December issue of ‘Ruch Muzyczny’, the oldest Polish journal devoted to contemporary musical life, carries a popularising article by Bartłomiej Gembicki. The author discusses the phenomenon of what is known as ‘Monteverdi’s Vespers’, demonstrating that in fact this term no longer applies just to ‘Vespro della Beata Vergine’, published in print in Venice in 1610, but to various compilations (generally referred to as reconstructions) which were not produced until the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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Guest Lessons of the Warsaw team at the Music School in Bytom

On 7 December 2017 Paweł Gancarczyk and Bartłomiej Gembicki from the Warsaw team visited the Fryderyk Chopin Music School in Bytom (Upper Silesia). Paweł Gancarczyk held two classes with the pupils at the school, presenting the latest HERA-based research. He talked about the presence of the music of the past in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as well as its functioning in contemporary culture.

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2017: A Great Reformation Season for the Heidelberg SoundMe Team

Martin Luther, the (Protestant) Reformation, and music: combined, this constellation illustrates one of the most revealing “uses of history” in European musical culture. In order to commemorate the publication of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses (Disputation on the Power of Indulgences) on 31 October 1517, the Lutheran Church – in the centuries that followed – also relied on liturgical forms and musical means.

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Christmas Concert

A group of choral scholars from Cambridge University performed a programme of medieval music for Christmastide on 24th November 2017. The concert explored, through performance, ways in which medieval musicians made use of familiar Christmas melodies, often recasting them and elaborating upon them in fascinating ways. A particular emphasis was placed on the repertory studied by the Cambridge team, that is, music of 13th-century Paris, where these issues and techniques played a key role. This free concert took place at Selwyn College Chapel, Cambridge, at 7.30pm.   A short impression for those who couldn’t visit the concert: Angelus ad virginem, a Medieval Carol.

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