Monday
17. April 2006

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

NOSTRA DONNA Cantigas de Santa Maria



ENSEMBLE MICROLOGUS
Patrizia Bovi vocals, harp, Arabian trumpet
Adolfo Broegg guitar, lute
Goffredo degli Esposti flutes, drum, shawm
Gabriele Russo fiddle, rebab, bagpipes, Arabian trumpet
Mauro Borgioni vocals
Gianni de Gennaro vocals, fiddle, hurdy-gurdy, shawm
Gabriele Miracle dulcimer, percussion
Ulrich Pfeiffer vocals, bells
Simone Sorini vocals, Moorish guitar
Leah Stuttard harp, cymbal

"She still moved lightly at first, though climbing, she was already aware of her miraculous body . . ." Only Rainer Maria Rilke, the great poet at the beginning of the modern age, could again find words able to revive the central female figure of our cultural history. When he recounts the life of the Virgin Mary, piety pales into insignificance beside the sensations of a woman feeling that she is bringing God into the world. " . . . then she stood, breathing heavily on the high hill of Judea."

But we are far away from those times, in the Europe of the thirteenth century: at the climax of the medieval worship of the Virgin Mary, the Western church idealises the mother of god into an unapproachable "queen of heaven" – but cannot prevent a enthusiastic troubadour of the Virgin Mary from recalling the ancient roots of her womanhood. With a farsightedness that strikes us as modern, Alfonso X., the King of Castilia and Leon, created a forum at his court for excellent scholars and artists from Christendom, Islam and Judaism, and was therefore called el Sabio, the wise man. The collection of Cantigas de Santa Maria, about 400 religious songs praising the Virgin Mary, takes up the plain Madonna image from the Eastern church in Galician-Portuguese dialect: Mary is presented as passionate mother, as a mediator and example for the salvation of humanity. In amusing everyday stories, the Cantigas tell of Mary’s minor and major miracles – and, due to their integrative musical power, turn out to be an outstanding work of art. Even today, influences from European troubadours and minnesingers, from the Notre-Dame school in Paris, from Spanish folk songs as well as from the Arabian art of making music and improvisation tempt on into trying unconventional interpretations – a challenge that inspires the Italian Micrologus ensemble – world-renowned and acclaimed interpreters of medieval music – to an interpretation of the Cantigas that is new in both musical and academic terms.

A cooperation with the "Verein der Freunde der Kunstmeile Krems" (Association of the friends of the art mile Krems)

© Micrologus

© Micrologus