Codex Calixtinus / Damien Poisblaud
English liner notes








In the year 2000 Cracow along with eight other cities, Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Helsinki, Prague, Reykjavik, and Santiago de Compostela, will be carrying the distinguished title of European City of Culture.

The keyword to the programme of the Cracow 2000 Festival, which we have been carrying out since 1996, is Spirituality, a particularly important value in Cracow, city of art and scholarship.

The Codex Calixtinus commands a special place among our musical events. It reminds us of the signal role of the city associated with the cult of St. James, which has been of crucial significance in the development of European spirituality. Pope John Paul II announced this in his European Act. UNESCO endowed Santiago de Compostela with the title of City of World Heritage; while the Council of Europe invested the Compostela Road with the first title of European Road of Culture.

It is no coincidence that the Codex Calixtinus will be first performed for the opening of the Cracow 2000 Festival. We are looking towards the principal part in the spiritual inheritance of European culture of the second millennium, Christianity, which brings with it not only religious but also cultural values and which has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

The performance of the liturgy of the Codex Calixtinus in six cities also harks back to the European tradition of pilgrimage, a journey in the spiritual sense, the symbol of which is the pilgrimage to Santiago, making medieval Europe, with its common tongue, Latin, relish and nurture the same intellectual and artistic values.

This recording was made in Cracow in March 2000, documenting the extraordinary event, giving a fuller insight into the beauty of the music, and an opportunity to experience the spiritual values it carries.

Bogusław Sonik
Director of the Cracow 2000 Festival



The work to reconstruct this Mass and find a method for its performance took nearly two years. The tradition of church singing in Catholic Europe turned out to be too frail, exposed to too many crises, reforms, and influences that had weakened the connections between its archaic roots, to have preserved intact this priceless heritage which went back to the first centuries of Christianity. After all the ages the tunes, which had originally been passed down vocally but were later copied, had come down to us in a written form. This gave us only a rather vague idea for performance. We had to reconstruct all the remaining components — the rhythm, the ornaments, scales, the way the voices should sound — if we were to achieve a uniform quality throughout, in the spirit of the liturgy.

Thanks to the favour of José María Díaz Fernández, the Cathedral's Archivist and Custodian, we were able to study the original manuscript preserved in Santiago de Compostela. In the Coptic Monastery of Al-Sourian we rediscovered the dramatic structure of the liturgical cycle — with its single rhythm, a pulsation binding gestures, voices, steps, and genuflections — which had been lost in the West. In Corsica through the assistance of the island's singers we searched for the ornamentations for the melody; and in Greece we looked for the monody of the ancient scales and for the richness of the sound for the voices.

This recording presents the fruit of our endeavours.

Maciej Kaziński
Deviser of the Codex Calixtinus Project


The Codex Calixtinus and its music

This manuscript is extremely valuable historically and in music. It presents evidence of the deep cult of St. James of Compostela, at the same time showing the sophistication of the music that was performed at one of the chief pilgrimage churches in medieval Europe.

The pages of the manuscript carry a rich and varied repertoire of music, revealing the profuse growth of European religious music in the 12th century. The repertoire involves not only monodic liturgical works in honour of St. James (the music for singing during the ordinary and proper parts of the masses, and for the offices). But it also mirrors the process whereby choral monody itself was enriched and given a specific ornamentation, while the musical accompaniments of church ceremonies, intended to endow the liturgy with a special splendour, were elaborated into the characteristic features marking the musical arts of those times. This process ensued through the application of tropes — the addition of new texts and/or melodies — to the sung liturgy, the introduction of monodic compositions, paraliturgical religious works such as the conducti and sequences, and the intermission of polyphonic (organum) passages, regarded as the most important element in the Codex from the point of view of the development path music would take.

The polyphonic repertoire in the Codex Calixtinus is diversified generically, and comprises 21 two-voice organa belonging to two fundamental groups. They include the following religious and paraliturgical compositions: conducti (viz, compositions with religious strophic texts of an unspecified liturgical function, also known as versus); the tropes for the Benedicamus Domino; an untroped Benedicamus Domino; a troped Kyrie; the prosa for the responsorium; and polyphonic arrangements for selected responsorial chants such as the Graduals and Alleluias for the Masses for the Feast of St. James, and the responsoria for other services (e.g. matins). Significantly, polyphony in the responsorial chanting has been interpolated in much of the liturgical music, but accounts for only small sections of the choral parts for solo performance. Thus the responsorial chanting is featured by an alternation of the polyphonic sections for solo performance and the univocal parts for choral performance. The generic diversity in the polyphonic music of the Codex Calixtinus is paralleled by the stylistic variety in its organa. In general, in the arrangements of the poetic texts of the conducti, the troped Benedicamus Domino and other troped compositions we may observe a tendency to use a simple contrapuntal style. In the untroped arrangements of the Benedicamus Domino and responsorial chants there is a tendency to apply an ornamented melismatic style. However, the occurrence of such trends should not obfuscate one of the special attributes of many polyphonic compositions, that is the subtle gradation between the simple and ornamented style, or the combination of these two styles within the framework of a single composition. This is what happens in the famous Congaudeant catholici, a trope to the Benedicamus Domino with a strophic structure and a refrain which until recently was regarded as the oldest specimen of a three-voice organum in the history of West European music. At the same time the diversity of the contrapuntal style in the polyphonic music is associated with a high level of melodic coherence in these compositions, which share the same set of motivic formulae ornamenting the consonantal framework of the harmony. This is a feature of the local specifics of the repertoire, no doubt also disclosing some of the individual traits in the practice of improvisation in performance.

Although the thematic connection between the musical repertoire in the Codex Calixtinus and the church ceremonies which were conducted at Santiago de Compostela appears self-evident, the exact determination of its provenience is a complex question. This is true especially of its polyphonic compositions, which show both a connection with the book's monodic pieces, and have clearly also been influenced by the French music. On the one hand all the responsorial chants arranged as organa also occur in monodic versions in the liturgy of St. James, which means that they were composed especially for the celebrations at Compostela. But on the other hand the Codex shows a concordance with the sources for the St. Martial polyphony of Limoges (the southern part of Central France); it contains compositions which are analogous to French counterparts in terms of genre (conducti corresponding to versus), and style (the adjacency of simple and ornamented contrapuntal styles). They also exhibit analogous paleographic features (neumata of the Aquitaine type).

These circumstances, along with the information on the folio preceding the polyphonic works, that the manuscript was made in the Benedictine Abbey at Cluny suggest that the Book of St. James was probably compiled in Central France, in a milieu susceptible to the impact of the renowned school of St. Martial. The polyphonic repertoire in the Codex also shows stylistic links with the music of Northern France. Another feature shared by compositions in the Codex Calixtinus and French music (e.g. from Chartres and Paris) is the occurrence of arrangements of responsorial chants which consist of solo choral parts only. It is believed that Congaudeant catholici was composed by Master Albertus Stamopensis Precentor Parisiensis. The musical setting of this work has the features of the polyphony characteristic of mid-12th-century Paris, from the period immediately preceding the work of Master Leonine (fl. c.1160-1180), the first composer known by name who worked at Notre Dame in Paris, which incidentally was on the pilgrimage route for Compostela, and the west door of which was even called "La porte St. Jacques".

Zofia Dobrzańska
Jagiellonian University


Codex Calixtinus
Artístic Director: Damien Poisblaud

Performers:
Damien Poisblaud
Christian Barrier
Marcin Bornus-Szczyciński
Robert Pożarski
Frédéric Richard
Frédéric Tavernier

Choir of the Filharmonia Krakowska, conducted by Jacek Mentel

The peal of the bells of Skałka Church, Cracow has been used in this recording.
Recorded by Dux en in St. Catherine's Church, Cracow, in March 2000.
Produced by Bureau Kraków 2000


Latin editor — Michał Koss
Translation into English — Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa, Piotr Krasnowolski
Cover design — Władysław Pluta
Graphic layout — Ewa Tarnawska
Manager of the edition — Dorota Strojnowska
Recorded by Dux Recording
Sound engeneering — Małgorzata Polańska, Lech Tołwiński
Digital editing — Marcin Domżał
Editor — Biuro Krakow 2000






Damien Poisblaud
Damien Poisblaud (born in 1961) is a choirmaster and vocalist. He specialises in a Christian liturgical repertoire, has conducted manuscript studies and performs Gregorian chant. In 1989 he recorded a CD in the Thoronet Abbey, France. In 1990 he founded Choeur Gregorien de Méditerranée, which has performed numerous concerts. Holder of the prestigious Diapason d'Or prize. Member of the Ensemble Oragnum. In 1998 he founded Les Paraphonistes, for nineteenth-century church music. With this ensemble he has recorded a CD with Gregorian chant. Art director of the Codex Calixtinus project.

Christian Barrier
His career started in the 1980's, when he joined the movement for the revival of Baroque music in France. He extended his repertoire as a member of the Choeur Grégorien de Paris, and later joined the Ensemble Organum, taking part in a stage production of the medieval liturgical drama entitled Jeu des Pèlerins d'Emaus. He has contributed to numerous recordings of church music such as Gregorian chant and Cistercian music, early polyphony and Baroque choral. Alongside his classical and contemporary repertoire, Barrier also performs early and Baroque music, working on a regular basis with a variety of groups. He is also a member of the Kedroff vocal group for Russian Orthodox liturgical music.

Marcin Bornus-Szczyciński
Marcin Bornus-Szczyciński was a student of Karolina Zachwatowicz, William Christie, and René Jacobs. A counter-tenor vocalist performing Renaissance and Baroque music, and leading the Bornus Consort ensemble which specialises in Polish 16th- and 17th-century polyphony, he has now turned his interests to the earliest music forms, especially monody. Currently his principal objective is the discovery, invigoration, and dissemination of various local traditions in music. He takes classes in Gregorian chant in the Dominican Theological College of Cracow. He is working on a project for the reconstruction of medieval Dominican choral music.

Robert Pożarski
Robert Po#380;arski was born in 1965 into a family of musicians. He has trained in early music and in the leading of vocal ensembles, under the guidance of Marcel Pérès. Co-founder of the Schola Cantorum founded in 1988 for the church chanters of the Warsaw Metropolitan Seminary. He has registered two medieval monastic offices. Since 1996 he has been a member of Bornus Consort. He is also a member of the vocal ensemble of a rural theatre known as Teatr Wiejski Węgajty, which is involved in the reconstruction of medieval liturgical plays. His repertoire also includes Baroque and contemporary music.

Frédéric Richard
Since his graduation from the Rheims Conservatory, Frédéric Richard has been involved with the performance of early music. He is a master performer on early instruments, and he has played with the Ensemble Guillaume de Machaut. He has taken part in numerous concerts in and outside France. He also took classes in flute and descant recorder as principal of a music school in Rheims, and later in a music, dance, and drama conservatory near Paris. He gives concerts as a flautist and vocalist with the Ensemble Organum and Les Paraphonistes. He also works with Il Seminario Musicale, which is led by Gérard Lesne, and transcribes unpublished 17th- and 18th-century manuscripts. He has composed a lyrical fantasy.

Frédéric Tavernier
Doctor of Philosophy1986. Studied Byzantine liturgy under the direction of Lycourgos Angeopoulos, graduating in 1998 from the Athens Conservatory with a state diploma in the vocal arts. As a child (1971-75), Frédéric Tavernier sang in the Ste Marie d'Antony Boys' Choir, and studied the oboe. Under the direction of Philippe Pélissier he conducted a study of Gregorian chant, and next turned to a study of Byzantine music. In the same period he also sang with an ensemble for Hungarian Gypsy music. He is a member of the Organum Ensemble and has contributed to programmes about Jerusalem from a liturgical perspective, the Templars, the Songs of the Mozarabs, and Ancient Rome.


El Coro de la Filarmónica de Cracovia
The Choir of the Filharmonia Krakowska was founded in 1945. Hitherto it has performed in 1,700 concerts, 300 of which were abroad. Its performs a repertoire of works from early music to music by contemporary Polish composers, such as Górecki, Penderecki, and Palester. The Choir has accompanied numerous European orchestras, such as the Wiener Symphoniker, and the Beethovenhalle Orchester. It has taken part in nearly 40 European festivals. It contributed the music for the Re-Unification of Germany (1990), and the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz (1995). The Choir specialises in monumental oratorios; it also has opera and Avant-Garde music in its repertoire.

Jacek Mentel
Jacek Mentel was born in Zabrze in 1962. He went to music school in Gliwice, where he specialised in the piano, and later studied Conducting at the Cracow Academy of Music in the class of Jerzy Katlewicz. His work with the Filharmonia Krakowska started when he was still a student. He is the conductor and manager of the Mixed Choir. He has participated with this choir in numerous festivals in Poland and abroad. He also teaches and lectures in Conducting at the Faculty of Composition, Conducting, and Theory of Music in the Cracow Academy of Music; and conducts the students' symphony orchestra in that college.





REYKIAVIK

Reykjavik, is a city where nature and culture coexist in perfect harmony: that is why Nature and Culture are the central motto of the celebration of the year 2000. The programme consists of 200 events; some are intended for large audiences, others for small, and often make reference to nature. The programme also includes items in co-operation with environmental organisations, and a number of projects which employ natural forces. New technology and environmental awareness have helped to harness the primeval elements of Iceland where nature and culture now coexist in true harmony. Reykjavik culture is characterised by the intense degree of active public involvement in artistic projects and general cultural activity.
The European City of Culture celebration started on 29th January, 2000. The central events include the Festival of Fire, Culture and Youth, A la Mode Eskimo (a September multimedia fashion show in a swimming pool), Festival of Wind Harps (sculptures moved and played by wind will be placed around the city), and other events. There will also be the Festival of 19th-Century, Contemporary and Future Music of Iceland, and concerts by Bjork, the highlight of Voices of Europe — a joint project of European Cities of Culture 2000. Another joint project is Baldur: a ballet based on Norse mythology, to be produced in Bergen and Helsinki. There is also the Force of Light: an exhibition from Helsinki with all kinds of lighting techniques, from candles to street lights and laser-shows. As Iceland is surrounded by the sea, living by the sea has become the theme of Life on the North Atlantic, a joint project of Reykjavik, Bergen and Santiago de Compostela.


SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Santiago de Compostela has been listed by UNESCO as part of World Culture Heritage; it is a culture enclave of exceptional significance, and a place where artists from all over the world meet.
Goethe said that the idea of Europe was born during the pilgrimages to Compostela. Whether one agrees or not, it would be difficult to refute Santiago's claim to be an eclectic blend of virtually all the historical European perceptions of culture. Medieval Santiago is intersected by modern transport routes and features architecture representing all styles. The style of life, history, and legends prove how easy it has been to assimilate and integrate in the city. A walk in the streets of Santiago means walking in paths human culture has trodden since the 9th century. The Old Town is one of the best preserved in the world, and the city is a model combination of the traditional with the modern.
The events of the year 2000 have been designed to follow Santiago's motto: Europa Mundi. The goal of this huge project is to define the relations between the cultures of Europe and those of the rest of the world.
Among those worth special attention, there are Reflection and Debate, a series of discussions; Open Music: a grand festival of music; and Festival of Europe, World Festival: a spectacular carnival of folk music and merrymaking in the streets. Faces of the World, a cartographic exhibition, is a joint project by Santiago, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Cracow, and Avignon; while the Faces of Gods exhibition is devoted to images of worshipped Beings. An event of a wholly different character will be the ARCEUNet, a virtual museum making access to works of art and culture easier.


CRACOW

Cracow, a European City of Culture of the year 2000, draws its unique ability to combine elements that promote its constant, especially spiritual, growth. Lying in the heart of Europe and thoroughly Polish, the city of Cracow has always given refuge to the representatives of other cultures. The ancient capital of Poland and the seat of royal power, Cracow is mindful of its past. Many an artist has chosen to live here, adding to the colourful web of the city's cultural life. Cracow is the city of two Nobel prize holders, Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz, and of the winner of the Oscar, Andrzej Wajda. That is why the city's motto is Thought—Spirituality — Creativity.
The city is the oldest and dynamic academic centre in Poland. Its Jagiellonian University was the alma mater of Nicolaus Copernicus. Since 1996 the Cracow 2000 Festival has been presenting the city's unique features. The Tadeusz Kantor and Stanisław Wyspiański Festivals are devoted to its great artists, the Wawel 1000 —2000 Exhibition is an event bringing together the dispersed material heritage of Wawel. The Treasures of St Francis Exhibition will let us see the otherwise inaccessible works of art stored in the Franciscan Priory, while the Power of Custom shows the life of Cracow's erstwhile Jewish community. The variety of Cracovian culture is manifested in events as diverse as the Festival of Jewish Culture, and the Midsummer Garland Festival, a local pageant dating back to pagan days.
Codex Calixtinus, a fragment of the liturgy for the feast of St James reconstructed by a Polish musicologist, shows the strong influence of the European tradition on Cracow; so do the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, the Cracow Drama Reminiscences, and the Street Theatre Festival.


PRAGUE

How can we present Prague in the year 2000? The title of European City of Culture can have many meanings.
Maybe the best form of presentation would be some kind of tremendous festival of art. It might also be important to highlight important changes in the socio-cultural structure of the city. We might want to increase the number of tourists in the city by 50% or to have more theatres, or operettas, or more pedestrian zones or monuments. Street theatre, stalls, markets, housing estates, conferences, monuments, concerts and pubs — they all add to the culture of the city.
All these questions had to be addressed by the team of people who created Prague's European City of Culture 2000 programme. They work in a city with a thousand years of tradition behind it, and with huge cultural potential; in a city visited by crowds of tourists. In such an environment it is not easy to create a distinctive programme. We have tried, therefore, to find a balance between elements that the spirit of Prague has made permanent in cultural life or that we would like to highlight as long-term future trends, and elements that will contribute to the unique atmosphere of Prague only once, in this coming year at the turn of the millennium.


HELSINKI

Georg Dolivo, the director of the City of Culture Foundation set two tasks for the city: to give the townspeople enhanced quality of life and to increase the international awareness of Finnish culture. Among the themes of the celebration, there will also be the sea and nature.
The central points of the programme will be the Snow Church and the Find. The Finnish projects for the year 2000 are: ArtGenda, Fish and Ships opening the sailing season, and, naturally, the KIDE. There is also, quite naturally room left to celebrate the sauna. Enjoying the Scandinavian freedom of expression, Helsinki offers also a totally different approach to traditional art, the Ecce Homo series has settings familiar from the paintings by the Old Masters and feature Christ as a man of today. The exhibition has touched, shocked and interested audiences all around Europe. In July 2000, Helsinki's Senate Square will play host to a special FeStadi Festival. The various faces of Europe will be presented in the Spiritus Europaeus. The Face of the Old Continent as a photographic voyage of Europe, seen through the lens of photographer-author Rax Rinnekangas. The exhibition presents, compares, and contrasts the differences and similarities between cultures.
Many events have been organised in cooperation with other Cities of Culture; the programme of ArtGenda brings together young artists and scientists from 17 Baltic rim cities. They will present their projects concentrated on the City, its identity, reality of urban space, and the artist as its medium. The project linking Helsinki to Krakow will be the presentation of the Krakow Cribs.


BOLOGNA

Centuries of art, porticoes, towers, squares animated with life: Bologna is a crossroad of past, present and future knowledge, a city with a wealth of history and certainly one of the most beautiful in Italy. This is why it is a European Capital of Culture for the year 2000. The extraordinary cultural program is composed of: 300 concerts, 230 exhibitions, 300 shows, 175 conferences, and 125 laboratories, more than 2000 hours of entertainment!
In homage to its historic vocation as Bologna, lying at the crossroads of Europe, is communication; the most ambitious project, however, is that of turning the former Stock Exchange into the largest library-mediatheque in Italy. Now, as the Multimedia Portico, it will provide a gateway to all sources of information for each visitor.
The most important manifestations of the variety present in the program of Bologna 2000 are five major festivals. Etruscan Princes between Mediterranean and Europe is a key exhibition for Western cultural history, researching the economic and social structure of Etruscan and Italic aristocracy in the 8th and 6th centuries BC, and tracing links with civilisations from the East Mediterranean. The Danzeduemila is an international contemporary dance festival with P. Bausch, T Brown, W. Vandekeybus, A. Platel and Aterballetto. Jazz Crossing concentrates on concerts, workshops, jazz music seminars with notable jazz musicians participating in this long-term project. The programme of the an original idea is The Culture of Food, including, aside from the practical part, an international conference on "Cooking as a Means of Identity and Exchange". The Land of Motors is a series of events emphasising the motoring tradition of the region associated with the names of Ferrari and Lamborghini.



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