Dame de FlorsDiscantus
École Notre Dame, XIIe-XIIIe siècles





medieval.org
Opus 111 OPS 30-175

1996








1. Veris ad imperia  conduit  [0:48]   tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

2. Ave, nobilis venerabilis  conduit  [3:47]   5  ·  1 3 / 2 8
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

3. Glorieuse deu amie ~ VERITATEM  motet-conduit  [1:10]   6 / 8 / 2
Ms de Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliotek, Helms. 1099 (olim 1206)

4. Flos in monte cernitur  conduit  [3:00]   4 / 7  ·  1 / 4 / 7
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

5. Flos de spina rumpitur ~ REGNAT  motet-conduit  [1:45]   tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

6. Fons preclusus  conduit  [4:50]   3 6 8
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

7. Benedicamus domino  organum  [2:51]   tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

8. motets   [1:55]
Tu decus es decoris ~ O Maria, beata genitrix ~ NOSTRUM   3 / 5 / 2
Ms de Bamberg: Staatsbibliotek, Lit. 115 (olim. Ed. IV.6)
Qui la vaudroit ~ Qui damors ~ Qui longuement ~ NOSTRUM   6 / 3 / 5 / 2
Ms de Montepellier, Bibliothèque de l'École de Médecine, H 196

9. rondeaux   [2:05]
Novum ver oritur   7  ·  tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1
Illuxit lux   1 4  ·  tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

10. Flos de spina procreatur  prose  [3:58]   5
Tropaire-prosaire de Dublin: Cambridge University, Ms add. 710

11. Veri floris sub figura  conduit  [3:53]   tutti  ·  6 / 8 / 2
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

12. motets  [3:14]
Candida virginitas ~ FLOS FILIUS EIUS   8 / 2
Ms de Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliotek, Helms. 1099 (olim 1206)
Stirps Iesse ~ Virga cultus nescia ~ FLOS FILIUS EIUS   6 / 8 / 7
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1
Castrum pudicicie ~ Virgo viget melius ~ FLOS FILIUS EIUS   3 / 8 / 2
Ms de Bamberg: Staatsbibliotek, Lit. 115 (olim. Ed. IV.6)
Plus belle que flor ~ Quant revient ~ L'autrier joer ~ FLOS FILIUS   1 / 6 / 8 / 2 7
Ms de Montepellier, Bibliothèque de l'École de Médecine, H 196

13. Flos de spina procreatur  conduit  [6:52]   1 / 4  ·  8 / 5  ·  3 / 4  ·  6 / 5  ·  tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

14. Salve, virgo virginum. Salve, sancta parens ~ OMNES  motet  [1:14]   tutti
Ms de Montepellier, Bibliothèque de l'École de Médecine, H 196

15. Ave rosa novella ~ FLOS FILIUS  motet  [1:35]   6  ·  tutti
Ms de Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliotek, Helms. 1099 (olim 1206)

16. Nobili precinitur ~ Flos ed virga nascitur ~ EIUS  motet  [2:11]   4 / 7  ·  1 / 4 / 7
Ms de Montepellier, Bibliothèque de l'École de Médecine, H 196

17. A la clarté qui tout enlumina ~ ET ILLUMINA(RE)  motet  [0:49]   3 / 6
Ms de Montepellier, Bibliothèque de l'École de Médecine, H 196

18. O lilium convallium  conduit  [1:09]   tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

19. O Maria, stella maris  conduit  [2:12]   4 7
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1

20. Stirps Iesse  organum  [9:55]   8 1  ·  6 3  ·  4 5  ·  tutti
Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1





DISCANTUS, voix de femmes a cappella
Brigitte Lesne

1  Anne Guidet
2  Claire Jéquier
3  Lucie Jolivet
4  Brigitte Le Baron
5  Brigitte Lesne
6  Anne Quentin
7  Catherine Schroeder
8  Catherine Sergent




SOURCES
· 1 2 4 5 6 7 9a 9b 11 12b 13 19 20 — Ms de Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, Pluteo 29,1
· 8b 12d 14 16 17 — Ms de Montepellier, Bibliothèque de l'École de Médecine, H 196
· 3 12a 15 — Ms de Wolfenbüttel: Herzog August Bibliotek, Helms. 1099 (olim 1206)
· 8a 12c — Ms de Bamberg: Staatsbibliotek, Lit. 115 (olim. Ed. IV.6)
· 10Tropaire-prosaire de Dublin: Cambridge University, Ms add. 710


TRANSCRIPTIONS
· 1 4 5 7 8 11 12 13 16 18 20 — Philippe Gonneaud
· 2 3 6 9 10 15 19 — Brigitte Lesne
· 14 17 — Yvonne Rokseth, Polyphonies du XIIIe siècle, Paris 1935-1939


Executive producer : Yolanta Skura
Recording producer, engineer, editing : Laurence Heym
Recording : Maguelone Cathedral, Palavas-les-Flots, France, September 1996
Cover: Master of the Middle Rhineland, The Garden of Paradise, c1420 (detail)
Cover design : Sophie Brandt. Révision des textes : Peter Vogelpoel
Ⓟ 1996 Original recording made by Opus 111, Paris ©1996 Opus 111, Paris
Ref. OPS 30-175






LADY OF FLOWERS, New Rose, Bright Red Rose, Lady of Mercy, Star of the Sea, Mother and Virgin, Glorious Friend of God, Theotokos, Eleusa, Hagoditria — the titles flow in Latin, in Greek, in everyday language, hosts of metaphors in the Middle Ages to designate the Virgin
Mary, just as there are still today in the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Mary the Mother of God, the Theotokos exalted by the Byzantines in the Acathistus, was awarded pride of place in Ancient Russia: at the end of the eleventh century her statue occupied the central apse in the cathedral of St Sophia in Kiev. In the Roman churches great and frequent homage was paid to her, as witnessed by the thousands of statues which have come down to us, the stained-glass windows in Gothic cathedrals, the dedications of the great monasteries and the vocal music in all the medieval literary languages.

The woman whom the Christian gospels portray as the earthly mother of Jesus might nevertheless have been a source of difficulty for scholars. Her powerful presence in the apocryphal books of the earliest Christian writings casts a bright light on the most audacious of the beliefs introduced by the new religion, that which proclaimed the dual origin of Jesus, both human and divine. She therefore gave rise to quibbling arguments amongst theologians who were called upon to explain mysteries which defied common sense. The great Councils of the fourth and fifth centuries laid down a vigorously clear framework, defining the subtle order whereby a woman of flesh and blood should have given of herself for the arrival of God amongst men and thus have been the means of Incarnation. The Eastern Church gladly went along with this, and the doctrine was clearly expressed in all possible art forms, from mosaics and paintings to liturgical singing. Western Christians were more circumspect. It was not until the eighth century that their scholars justified Mary's role in the great Redemption of the world. It took even more time for things to be taken further: it was only in the twelfth century that the cult of Mary, together with a true Marian theology, really took on major importance; scholars felt they had walked long enough along the paths of the ineffable and the Trinity, and, taken with the idea of a human conception of Jesus, suddenly gave the Mother of Jesus a body, a face and a voice. But at this very time when western societies were beginning to be aware of powers unsuspected until then and notably that of appropriating nature thanks to a better control of human passions, it was felt that something had to be done to set the balance right. As a counterweight to the restored humanity of Jesus, far more importance was given to Mary's status as an exception and as a royal figure. It was widely accepted since the sixth century that she had been saved from death by her Assumption; many began seeing her as set apart from the human condition, which was stained with sin. From the year 1170 onwards, her effigy was to be seen alongside Christ in Glory on the stone carvings of French cathedrals, and soon she appeared, crowned by her son, throughout all the towns in the western world.

Thus it was that the Bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sully, when consecrating the high altar of the cathedral that we still admire today, desired that his church should be dedicated to the Virgin Mary and that a statue of the Virgin should occupy the best place, the front of the pillar on the south side of the choir screen; she could thus be an object of veneration for the laity who were not admitted into the choir. And when his successor, Bishop Eudes, who was cousin to the king, laid down rules for the cathedral's liturgies and in so doing brought in a new musical repertory, he had the cantors of the Notre-Dame School bring together the heritage of old Parisian chants and embellish them with new hymns to the Virgin, so that they would add greater splendour to each major feast. Towards the year 1200, under the influence of the great masters Léonin and Pérotin, the cathedral rang out with a new musical art, the finest works being intended to celebrate the glory of the Mother of God. Notre-Dame de Paris provided an ideal and an inspiration for the less wealthily endowed cathedrals throughout France and also for the establishments founded by the monarchs allied to the Capetians who were dazzled by the splendid light cast by the great Book of Parisian vocal music. Throughout the western world of the thirteenth century, the French demonstrated their mastery of the arts and the sciences. Through the qualities of their religious music, a new image of the Virgin Mary began to take root in people's minds: the powerful mediator of the ninth century had become imperceptibly transformed into a powerful protectress, a reassuring companion, a close relative, a friend to every one of her devoted worshippers and to the pilgrims that all men were seen as in the Middle Ages. With the Virgin Mary, a new type of religious feeling came to be expressed, drawing on the refined sentiments and the beguiling magic of courtly love; it was intimate and passionate, and soon it escaped from the cloister and the castle and filled the souls of the laity in their communities both in the towns and in the countryside.

GUY LOBRICHON
of the Collège de France

THE MANUSCRIPTS enabling us to bring back to life the repertoire of the Notre-Dame School—the Florence, Wolfenbüttel, Montpellier and Bamberg manuscripts, among others — give pride of place to the Virgin, the branch of Jesse that flowered, giving birth to a son who is
both God and man. This 'sacred stem' is the Virgin; the flower is her Son as well as her Father. In the mystery, the Virgin gives birth, like a flower, to a son. In medieval poetry she in turn became the 'flower of flowers, flower of virginity, flower of purity, changeless lily, mysterious rose, enclosed garden of the King of Heaven, garden covered in flowers...'

The present programme features three major forms of composition characteristic of the Ars antiqua: organum (ornate polyphony spun out over a section of plainchant), conductus (monodic or polyphonic chant accompanying a procession during the office, newly composed and not based on a pre-existing liturgical chant) and the motet (a polyphonic composition created by superimposing a new text over a fragment of organum), which became the great musical form of the thirteenth century not only for sacred works but for secular composition as well.

'The flower that is of paradise, mother is to the Lord', says one of the motets in the Montpellier manuscript. It is to this dame de flors, lady of flowers', as she is called in the same manuscript, that Discantus here pays homage.

BRIGITTE LESNE
Translation: John Sidgwick






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