Donnersöhne · Sons of Thunder / Sequentia
Music for St. James the Apostle · Santiago de Compostela · 12th century
Vox Iberica I · Codex Calixtinus
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi BMG 77199

Vox Iberica – Sequentia’s long-term project to record music from three of Spain’s most important musical sources – begins with music from the so-called Codex Calixtinus, a 12th century manuscript containing liturgical chant and polyphony in honour of Saint James the Apostle, otherwise known as Santiago, whose relics have been venerated by pilgrims since the Middle Ages in the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. For this recording, the eight men’s voices of Sequentia join to record the complete polyphony found in this magnificent collection of sacred music, including some of the earliest polyphony to be clearly notated in a European source. —

1. Vox nostra resonet  [1:42]   cc 102
Magister IOHANNES Legalis, fol. 187v
E. Mentzel & S. Grant ;  W. Hite & C. Mason ;  B. Schneider & R. Nolte

2. Congaudeant catholici  [5:47]   cc 196
Magister ALBERTUS Parisiensis, fol. 185 | tutti

3. R. Iacobe virginei. V. Tu prece continua  [2:42]   cc 105
Magister ATO, episcopus Trecensis, fol. 188 | B. Bagby, tutti

4. Gratulantes celebremus festum  [1:21]   cc 97
Magister GOSLENUS, episcopus Suessionis, fol. 185v | B. Schneider & E. Mentzel

5. R. Huic Iacobo. V. Tristis est anima mea  [2:27]   cc 104
Magister ATO, episcopus Trecensis, fol. 188 | W. Hite, tutti

6. Ad superni regis decus  [3:13]   cc 98
Magister Albericus, archiepiscopus BITURICENSIS, fol. 185v
E. Mentzel & B. Bagby, tutti

7. R. Cum vidissent autem - V. Et conversus Ihesus  [2:21]   cc 43
fol. 108 | tutti

8. Nostra phalans plaudat leta  [2:43]   cc 95
Magister ATO, episcopus Trecensis, fol. 185r
& B. Bagby | W. Hite & E. Mentzel

9. R. Misit Herodes. V. Occidit autem Iacobum  [4:06]   cc 109
ATO prefatus, fol. 189 | B. Schneider, tutti

10. Alleluia. Vocavit Ihesus Iacobum  [3:12]   cc 110
Magister GOSLENUS, episcopus Suessionis, fol. 189v | W. Hite, tutti

11. Exultet celi curia. Fulget dies  [4:06]   cc 79
Benedicamus sancti Iacobi a magistro Anselmo editum, fol. 130v
S. Grant, R. Nolte, F. Hohmann, C. Mason, & tutti
Organistrum: B. Bagby & E. Mentzel

12. In hac die laudes cum gaudio  [4:31]   cc 82
FULBERTUS episcopus Karnotensis, fol. 131v
W. Hite & E. Mentzel, refrain: B. Schneider & B. Bagby

13. Iacobe sancte, tuum repetito  [3:56]   cc 100
ANTIQUS espiscopus Boneventinus, fol. 186v
E. Mentzel & C. Mason ;  W. Hite & S. Grant

14. Cunctipotens genitor deus, omnicreator, eleyson  [3:35]   cc 111
Magister GAUTERIUS de Castello Rainardi, fol. 190 | E. Mentzel, tutti

15. Rex immense, pater pie, eleyson  [2:32]   cc 108
FULBERTUS episcopus Karnotensis, fol. 189 | B. Schneidere & E. Mentzel, tutti

16. R. Dum esset - V. Sicut enim vox tonitrui  [3:10]   cc 103
Magister ATO, episcopus Trecensis, fol. 187v | B. Bagby, tutti

17. Annua gaudia, Iacobe debita  [2:15]   cc 99
Magister AIRARDUS Viziliacensis, fol. 186v
B. Schneider & C. Mason, B. Bagby & S. Grant, tutti

18.  [5:20]
R. O adiutor. V. Qui subvenis periclitantibus  (3:33)   cc 106  |  cc 51
Prosa. Portum in ultimo  (1:47)   cc 107
Magister ATO, episcopus Trecensis, fol. 188 | E. Mentzel, tutti; prosa: C. Mason

19. Regi perhennis glorie  [3:49]   cc 101
Magister GAUTERIUS de Castello Rainiardi, fol. 187 | B. Bagby & S. Grant

20. Jocundetur et letetur  [2:45]   cc 26
Ymnus sancti Iacobi a domino Guillelmo patriarcha Iherosolimitano editus, fol. 105v | tutti

21. [3:19]
Benedicamus domino I   cc 112
GAUTERIUS prefatus, fol. 190 | B. Bagby, tutti
Benedicamus domino II   cc 113
Magister DROARDUS Trecensis, fol. 190 | W. Hite, tutti
Benedicamus domino III   cc 114
Idem DROARDUS, fol. 190v | E. Mentzel, tutti

22. Dum pater familias   [4:48]   cc 117
fol. 193 | tutti

Ensemble für Musik des Mittelalters
Benjamin Bagby & Barbara Thornton

Benjamin Bagby
Stephen Grant
William Hite
Friedhelm Hohmann
Colin Mason
Eric Mentzel
Raimund Nolte
Bernhard Schneider

Sons of Thunder

And Jesus called James, the son of Zebediah and John his brother, and gave them the name "Boanerges", which means the Sons of Thunder>. [after Mark 3;16]

The legend
No single figure shaped the imagination of medieval Spain more than that of St. James the Apostle (Jacobus major), who was beheaded by soldiers of Herod in Jerusalem in A.D.44, thereby becoming one of the first Christian martyrs. The legend tells how his relics were brought by boat to Galicia in north-western Spain, and how they were later discovered there in miraculous circumstances.
In this remote corner of Europe, besieged by Islamic forces pressing from the south, the Christian kings of Asturias needed a champion, an image of power for their Reconquista. In the tenth century the area was in the hands of the conqueror Al-Mansur, but after his death it reverted to Christian control. By the mid-eleventh century the obscure site of Jacobus' supposed tomb, known as the Compostela (from Campus stellae — "field of stars", or compostum, "burial ground", depending on the story) had become a venerated shrine. The Christian kingdoms found in Saint Jacobus (Santiago) a patron and hero who could lead them in their battle against the Islamic invaders; as these were pushed back to the south during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the cult and shrine of Jacobus became one of Europe's most important pilgrimages, attracting devout Christians from all over Europe. And as Santiago matamoros, "St. Jacobus the Moor-slayer", his image with sword in hand and on horseback began to permeate Iberian Christian art.

The manuscript
The Codex Calixtinus or Liber Sancti Jacobi (Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela) contains an account of the saint's miracles; the legend of his life and martyrdom; a propagandistic fiction about Charlemagne and Roland as proto-pilgrims to Santiago; a pilgrim's guidebook (the first European travel guide?), describing the various routes to the shrine through France and Spain; and the repertory of chant needed for a complete two-day celebration of the feast of St. Jacobus, 24-25 July — a convenient time for the arrival of pilgrims making the six-week journey from northern France, Germany, and England.

The chant
The repertory includes chant for Vespers and a Vigil mass on the eve of the feast; then for the Night Office, and Lauds, Mass, and Vespers. This extensive repertory of chant was provided especially for this occasion, adapting melodies from the elaborate, melismatic style of the traditional Gregorian. In addition, the manuscript includes some new compositions in the modern chant styles recently developed in France, using lively rhythmic verse that rhymed and scanned; this kind of verse was often stanzaic, and could employ refrains; its melodies were more tuneful and accessible than the elevated Gregorian style. Typically used for processions, in their most popular form they became pilgrim songs, such as "Dum pater familias" at the end of this collection.

The polyphony
The chant repertory is further enhanced by the addition of some twenty pieces in the new two-voiced polyphony being developed in France and Aquitania from 1050 to 1150. In some pieces, usually those with rhyming verse texts, the two voices move together, note-against-note, rendering the lyric rhythms in a more massive way. In other pieces, especially those using a melismatic Gregorian chant in one voice, the upper voice provides elaborate decoration on top of the already elaborate chant below. Recent research has tended to confirm the long-standing supposition (based on style of the musical notation as well as the verse texts) that the polyphony came from northern or central France; so the attributions — seemingly fanciful — in the manuscript to prominent northerners may actually point in the right direction.

© 1991, Richard Crocker/Benjamin Bagby

Instrument (No. 11): Organistrum
Based on sculpture of the Pórtico de la Gloria, Catedral de Santiago, 12th century, by Alan Crumpler, Leominster (GB), 1982

· Santiago de Compostela, Biblioteca dele Catedral, (without shelfmark), "Codex Calixtinus".
· Color facsimiles of polyphony in: Jose López-Calo, S.J. La Música Medieval en Galicia, La Coruña, 1982, p. 45-51.
· B/W facsimiles and transcriptions of monophony in: Walter Muir Whitehill, Liber Sancti Jacobi (Codex Calixtinus), vol. II. Santiago de Compostela, 1944.

For the polyphonic music on this recording, the vocalists worked from the original manuscript (in facsimile). For the monophonic pieces, the edition of Whitehill was used, in conjunction with the facsimiles. In addition, the following transcriptions were used:
· No. 14 (Cunctipotens genitor deus).
Monophonic sections from Paris, 887, fol.56 (as transcribed in) David Bjork, The Kyrie Repertory in Aquitanian Mss. of the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries. (Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Calif. Berkeley, 1976) p.61.
· No.24 (Dum pater familias). Transcription by Richard Crocker, made especially for this production

Walter Muir Whitehill, Liber Sancti Jacobi (Codex Calixtinus), Vol.I, Santiago de Compostela, 1944

Musicological consultant: Prof. Richard Crocker (University of California, Berkeley USA)

℗ © 1992 harmonia mundi, Freiburg
Producers: Klaus L Neumann (WDR) | Barbara Thornton (Sequentia)
Recording: Dr. Thomas Galia, Paul Dery
Technical equipment: Sonart, France
Recorded: 22. XI. — 25. XI. 1989, Roquemaure (FR)
Liner notes: Prof. Richard Crocker, Benjamin Bagby
Front cover picture: St. James the Apostle. Initial from Codex Calixtinus
Foto Back cover: by dhm Archiv
Complete Editing: Dr. Jens Markowsky

All rights reserved
A co-production with Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln

Since its founding in 1977, Sequentia has become the internationally-acclaimed leader in its field — an ensemble which combines vocal and instrumental virtuosity with innovative research and programming to reconstruct and re-vitalize the musical traditions of the Middle Ages. Under the direction of its founder Benjamin Bagby and Barbara Thornton, Sequentia has expanded into a multi-faceted ensemble whose size and composition vary with the demands of the repertoire being performed.

This CD is the first in a three-part series (Vox lberica) devoted to the music of medieval Spain.