Among other treasures in its library, the Orfeo Catala keeps a codex from the 1300s, with a collection of polyphonies; it is said to come from the Charterhouse of Scala Dei in Tarragona.
This statement, based on the writings of musicologists two generations before ours, must be qualified, as Carthusian monks are famous for their life of silence, and if they do not speak much, they are even less given to singing.
If we take into account the main contents of the codex (2 and 3-part polyphonic fragments written as conducti, a characteristic feature of the various trends within the school of Notre Dame), and if we consider furthermore that the monasteries where this repertoire was cultivated usually belonged to the Cistercian Order, then it most probably originates in a nearby monastery, the Santa Creus monastery, where the presence of singers with expertise in this repertoire is attested in the community.
This codex is all the more important as it is the only remaining collection in the land of the ancient Catalan-Aragonese Crown that contains polyphonies prior to the Ars Nova.
The performance choices of Ligeriana are ruled by good taste, with perfect adequacy of the singing voices to the repertoire, and a most sparing use of ‘special effects’. Everything here is in its place and we must also mention that this is the first time a recording has been dedicated to the n°1 manuscript of the Orfeo Catala, an initiative worthy of our approbation as well as our gratefulness.
An extract from an article by Maricarmen Gomez-Montané (professor at Barcelona University)
|CD REFERENCES||LIST OF CONTENTS|
Codex de la Cartuja de la Scala Dei
(Orfeo Catala Library Barcelona)
Ligeriana : women’s voices
Florence Blanc, Ysé Blanchelande, Katia Caré, Florence Carpentier, Estelle Filer, Anne Garcenot, Catherine Iches, Caroline Montier, Laure Pierredon, Véronique Tartavel
A Jade CD, recorded by Jean-Marc Laisné at the Asnière monastery in Cizay-la-Madeleine (49) in September 2000.
1. Te laudant - trope of sanctus
2. Gloriose matris - conductus
3. Ave maris stella - sequence
4. Sospitati - trope of sanctus
5. Sanctus - Ad Honorem Virginis
6. O florens rosa - trope of sanctus
7. Salve sancta parens - Introit
8. Kyrie - Rex virginum amator Deus
9. Sanctus - Clangat cetus
10. Agnus Dei - Ave Maria - Crimina Tollis
11. Alleluya virga lesse
12. Recordare - Ab hac familia -Offertory
13. Ave regina coelorum -Communion
14. Marie preconio - prosa
15. Promereris - prosa
16. Superne matris gaudia - prosa
17. Potestati - prosa