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Historia Sancti Martini / Antoine Guerber, Diabolus In Musica


Release Date: 05/10/2011 
Label:  Aeon   Catalog #: 1103   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HISTORIA SANCTI MARTINI Antoine Guerber, dir; Diabolus in Musica AEON AECD 1103 (66:01 Text and Translation)


The late medieval liturgical Office has its own space on my shelf, so many of them being found on records recently. Among those catalogued by Andrew Hughes in his life’s work, I have Brigit ( Fanfare 28:6), Columba (16:4), Dominic, Edmund (23:4), Elizabeth of Hungary (19:4), Erik, Gregory the Great, Henry (20:1), Kentigern (21:2), Kunigunde (29:1), Read more Louis IX, Olav, Patrick, and Thomas Becket. Others not so catalogued include Emmeram, Lawrence and Mary Magdalen, Nicholas (23:2; 24:5), Plechelmus, Servatius, Victor, Willibrord, the Conception of the Blessed Virgin, the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin, and the Fall of Granada. This disc falls into a crack, for St. Martin of Tours has a code number assigned to it (MR01) but no data analysis, a rare entry in his database. As portrayed eight times by El Greco, St. Martin is the Roman soldier who divided his cloak to cover a beggar, only to see Our Lord in a dream wearing his cloak. The immense basilica built to honor him in Tours, where Ockeghem was treasurer from 1459, was razed during the Revolution, replaced in the 19th century by a large church that occupies only a fraction of the original footprint.


Like the best of the Office discs listed, this program concentrates on the invitatory and nine responsories of Matins, the most interesting Office chants. The Office for November 11 survives in a manuscript written between 1226 and 1237, early in the reign of St. Louis IX. Several conductus are scattered through the recorded program to separate the nocturns, and the Te Deum concludes Matins. Among several manuscripts that preserve this Office, Antoine Guerber uses Tours, BM 159. This represents a return to Tours for his group, for an earlier disc on Studio SM, Manuscrits de Tours , focused mostly on paraliturgical songs from the same period preserved in a different manuscript. The supplementary pieces heard here, rundelli and conductus, are polyphonic, the most familiar from earlier recordings being Gaude felix Francia , sung at the anointing of St. Louis IX. The last responsory of each nocturn is also sung in simple organum, and the final one is sung in three parts using the Notre Dame polyphony of Descendit de caelis.


The ensemble of six men without instruments captures a good semblance of what this chant might have sounded like when it was first written down. They use period pronunciation and sing the chant in a straightforward manner. Guerber’s note is very interesting, even if his translator betrays him by referring to the langue d’oïl , their style of pronunciation, as the language of the troubadors (the original has trouvères, correctly). This disc ranks among the best late medieval Offices, not to be missed.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
O vera, o pia, o gemma splendida by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
Period: Romantic 
2.
Beatus Martinus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
Period: Medieval 
3.
Salva stella by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
4.
O summi regis by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
Period: Medieval 
5.
Martinus ecce migrat by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
6.
Dixerunt discipuli by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
7.
Cum videret beatus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
8.
In ripa ligeris by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
9.
Domine si adhuc populo tuo by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
10.
O beatum virum martinum by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
11.
O quantus erat luctus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
12.
Gaude felix francia by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
13.
O beatum virum in cujus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
14.
O vere beatum by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
15.
Martinus abrahe by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
16.
Presul nostri tempori by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
17.
Te Deum laudamus by Anonymous
Conductor:  Antoine Guerber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Diabolus in Musica
Period: Medieval 

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