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Anonymous 4: A Star In The East

Ave spes nostra
Mi Atyank Atya Isten
Veni domine
O mundi domina
Fuit virgo
Vox clara, ecce, intonat
Omes unanimiter
Dum medium silentium
Primo tempore alleviata
Speciosus forma
Novum decus oritur
Letentur cele
Salvator noster
Az idvozitor regenten
Novus annaus adiit
Exulta filia Syon
Liber generationis
Gaude et letare
Exordium quadruplate"/"Nate dei"/"Concrepet infanti"/"Verbum caro
Isten, teged

A selection of liturgical and paraliturgical Christmas pieces, taken from medieval Hungarian sources. Most are monophonic, but there is a modest sprinkling of simple polyphonic pieces for two, three and four voices. The charm of the performance lies in its unpretentious, almost childlike simplicity - suggested, maybe, by the delightful extracts from the Christmas story as quoted in the notes. These extracts come from the "Peasants' Bible" - Paraszbiblia: Magyar Nepi Biblikus Tortenetek - which contains Bible stories retold in simple language, with homely, imaginative details and an atmosphere of fairy-tale. The classic liturgical pieces, which include the Introit Dum medium silentium, the splendid Gradual Speciosa forma, and others, are heard in a version which tends to use the pentatonic scale, thus avoiding both B natural and B flat. The sung readings are impressive with their polyphonic settings. I enjoyed the rich Genealogy (Liber generationis) with its beautifully constructed and compelling melody. Some of the vernacular pieces, as well as the Latin song for New Year's Day, have a regular ternary rhythm. The Hungarian Te Deum (which appeared in an earlier recording by the Schola Hungarica on Quintana) offers an interesting alternative for the concluding verses: it simply transposes the original theme up a fourth. The 110-page booklet, lavishly produced with both colour and black-and-white illustrations, is a marvellous little tool and a joy to handle.

Item code: 6219C | 1 CD | $15.98 |add item to cart
Early Music | A Cappella | Female | United States

Related: Female Choral Christmas CDs