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SONG OF SONGS
CAPPELLA MARIANA

   KTC1602   [8711801016023]   released 2018

CANTICUM SALOMONIS
   Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina (1525–1594)
1 Motettorum liber quartus ex Canticis canticorum - Osculetur me 03:09
2 Motettorum liber quartus ex Canticis canticorum - Trahe me post te 02:57
   Jean Lhéritier (c.1480-c.1551)
3 Nigra sum sed formosa 05:02
   Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina 
4 Pulchrae sunt genae tuae 03:03
   Jachet de Mantua (1483 - 1559)
5 Audi, dulcis amica mea 07:21
   Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina 
6 Sicut lilium inter spinas 03:13
   Nicolas Gombert (c.1495-1580)
7 Quam pulchra es 05:30
   Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina 
8 Surge, propera amica formosa mea 02:36
9 Quam pulchra es 03:11
10 Veni, dilecte mi 03:06
   Josquin Desprez (c. 1450-1521)
11 Ave Maria / Virgo serena 04:56
   Nicolas Gombert 
12 Magnificat Sexti et Primi Toni 13:10

Many composers of the past centuries have been attracted by the poetic beauty, complex allegorical meanings and sensuous language of the Song of Songs from the Old-Testament. For us, too, these texts have been a rich source of inspiration, reflection and interpretation guidelines. In placing Italian Renaissance melodiousness in contrast with the dense structure of the Franco-Flemish polyphony I was hoping to foreground the fascinating tension between the sacred and the secular. The prevailing oscillation of meaning and content of the Song of Songs has been captured differently by various composers. Palestrina’s style verging on the madrigal has been my foremost model in preparing this programme. The location where we recorded the project has also been carefully chosen. In the chapel consecrated to Saint Mary, at the place of pilgrimage in Paray-le-Monial in the heart of Burgudy where Renaissance polyphony had its roots, this music is still very much at home today. Cultural relations between the Czech lands and France date back to the Middle Ages. Both countries have a rich history with many mutual interactions and our recording is meant as a contribution to this long tradition of cultural exchange. 

The Song of Songs is also a story of a man meeting a woman. The love poetry of the Old-Testament Book of Solomon was transformed by the medieval allegorics into the image of Saint Mary which has been recast in our programme into a chequered image of Renaissance music and its beauty. Five men and fathers here sing the narrative that is a celebration of the beauty and gracefulness of a woman but also of the power and merits of the male element. The motif of coming together in our new CD project refers not only to the shared life of a man and woman but is a symbol of the tenth anniversary of the founding of our ensemble.

VojtÄ›ch Semerád

Cappella Mariana is a vocal ensemble specializing in medieval and renaissance polyphony and the vocal repertoire of Early Baroque. The performances of Capella Mariana have met with enthusiastic reception from the public and critics alike, the latter highlighting the ensemble’s expressive performance based on close attention paid to the text. Cappella Mariana was founded in 2008 as one of the few local ensembles focussing on the interpretation of high vocal polyphony, especially from Italian, Flemish, and English Renaissance but also discovering hidden treasures from Middle Europe sources. The ensemble is an artistic guarantor of the concert cycle Lenten Fridays since 2010 which aims to revive the historical tradition of musical performances held at the Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star.
The members of the ensemble are internationally renowned vocal artists who regularly collaborate also with ensemble Collegium Marianum and are frequent guests at some of the foremost European and world music scenes. They specialize in the interpretation of baroque and pre-romantic music and have appeared in concert venues in the Czech Republic and abroad with ensembles such as Bach Collegium Japan, Collegium Vocale Gent, Tiburtina Ensemble, Collegium 1704 or Vox Luminis. In 2012 the ensemble published its first CD, Sacrum et Profanum. In 2014 Cappella Mariana participated in the celebrations of the Year of Czech Music, publishing second CD Praga Magna with repertory of the court of Rudolf II, performing at the important European festivals and recording its concert performances for the Czech Radio. Nowadays the ensemble is regular guest of festivals like Oude Muziek Utrecht, Laus Polyphoniae Antwerp, Arte Sacro Madrid or Klangvokal Dortmund.

Further recording by the ensemble Cappella Mariana:

© Studio Svengali, November 2018
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