Information booklet about the recording of Cantores Sancti Gregorii. This programme is built around the reconstruction of the early 16th century liturgical practice in the Heilige Stede Kapel in Amsterdam, namely, the votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament celebrated weekly together with the procession with the Miraculous Host. The central piece of this concert is the famous Occo Codex, luxurious choirbook made for Heilige Stede Kapel by the workshop of Petrus Alamire, from which we chose Josquin's Missa Pange lingua and several motets connected to the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Plainchant and other liturgical elements also come from graduals and missals of local provenance.
throughout Europe. Curiously, the Occo co<strong>de</strong>x presents this composition in an incomplete form. Josquin’s duos for Pleni sunt and Benedictus have been replaced by other, shorter settings taken from <strong>Missa</strong> Es hat ein sinn by Mathieu Gascongne (trio in case of Benedictus) and the second Agnus <strong>de</strong>i was left out altogether. It is possible that Alamire copyists only later obtained a complete version of this Mass and at the time of copying the Occo Co<strong>de</strong>x worked with a version that replaced Josquin’s rather long, sophisticated and soloistically very <strong>de</strong>manding settings with easier ones. To present the Mass in its complete form we turned to the choirbook Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Musiksammlung, Musica MS 510, possibly copied between 1513 and 1519 from one of the earliest known copies of this Mass, choirbook MS Cappella Sistina 16. F or the polyphonic settings of Alleluia respond and odd verses of the sequence we use the choirbook Jena, Thüringer Universitäts‐ und Lan<strong>de</strong>sbibliothek, MS 35 that originally belonged to the castle church in Wittenberg un<strong>de</strong>r Fre<strong>de</strong>rick the Wise. It contains thirteen cycles of polyphonic propers of the Mass, arranged according to the or<strong>de</strong>r of the church year, starting with Easter. It has been speculated they might have been composed by Adam Rener, kapellmeister to Fre<strong>de</strong>rick the Wise between 1507 and 1517. All of them make exclusive use of strict cantus firmus technique, chant is presented in tenor in equal breves or semibreves, without any rest or interpolated notes and notated in German Hufnagel chant notation. F inally, the programme closes with a setting of Tantum ergo. The text consists of the last two stanzas of the aforementioned hymn Pange lingua, often used on its own in processions and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Stylistically it seems related to the setting of Cibavit eos that prece<strong>de</strong>s it in the Occo co<strong>de</strong>x.
ABOUT THE ENSEMBLE The ensemble Cantores Sancti Gregorii was foun<strong>de</strong>d in 2013 by Jan Janovcik as an experimental artistic platform for performance of early music. The ensemble specializes in sacred and religious music with a special focus on Gregorian chant and polyphony inspired therewith. Recognizing the inexhaustible power of inspiration that can be found in beauty and tradition Cantores always strive to present sacred music in its integral liturgical context, its ʹSitz im Lebenʹ, whether that be in a concert or in an actual liturgical celebration. T he ensemble gathers singers who are not afraid to look for beauty at unexpected places, gives space to both careful study and use of historical sources as well as the instinctive and subconscious in improvisation and ornamentation. In the performance of chant and mediaeval and renaissance polyphony, music that was often born in violent times, Cantores look for interpretation that is manly and strong. I n 2014 they performed at Canto Aperto festival in Sint Trui<strong>de</strong>n and also as a part of the Fabulous Fringe series of the Festival Ou<strong>de</strong> Muziek Utrecht to wi<strong>de</strong> public acclaim. PERFORMERS Superius: Contra: Tenor: Bassus: Esther Kronenburg, Maria Bayley Isaac Alonso <strong>de</strong> Molina, Livio Ticli Jan Janovcik, Marcello Mazzetti Bram Trouwborst, David Alonso <strong>de</strong> Molina