Klassik  Sinfonische Musik
Clemencic Consort & Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle & René Clemencic La Messe de Tournai · Codex Musical de las Huelgas OC 361 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberOC 361
Release date01/02/2005

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      Clemencic Consort · Choralschola der Wiener Hofburgkapelle
      René Clemencic, artistic director, Baroque organ positive, harpsichord

      The cathedral of Tournai in Belgium is one of the most impressive and significant in Europe and has been designated by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage. Music history was written here: the cathedral library contains the manuscript of a polyphonic mass ordinary compiled around the year 1300 which unites movements by various composers and written in different styles. This makes it the direct predecessor of the first masses written by single composers, such as the Messe de Nostre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut.

      René Clemencic, the great music researcher and interpreter of medieval music, performs the Messe de Tournai along with additional one-voice and polyphonic pieces from the Spanish Codex Musical de las Huelgas. The musicians of the Clemencic Consort bring to life a musical epoch which still fascinates us today with its wealth of stylistic variety and delightful discoveries.


      This recording reconstructs an office of the mass from the first half of the 14th century. Its primary focus is on that polyphonic mass ordinary from circa 1300 preserved in a manuscript in the cathedral of Tournai in Belgium. The copyist retained by the cathedral seven centuries ago took pieces by various composers, even from different epochs and styles, and included them in one manuscript, a procedure which seems to correspond to the slowly developing consciousness for the necessity of a complete polyphonic mass ordinary. This tendency didn’t prevail, however, until the first half of the 15th century. At the end of the 14th century, one composer, Guillaume de Machault, seems to have aspired to such compositional unity, but his successors did not continue consequently in this vein.

      Stylistically, the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus of the Mass of Tournai appear to have been written at the end of the 13th century, as they use the modal rhythms typical for that time. The syllabic Credo is very reminiscent of conductus. The freely moving Gloria uses some principles of the motet without really being one. Its Amen includes hocket, the “hiccup” technique which splits up melodic lines among various voices. The three-voice Ite missa est is a bilingual motet; a late Medieval amalgamation of contradictions, a union of the heterogeneous, acoustic synchronicity of completely different worlds. The triplum, or top voice, sings a French love song, the motetus, or middle voice, sings a moralizing Latin text, and the tenor cites a fragment of a Gregorian melody using the isorhythmic technique, in which a rhythmic model is repeated once (as here) or sometimes a number of times.

      In addition to the polyphonic mass ordinary, we also bring one-voice Gregorian melodies of the mass proper to life as well as a series of oneor more-voice sacred works, performing them both vocally and instrumentally as they were once played in ceremonial worship services.

      With the exception of the motet by Philippe de Vitry, all pieces come from the Codex Musical de las Huelgas. Compiled around 1300 in Spain, this collection is an important source of European polyphonic music from the beginning of the 14th century.

      The manuscript contains a number of compositions from the Notre Dame school and its successors. In addition to three-part organum and conductus, we also find here two- and three-voice motets, one- and two-voice prose settings as well as sequence-like pieces with melodic repetitions of various lines.

      René Clemencic
      Translation: Elizabeth Gahbler

      Booklet: Danielea Klemencic
      Cover: "Service Relations Extérieures Ville de Tournai"

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
        Ein spätgotisches Messoffizium (um 1300)

        Conducten, Prosen, Motetus (um 1300)
        • 1.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Catholicorum concio (Orgel)01:38
        • 2.Gregorianischer Choral: INTROITUS “RORATE COELI”00:51
        • 3.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Conductus XI (instrumental)03:06
        • 4.La Messe de Tournai: KYRIE – CHRISTE – KYRIE02:20
        • 5.La Messe de Tournai: GLORIA IN EXCELSIS06:52
        • 6.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Motetus LI (instrumental)01:37
        • 7.Gregorianischer Choral: GRADUALE “TOLLITE PORTAS”01:40
        • 8.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Benedicamus IV (Orgel)00:59
        • 9.La Messe de Tournai: CREDO IN UNUM DEUM04:20
        • 10.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Prosa XXIII (Orgel)02:23
        • 11.La Messe de Tournai: SANCTUS – BENEDICTUS02:23
        • 12.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Benedicamus XI (Orgel)02:20
        • 13.La Messe de Tournai: AGNUS DEI01:24
        • 14.Gregorianischer Choral: COMMUNIO “ECCE VIRGO”00:50
        • 15.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Conductus XVIIII (Orgel)01:52
        • 16.La Messe de Tournai: ITE MISSA EST – SE GRASSE NEST – CUM VENERINT01:48
        • 17.Anonymus (um 1300): Flos vernalis (Orgel)02:03
        • 18.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Motetus LIX (instrumental)01:31
        • 19.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Prosa “In virgulto gracie”02:40
        • 20.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Sanctus VI (instrumental)01:56
        • 21.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Prosa “Salve Regina glorie”03:35
        • 22.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Prosa VI (instrumental)05:18
        • 23.Codex Musical de Las Huelgas: Motetus “Salve virgo – Ave gloriosa – Domino”04:29
        • 24.Philippe de Vitry (1291–1361): Motetus (instrumental)02:39
      • Total:01:00:34