The Night of Saint Nicholas: A Medieval Liturgy for Advent | Arcana A442

The Night of Saint Nicholas: A Medieval Liturgy for Advent


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Label: Arcana

Cat No: A442

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Christmas

Release Date: 17th November 2017



La Reverdie
I Cantori Gregoriani


La Reverdie
I Cantori Gregoriani


Winter feasts like the Latin Saturnalia and the Germanic Yule, airborne gift-giving figures like the Norse Ođinn Jólnir, the Slavic Ded Moroz, the Dutch Sinterklaas: from time immemorial December skies have been rather busy. Pagan patterns were readapted to Christianity – and a canonised bishop from fourth-century Asia Minor, Nikolaos, whose feast occurred near the winter solstice, merged with another bearded benefactor. Wotan’s hood and Nicholas’s mitre were mixed up, and by the nineteenth century Santa Claus was ready to don new red and white robes and to deliver toys on both sides of the Atlantic.

The pieces on this recording (mainly from a thirteenth-century English manuscript) belong to the liturgy for the eve of the Feast of St Nicholas: they allude to his picturesque feats, such as the rescue of three needy maidens or the taming of a storm. Readings and additional songs come from the repertory associated with this widely popular saint, celebrated throughout the Middle Ages from Italy to Iceland. Originally released in 1998, this joint performance by La Reverdie and Cantori Gregoriani received enthusiastic reviews in several music magazines: ‘For those who want to enjoy some of the best liturgical singing this is highly recommended’ (Early Music, 1999).

1. Adoremus Regem seculorum
2. Nobilissimis siquidem natalibus / Psalmus I
3. Pudore bono repletus / Psalmus III
4. Auro virginum incestus / Psalmus IV
5. Lectio I
6. Quadam die tempestate - Mox illis clamantibus
7. Vox de celo
8. Lectio II
9. Confessor Dei Nicholaus - Erat enim valde compaciens
10. Lectio III
11. Ex eius tumba - Catervatim / Sospitati dedit egros
12. Ex eius tumba
13. O per omnia laudabilem virum / Psalmus CL
14. Qui cum audissent - Clara quippe voce
15. Copiose caritatis Nicholæ / Benedictus
16. O Christi pietas / Magnificat
17. Oracio / Sainte Nicolas Godes druth

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