Forgotten Christmas carol to be brought back to life after 550 years by Newcastle Cathedral

0


by Alan Weedon

Posted

December 25, 2018 00:58:33

Church-goers and music aficionados are in for a treat this Christmas, as Britain’s Newcastle Cathedral Choir will perform a medieval carol for the first time in over 500 years.

Key points:

  • Parit Virgo filium was found in a 15th-century manuscript at Cambridge University Library
  • The work is the only example of a carol being jotted into a church service book
  • The Newcastle Cathedral Choir will premiere the restored work at Newcastle Cathedral

Professor Andrew Wathey, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Newcastle’s Northumbria University, found the carol — Parit Virgo filium — in a 15th-century manuscript at Cambridge University Library.

“The original manuscript is in very poor shape,” Professor Wathey said in a statement to the university.

“Only the top part survives, as a single unaccompanied vocal line with both pitch and rhythm notated, usually a signal that other voice parts were to be provided from memory or following simple musical convention.”

The carol was added to a church service book in the early or mid-15th century, which then was broken up to bind another manuscript — a manuscript eventually acquired by the Cambridge University Library in 1996.

The Professor, whose research examines late-medieval music in England and France, said that the instance of any kind of polyphonic music being jotted into a service book was rare.

“There are a handful of cases from this period where polyphonic music was jotted into service books (containing the plainsongs and texts of the liturgy), but this is the only such instance involving a carol,” he said.

“It provides fascinating new evidence for the use of carols in the Christmas liturgy in the fifteenth century.”

Speaking to the university, Newcastle Cathedral Choir director Ian Roberts said:

“For our boy and girl choristers this is a unique experience — to be the first choir to sing a carol that will have not been heard for 550 years.”

“It’s a delightful carol that deserves a place in the national repertoire of carols, and I’m proud this this could begin in Newcastle.”

Topics:

early-music,

music,

medieval,

history,

choral,

christianity,

united-kingdom,

england



Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Powered by WP Robot

%d bloggers like this: