Feb. 19th, 2012

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I'm back! 

The Medieval Weekend was great fun - when we finally got there.  All work-related tasks were accomplished successfully on Friday, lectures were attended yesterday & today, antiphons were sung and concerts were enjoyed. 

Capella Nova were on fine form yesterday evening with their 'Medieval Tapestry' programme, though with only three sections of Carver's Mass for Three Voices performed (out of five!) I felt a wee bit cheated.  Carving up Carver's on a par with the Classic FM (& now, alas, Radio 3!!) habit of playing isolated sections of symphonies.  It makes me blink and shake my head and wonder what happened to the rest of it!

Unfortunately (or fortunately!!) there's such a wealth of medieval music available in the Scottish Repertoire for Capella Nova to be completely spoilt for choice when they're compiling their programmes.  Five or six years ago, it seemed to be Carver interpersed with the Inchcolm Antiphoner, and now the Old St Andrew's Music Book and the Sprouston Breviary are regularly added to the mix.  Great news for fans of Scottish Medieval Music in its entirety, but not so good if you're a Carver-holic like me!

But once again, Capella Nova did offer us that classic excerpt from the Inchcolm Antiphoner which goes as follows:-

'Father Columba, glory of our national
tradition, receive the prayers of your
servants, save this choir that is praising
you from attack by the English
and assault by rivals.'

Yep, that just about sums it up, doesn't it? [The translation comes from the Capella Nova programme notes, but I'm not entirely sure who the translater actually is!!]

Anyway I never, ever knew that the Old Saint Andrew's Music Book (known to medieval music boffins as 'W1') is a survivor of international reputation!  I shall have to return to W1 in a later post - suffice it to say that I've now had a crash course in antiphon, graduals, organum and other musical wonders (of course, I should've learned all this already in my undergraduate Period 1 Music course at Glasgow Uni, but it was a long, long time ago and I guess I was too young and silly to appreciate anything like this at the time). 

Yes, there's a lot more to the medieval period than White Gritty Ware, oyster shells & rusty hand-made nails...

Oh, and yes.  In case you're wondering, many photographs were taken.  Of many awe-inspiring places which were the backdrops to what are without a doubt some of the key events in Scotland's history. 

I shall of course be sharing these with you in due course...


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