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Magnum Mysterium: Advent & Christmas music for lute & voice

by Mignarda

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about

At long last, we are able to share more of our favorite music for the Christmas season including four different settings of the Christmas responsory text, “O magnum mysterium”.

This album was recorded over the period 2014-2016 in two of our favorite sacred spaces in Cleveland, Ohio: The Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus, and Immaculate Conception Church. “St. Stan’s”, a spectacular edifice tucked away in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood, is well-known to musicians and local audiences for its stunning beauty and wonderful acoustics, which we demonstrated to good effect in “Adoro Te”, Donna’s 2014 solo release of Gregorian chant.

But until recently, Immaculate Conception - “The Mac” - has remained a relatively well-kept secret, known and beloved only by those fortunate few in the pews, on the altar, and in the loft who have treasured the truly magical acoustic of this 130-year old sanctuary during a weekly Latin Mass, and the occasional organ concert.

Set, as are so many churches in industrial cities, smack in the midst of as-yet ungentrified urban neighborhoods, both of these churches are flanked on all sides by bus stops, body shops, school playgrounds, heavily-traveled train tracks and untidy rows of old worker’s cottages dating to the 19th century. With such a potential for intrusive sounds from the neighborhood, neither venue would seem an obvious choice for recording the delicate and transparent music for solo voice and lute.

But Mignarda is not particularly well-known for making the obvious choice.

The album was recorded live on different dates and in different locations; we feel the variation in recorded sound only enhances the live feel of the listening experience. Since there was an absolute minimum of tampering with the recording, bits of the real world filter into our live alternative to the sometimes artificially contrived sound of early music recordings. To capture the intimate sound of a natural voice ideally balanced with the quiet sounds of the lute, a single stereo microphone was placed from 18-24 inches away from the performers.

The balanced sound you hear is exactly what one can expect listening to a live performance in close proximity, aided by the halo of sound contributed by the two wonderful spaces where we recorded. There are also contributions from the audience and the neighborhood, as well as the occasional unforeseen incidents that may occur during a live performance with a very close microphone placement. But the result is real music performed by real artists, and we hope it is received in the same spirit in which it is presented.

- Ron Andrico & Donna Stewart

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released November 1, 2016

Recorded live 2014-2016 at the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus and Immaculate Conception Church in Cleveland, OH.

Duo Mignarda is Donna Stewart, voice and Ron Andrico, lute. Guest artist Frederick Lautzenheiser, double harp on tracks 3, 9 and 10.

Performing editions and recordings ©2016 Ron Andrico and Donna Stewart, Mignarda Editions

All performing editions are unique and arranged by Ron Andrico, Mignarda Editions. "Dump philli" edited and reconstructed from the (c. 1580) Marsh lute MS by Ron Andrico, Mignarda Editions. All rights reserved.

Recorded live, mixed and mastered by Ron Andrico and Donna Stewart.

Thanks to David Krakowski (St. Stanislaus) and Father Frank Godic, Father Jack Hayes, and Dolly Keberle (Immaculate Conception) for their kind cooperation.

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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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Track Name: O magnum mysterium, by Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500 - 1553)
O magnum mysterium
Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500 - 1553)

O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in prÊsepio.
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
Portare Dominum Jesum Christum.
Domine, audivi auditum tuum et timui:
Consideravi opera tua et expavi:
In medio duorum animalium.

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger.
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
To bear Jesus Christ the Lord.
Lord, I heard your oracle with dread;
I considered your works and became frightened
in the midst of the animals.
Track Name: Puer natus est nobis, by Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500 – 1553)
Puer natus est
et filius datus est nobis:
Gloria in excelsis Deo,
et in terra pax hominibus
bonae voluntatis, Alleluia.
Verbum caro factum est,
et habitavit in nobis.
Alleluia.

A boy is born to us,
and a son is given:
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among men
good will, Alleluia.
Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us.
Alleluia.
.
Track Name: O Virgo Splendens (Llibre Vermell, 14th century)
O VIRGO SPLENDENS
(Antiphona dulcis armonia dulcissime virginis Marie de Monteserrato. Caça de duobus vel tribus)

O Virgo splendens hic in monte celso Miraculis serrato fulgentibus ubique quem fideles conscendunt universi.

Eya pietatis occulo placato cerne ligatos fune peccatorum ne infernorum ictibus graventur sed cum beatis tua prece vocentur.

TRANSLATION:
(Antiphon in sweet harmony for the Virgin Mary from Montserrat. Canon in two or three voices)

O resplendent Virgin, here on the high mountain, glowing with miraculous wonders where the believers from everywhere ascend.

Ah, with your gentle loving eye behold those caught in the bonds of sin, to let them not suffer the blows of Hell, but let them be with the blessed by your intercession.
Track Name: Stella Splendens (Llibre Vermell, 14th century)
Stella splendens in monte ut solis radium
miraculis serrato exaudi populum.

Concurrunt universi gaudentes populi
divites et egeni grandes et parvuli
ipsum ingrediuntur ut cernunt oculi
et inde revertuntur gracijis repleti.
Stella splendens...

Principes et magnates extirpe regia
saeculi potestates obtenta venia
peccaminum proclamant tundentes pectora
poplite flexo clamant hic: Ave Maria.
Stella splendens...

*Coetus hic aggregantur hic ut exhibeant
vota regratiantur ut ipsa et reddant
aulam istam ditantes hoc cuncti videant
jocalibus ornantes soluti redeant.
Stella splendens...

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

Radiant star on the mountain, like a miraculous sunbeam,
hear the divided people.

All joyous people come together:
rich and poor, young and old,
climb the mountain to see with their own eyes,
and return from it filled with grace.
Radiant star…

Rulers and magnates of royal stripes,
the mighty of the world, possessing grace,
proclaim their sins, beating their breast,
and call on bended knee: Ave Maria.
Radiant star…

All these groups assemble here to present themselves,
To remember their vows and keep them as well
By enriching this temple, adorning it with jewels
So that all may see and return in joy, partaking of salvation.
Radiant star…
Track Name: O magnum misterium, by William Byrd (1540​-​1623)
O magnum misterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum
jacentem in praesepio.

Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Jesum Christum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena: Dominus tecum.

Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Jesum Christum.

O great mystery
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord
lying in a manger.

Blessed is the Virgin, whose womb
was worthy to bear Christ the Lord.

Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with you.

Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear Christ the Lord.
Track Name: In tua patientia (Gregorian chant)
In tua patientia
possedisti animam tuam, Lucia, sponsa Christi.
odisti quae in mundo sunt, et coruscans cum Angelis:
sanguine proprio inimicum vicisti.

TRANSLATION:

By your suffering
you inherit your soul, Lucy, betrothed of Christ.
You shunned the things of the world, and now you shine with the Angels:
Defeating the enemy by your own blood.

(translation by Donna Stewart)
Track Name: In tua patientia, by Adrian Willaert (c. 1490-1562)
In tua patientia permanens
possedisti animam tuam,
Lucia, sponsa Christi,
quae in mundo erant despexisti
et ideo in terris
nomen tuum colitur
cum reliquis Christi martyribus,
coruscanti lucere fulges.

TRANSLATION:

By your endurance in suffering
you've saved your soul,
Lucy, bride of Christ.
Disdaining all worldly things,
your name is therefore honored on earth
and is crowned in heaven;
glittering, shining brightly alongside
the rest of the martyrs of Christ.

(translation by Donna Stewart)
Track Name: O magnum mysterium, by Adrian Willaert (c. 1490-1562)
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum
jacentem in praesepio.

Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Jesum Christum.

Ave Maria, gratia plena: Dominus tecum.

Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Jesum Christum.

O great mystery
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord
lying in a manger.

Blessed is the Virgin, whose womb
was worthy to bear Christ the Lord.

Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with you.

Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear Christ the Lord.
Track Name: Maria zart von edler art, by Arnolt Schlick (c.1455–1521)
Maria zart, von edler Art, ein Ros ohn’ allen Doren.
Du hast aus Macht herwiederbracht,
Das vor lang war verloren durch Adams Fall.
Dir hat die Wahl Sankt Gabriel versprochen.
Hilf, daß nicht wird gerochen mein‘ Sünd und Schuld.
Erwirb mir Huld,
Dann kein Trost ist, wo du nicht bist.
Barmherzigkeit erwerben; am letzten End,
ich bitt', nich wend' von mir in meinem Sterben.

Maria rein, Du bist allein der Sünder Trost auf Erden,
Darum dich hat der ewig Rat erwählt, ein Mutter werden
Des höchsten Heil, der durch Urteil
Am jüngsten Tag wird richten.
Halt mich in deinen Pflichten,
O werte Frucht, all’ mein‘ Zuflucht
Hab’ ich zu dir; am Kreuz bist mir
Mit Sankt Johannes geben,
Daß du auch mein’ Mutter wöll’st sein,
Frist hier und dort mein Leben.


English translation:

Maria tender, of noble being, a rose without thorns.
By your power you have returned
what had been long lost through Adam's fall.
You have been chosen by Saint Gabriel's promise.
Help that my sin and guilt may not be avenged.
Procure my grace
For there is no consolation without You.
Gain mercy for me; at the end,
I pray to You: turn not away from me at my death.

Maria pure, you alone are the sinner’s earthly consolation,
Therefore the eternal counsel chose you as a Mother
To the utmost salvation, who by judgment
On the last day will judge.
Hold me in your duty,
O worthy fruit, all my refuge I find in you;
On the cross you are given
together with St. John,
That you may also be my mother,
Here in this time, and in my life.
Track Name: In dulci jubilo (14th c. German hymn, arr. Andrico/Stewart)
In dulci jubilo,
Nun singet und seid froh
Unsers Herzens Wonne
Leit in praesepio,
Und leuchtet als die Sonne
Matris in gremio,
Alpha es et O, Alpha es et O

O Jesu parvule
Nach dir ist mir so weh
Tröst mir mein Gemüte
O puer optime
Durch alle deine Güte
O princeps gloriae.
Trahe me post te, Trahe me post te

O Patris caritas
O Nati lenitas
Wir wären all verloren (verdorben)
Per nostra crimina
So hat er uns erworben
Coelorum gaudia
Eia, wären wir da, Eia, wären wir da

Ubi sunt gaudia
Nirgend mehr denn da
Da die Engel singen
Nova cantica,
Und die Schellen klingen
In regis curia.
Eia, wären wir da, Eia, wären wir da

In sweet rejoicing, now sing and be glad,
Our hearts' joy lies in the manger;
And it shines like the sun in the mother's bosom.
You are the Alpha and Omega

O infant Jesu I long after you,
Console my mind, o noble child
Through all your mercy, o prince of glory
draw me unto you.

O loving Father; O gentle Son
We would have lost all through our offenses.
He won for us the joy of heaven.
Ah, that we were there.

Where is rejoicing? Nowhere more than here.
As the angels sing a new song
And the bells ring throughout the realm
Ah, that we were there.
Track Name: O magnum mysterium, by Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548 – 1611)
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in præsepio.
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
Portare Dominum Jesum Christum.
Alleluia.

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger.
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
To bear Jesus Christ the Lord.
Alleluia.
Track Name: Alma Redemptoris Mater (Gregorian chant)
Alma Redemptoris Mater,
quae pervia cæli porta manes,
et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo:
Tu quæ genuisti, natura mirante,
tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore sumens illud Ave,
peccatorum miserere.

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
the portal to heaven, star of the sea,
Assist your people who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
You who bore your Creator
to the wonderment of nature,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.
Track Name: Alma Redemptoris Mater, by Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548 – 1611)
Alma Redemptoris Mater,
quae pervia cæli porta manes,
et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo:
Tu quæ genuisti, natura mirante,
tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore sumens illud Ave,
peccatorum miserere.

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
the portal to heaven, star of the sea,
Assist your people who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
You who bore your Creator
to the wonderment of nature,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.