El Cant de la Sibil-la
Mallorca ~ València
1400-1560

 

Alia Vox AV9806
Code-barres/Barcode:
7619986098067
 

CD Standard

Alia Vox AVSA9806
Code-barres/Barcode:
7619986398068
 

Super Audio CD



Description

Artistes / Performers
Montserrat Figueras,
La Capella Reial de Catalunya
Direction: Jordi Savall

Lieu d'enregistrement / Recording site: Collégiale du Château de Cardona (Catalogne) (Catalunya)

Dates d'enregistrement: 28-30 juin et 1-2 décembre 1998 
Recording dates
June 28-30 & December 1-2, 1998

Durée totale / Total time: 61 ' 38
 


 


CD Standard

Super Audio Hybrid


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MP3


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MP3


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MP3


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MP3

 

Montserrat Figueras et La Capella Reial de Catalunya nous reviennent avec un nouvel enregistrement consacré aux Chants de la Sybille, provenant cette fois-ci  de Majorque et de Valence.
 

Montserrat Figueras and the Capella Reial de Catalunya return with a disc of two further Songs of the Sibyl, from Majorca and Valencia.

Évaluations recensées / Reviews located



11/1999
 


#459  05/1999


# 14  07-08/1999


23:1 (09-10/1999)


# 8 (08-1999)

 



Reviewer: Garry S. Dalkin

Reviewer: Gerald Fenech

American Record Guide
March 2000
by: John W. Baker

 


Sibylle


Sibyl


Extrait du livret / From the liner notes

Paru en 1999, ce nouveau volume des Chants de la Sibylles constituait déjà le troisième opus de cette série d’enregistrements commencés chez Auvidis en 1988. Dès sa sortie, la critique a salué cette nouveauté et le public, fasciné par ces superbes œuvres venues du fond des temps ne s’est pas lassé et à suivi fidèlement ces nouvelles découvertes.

Pour rappel, les premières traces des Sibylles remontent à la fin du VIè siècle avant JC. Êtres semi-divins, elles sont capables de prédire les événements futurs et possèdent des pouvoir divinatoires. Les premiers chrétiens ont récupéré ce mythe comme oracle de la seconde venue du Christ pour le jugement dernier et la fin du monde. Cet élément mythologique va perdurer dans l’histoire jusqu’au Moyen-Age et même à la Renaissance. A l’origine en version latine, les Sibylle étaient chantées par un jeune garçon déguisé en femme durant les Matines de Noël ou pendant la Semaine Sainte, en France, Italie et surtout dans la péninsule ibérique à partir du Xè siècle. Au cours du temps, des éléments musicaux de la tradition populaire vont s’intégrer aux versions originales sobres et profondes et à partir du XIIIè siècle, les Sibylle vont se célébrer en langue populaire. Elle tombèrent toutefois en désuétude au XVIIIè siècle, bien que la tradition continue encore aujourd’hui en certains endroits (notamment à Majorque) où les Sibylles sont encore chantées la nuit de Noël, avant la Messe de Minuit. 


 

Released in 1999, this is the third volume of “Songs of the Sibyls”, a series of recordings begun with Auvidis in 1988. It has won praise from the critics and the record-buying public, fascinated by these superb works from a long-distant past, have eagerly awaited each new discovery.


The origins of the Songs of the Sibyls date back to the 6th century BC. Semi-divine beings, their oracular powers enabled them to predict the future. The myth of the sibyl was appropriated by the early Christians to prophesy the second coming of Christ, heralding the last judgment and the end of the world. This mythological element survived as late as the Middle Ages and even the Renaissance. Originally sung in Latin, the Songs of the Sibyls were traditionally performed by a young boy disguised as a woman during Matins on Christmas Day or during Holy Week in France, Italy and especially the Iberian Peninsula from the 10th century. Over time, traditional elements of popular music were added to the profoundly austere original versions and from the 13th century, the Sibyls were sung in the vernacular. They fell into disuse in the 18th century, although the tradition is still alive in certain areas (particularly Majorca, where the Songs of the Sibyl are still sung before Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve).


 

 

 


 

Gramophone- 
11/1999



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- Texte intégral anglais
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AnalysteMary Berry

Condensé (traduction libre):

Mary Berry se contente d'une seule phrase fort laconique pour apprécier ce disque: "The singing of the stanzas is dramatic and the use of instruments discreet."
Son article fait surtout référence aux sources utilisées pour la reconstitution de ces chants de la Sibylle. Celui de la Sibylle majorquine provient d'une version en catalan du Livre de choeur du Couvent de la Conception, à Palma (île de Majorque). Celui de la Sibylle valencienne est basé sur l'harmonisation à quatre voix du refrain effectuée par Bartolomé Cárceres au milieu du 16e siècle. 
L'auteur mentionne que la Procession des Prophètes a longtemps fait partie de la liturgie de Noël. Le chant de la Sibylle, tout spécifiquement à Valence, était interprété par un enfant de choeur déguisé en femme ou dans les monastères, par une jeune nonne. Ce personnage était le dernier de la Procession des Prophètes à défiler devant les fidèles. Le tout se déroulait dans le cadre des matines de Noël.
 


Reviewer: Mary Berry
Abridged Text:

"Who has not heard with some curiosity that fleeting reference to the Sibyl at the beginning of the Dies irae in the Requiem Mass: ‘Dies irae, dies illa ... teste David cum Sibylla’? Yet, just as the Procession of the Prophets used to be a familiar feature of the Christmas liturgy all over Europe, so the Song of the Sibyl was formerly sung with great solemnity, in some of the great Spanish cathedrals and monasteries. A boy chorister or a young novice performed the part during the Office of Christmas Matins. Indeed, it can still be heard today in Majorca, on Christmas Eve, in the cathedral of Palma and elsewhere. This recording presents in parallel two versions of the Cantus Sibille , one taken from the Catalan version found in a fifteenth-century choirbook from the Convento de la Concepcion in Palma, the other, a reconstruction based on a four-part, harmonized version of the refrain from the mid-sixteenth century Bartolome Carceres, the text and the music of the stanzas culled from various Catalan sources". 

Diapason- # 459
05/1999


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Analyste:
Roger Tellart
Résumé ou abrégé: 

Roger Tellart, décerne un Diapason d'Or à cet enregistrement des chants de la Sibylle et pour cause.

En regard du chant de la Sibylle majorquine, tel que rendu par Montserrat Figueras, Tellart écrit: que celle-ci "... libère son chant sur les tenues mystiques de la lira  de Jordi Savall: un chant qui tourne au message magique, tellurique..."
Quant au choeur de la Capella Reial de Catalunya, "... il s'abîme dans une attitude dévotionnelle d'une incroyable intensité",

Par ailleurs, Tellart perçoit le chant de la Sibylle valencienne comme étant plus "policé". Mais il ajoute que " ... la vision d'éternité de l'oracle, partagée une fois encore entre les solos habités de Montserrat Figueras.... se révèle tout aussi captivante et prenante".

En somme, cet enregistrement nous convie à "... d'obsédants moments d'adoration et de musique arrachés à la nuit des temps par des interprètes à l'intuition sans pareille".


Reviewer: Roger Tellart
Abridged version :


This recording gets the highest note from Roger Tellart. 

With regards to the song of the Majorcan Sibyl, interpreted by Montserat Figueras, Tellart writes that "... she performs her song, along with the mystical accompaniement of Jordi Savall's lyra; a song which delivers a magical message, of an earthshaking nature...".
The choir of the Capella Reial de Catalunya "...abandon's itself in a devotional attitude of an unbelievable intensity".

On the other hand, Tellart's perception of the song of the Valencian Sibyl is that it is more "restrained". But he adds that "... the vision of eternity of the oracle, once again expressed through the intimate solos of Montserrat Figueras.... appears just as captivating and encompassing. This recording provides "... sublime moments of adoration, through a music  that is brought back to life from long gone ages by musicians whose intuition is without comparison"
 

Classica # 14
(07/08-1999)



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Note: 5

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Analyste: Stéphan Perreau
Résumé ou abrégé: 

Nouvelle pierre de taille à une désormais célèbre trilogie sibyllesque , voici deux autres Sibylles, La Mallorquina et La Valenciana, savamment reconstituées par Jordi Savall et la musicologue Maricarmen Gomez, interprétées enfin par l'unique interprète que l'on souhaite entendre dans ce genre particulier: Montserrat Figueras. Avant d'écouter un jour l'aragonaise et la provençale, La Mallorquina s'appuie sur des traces manuscrites du Monastère des nonnes de la Conceptio de Palma de Mallorca. Une certaine transcendance vocale se lit sur la ligne de chant de Montserat Figueras qui, dans le Del cel gran foc devallarà , sur un cantus  de cordes faisant écho dans le lointain, s'épanouit sur une belle octave de fa  et des frottements harmoniques particulièrement subtils. Faisant écho à ces douces lignes, le choeur de femmes et de contre-ténors plane au dessus d'un recueillement quasi spirituel. Le travail de reconstitution, plus poussé dans La Valenciana, emprunte à la Catalogne la grandeur de ses fanfares et la noblesse des harmonisations de Carceres et Alonso. Écoutez ce Gloria tibi Domine  dans lequel les voix masculines aigues sont reines ! Un disque qui confirme le talent de Figueras et Savall, mais auquel nous continuons de préférer le premier volume.
(Astrée E 8705 - réédité par Alia Vox - AVSA9879)
 


 

 

Reviewer: Barry S. Dalkin
Full text:

The first thing that strikes one about this album is the absolutely beautiful digipak presentation. Someone at AliaVox has clearly thought about this as an entire package, and the result is like a lovingly presented miniature gatefold, complete with a thick (48 page - 5 in English, plus libretto and photos) booklet which can be accessed without having to risk destruction by removing it from a conventional jewel-box.

It would seem an introduction is in order, an issue which the notes by Maricarmen Gómez address only in passing, presumably because to a Spanish audience little introduction to the concept of this music is necessary. However, it appears that the Song of the Sibyl is the song of the Last Judgement, more of a genre than one particular song, developed anonymously, and which in Mediterranean countries dates back at least to the middle ages. The song, which appeared in many variations in different cultures, was regularly performed in cathedrals, used in processions, and was often a feature of Christ Mass day matins. The two versions on this release date from the mid-16th century, from the decades around the time when the song was suppressed in the aftermath of the Council of Trent in 1563, a result of "problems arising from the performances of the Sibyl, which are offensive to our Lord". According to the title the album spans 1400-1560, presumably because the music developed over this period, though some material dates from slightly later still. The ban was intermittently upheld, until performances were reinstated in the cathedral at Palma in 1692, where they continue there to this day. For various complex reasons some degree of reconstruction of this anonymous music been inevitable, such that the songs here should perhaps been taken as imaginative interpretations of the past, rather than strictly accurate historical re-creations.

The texts recount from different perspectives presumably Sibylline prophecy of what is expected to transpire on the day of Christ's Judgement of Mankind, the Mallorcan version concentrating with some relish on fiery torment and terror, the Valencian text looking towards the resurrection of the faithful and the 'deeds both good and ill of men…'

And what of the music? There are two substantial works. Sibil - La Mallorquina - Monastère des nonnes de La Concepció Palma de Mallorca, and Sibil - La Valenciana - Cathédrale de València, the first lasting almost 37 minutes, the second exactly 24 minutes. This is portentous music, not in any modern pejorative sense, but as in music laden with expectation, resolute in a solemn majesty. This is not classical music as later centuries would come to understand, but a music naturally arising from a mediaeval world-view of an unchanging, preordained universe which could only be resolved in the Last Judgement. As such this is absolute music, allowing no doubt or uncertainty, and therefore as confident, as implacable and timeless as the vast cathedrals in which it was performed. And there really is a sense of timelessness, for the slow, stately tempos barely vary, creating a sense of a world outside time, above and beyond our fragile reality. This is a fatalistic vision, not as in any 20th century nihilism, but arising from a certainty that the only sensible solution to life is to accept the inevitable. With an acceptance beyond joy or sorrow, this music becomes an almost purely architectural statement of belief, as beautiful and intimidating as the stone carvings and stained glass windows of a medieval cathedral. All is dominated by the extraordinarily rich and powerful voice of Montserrat Figueras, and yet the arrangements contain great musical-dramatic force in the almost celestially detached application of choir, bells, strings, trumpets and percussion to establish what just might be the most haunting apocalyptic sound you will ever hear. There is a still purity utterly alien to our time, yet this is a strangely thrilling, even exhilarating recording, for the music also has an intense drama so unfamiliar that although old, it feels very new. The ancient songs are filled with gravitas and wonder, and Figueras has the vocal clarity and projection, coupled with beauty of tone and shear passion, to send shivers down the spine. This is a recording which really does touch on that indefinable edge where musical expression becomes something transcendent and luminous.



23:1 (09-10/1999)

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Reviewer: Martin Anderson
Full text:
 

The prophecies of the Sibyl are familiar, of course, from ancient Rome, where it was big business; it is less generally known that the early Christian church reestablished Sibylline prophesy as a religious-poetic topos for the second coming of Christ, and a tradition began to evolve, part of a number of quasidramatic representations of Christian mythology. In 1988, Montserrat Figueras and her husband Jordi Savall released a disc of three Songs of the Sibyl (E 8705) on Auvidis Astrée, the label they then frequented. In the Sibylline chants on that disc they chose to show something of the development of the genre over several centuries: a Latin sibilla, another from Provence, and a third from Catalonia. The consistent features were a declamatory female voice and choral refrain over an instrumental texture, usually of viols, all using melodic material limited to a few intervals, presented over a drone. That disc had an enormous success, particularly in France where Jordi Savall has a much wider popular following than in the English-speaking countries (and that was before the release of the film Tous les matins du monde in 1991). It appealed to the same nonspecialist listener who clutches Hildegard of Bingen to his--and often her--chest. The reason is not hard to find. Everyone likes a ritual, everyone enjoys being let into some secret, and these sibylline sequences and their hieratic ceremony fit the bill perfectly. But it still wouldn't have worked if it hadn't been for another consistent feature--the music is severely, breathtakingly beautiful. I heard it first on a radio broadcast and was transfixed by its loveliness.

That's the formula (for it was a formula) that Savall and Figueras have returned to, now on their own label, Alia Vox ("A Different Voice"), with a disc of two further Songs of the Sibyl, from Majorca and Valencia. The earliest record of the Majorcan Sibyl dates from the mid-15th century although, of course, the tradition goes far further back--and continues: Majorcans still hear it before midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. The Valencian sibyl is a reconstruction of an original from the mid-16th century. Savall and Figueras do the Majorcan Sibyl "straight": voice, answering chorus of women and countertenors, and minimal (lyre-based) accompaniment. The Valencian sibyl gets rather more grandiose and dramatic treatment: SATB chorus, lute and organ continuo, and an orchestra that includes viols, sackbuts, and drums. The keyword for both realizations is nonetheless the same: restraint. Nothing is overplayed, and the presentation is kept as plain as possible, providing the perfect setting for the unearthly purity of Montserrat Figueras's voice. This disc deserves all the success of its predecessor: It has the same timeless beauty, the same unsentimental dignity. Performance and sound are perfection itself. Deeply informative notes from Mariacarmen Gómez. Elegant presentation--in a folder, not a jewelcase. Urgently recommended.

 

Goldberg- # 8
(08-1999)

 

 

Appréciation 



Evaluation

Goldberg a cessé de publier avec le # 54
~~~~~~
Goldberg is no longer available.
# 54 was the last issue.


Analyste: Jerome F. Weber
Texte intégral

Cet article fait relativement peu référence au présent enregistrement si ce n'est qu'il le présente comme le troisième d'une série de disques consacrés aux chants de la Sybille par Montserrat Figueras.

"Il s'agit du troisième enregistrement des chants de la Sybille par ces interprètes. Le chant latin original chanté durant les Matines de Noël (avant la Messe de Minuit), a déjà été enregistré plusieurs fois, mais jamais de façon aussi fascinante que chez Astrée E 8705 (maintenant Fontalis ES8705). Ce disque comprenait aussi des versions en provençal et en catalan, cette dernière de Barcelone. Le deuxième disque comprenait une version en galicien trouvée dans les Cantigas de Santa Maria, et une version en castillan de Silos (Fontalis ES 9900)*. Ce troisième disque offre des versions en catalan de Majorque et de Valence. La version de Valence a demandé un travail de restaurations beaucoup plus important qu'aucune des autres versions."

"On fait maintenant remonter au haut Moyen Âge la tradition d'interpréter cette annexe à l'Office des Matines. Bien que cette pratique d'insérer le chant dans le service religieux ait été largement stoppée après le Concile de Trente, elle survécut dans quelques endroits. Si l'idée d'une prophétie de la naissance du Messie venant d'une Sybille païenne a toujours été imaginaire, elle a exercé une fascination particulière sur les croyants au long des siècles. Même l'attribution d'un commentaire à Saint-Augustin n'avait pas de base sérieuse, mais elle permit son insertion dans une lecture des Matines provenant de cette source."

"L'interprétation que fait Montserrat Figueras de la version originale en latin dans son premier disque est une pièce indispensable pour toute collection médiévale. Tous ceux qui l'admirent voudront écouter les autres versions traditionnelles qu'elle a enregistrées depuis ce premier disque. L'exécution vocale et instrumentale est magnifique."


* : Réédité depuis - Naïve 9942


Reviewer:  Jerome F. Weber
Full text:

The reviewwer has little to say about this recording. Most of his commentaries deal with the two previous recordings by Montserrat Figueras of other Songs of the Sybil.

"This is the third disc of Sibylline chants to be recorded by these performers. The original Latin chant, sung during Matins of Christmas (before Midnight Mass), has been recorded several times, but never so hauntingly as on Astrée 8705 (now Fontalis ES 8705). That disc also included vernacular versions in Provençale and Catalan, the last from Barcelone. The second disc included a Galician version found in the Cantigas de Santa Mara and a Castilian version from Silos (Fontalis ES 9900)*. Now this disc offers Catalan versions from Mallorca and Valencia. The Valencia version has required much more restoration than any other versions."

"The tradition of performing this addition to the Office of Matins can now be traced from the early medieval times. Although the practice of inserting this chant into the service was largely stopped after the Council of Trent, it has survived in a few places. While the notion of a prophecy of the birth of the Messiah coming from a pagan Sibyl was always fanciful, it held a particular fascination for the faithful down through the centuries. Even the attribution of a commentary to St. Augustine was not well founded, but that allowed its insertion into a Matins reading from that source."

"Montserrat Figueras' performance of the original Latin version on her first disc is an indispensable part of any medieval collection. Those who admire it will want to hear the subsequent traditional versions that she has recorded since the first disc. The singing and playing are beautiful."



 * Reissued by : Naïve 9942


From BBC Music Magazine Archives



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Reviewer: Anthony Pryer

Various versions of The Song of the Sibyl survive from the medieval period - many of them in Spanish sources. The text first turns up in St Augustine's City of God and tells of the coming of Christ and the Day of Judgment. It was usually sung during the church service of Matins on Christmas Day. Jordi Savall has already recorded versions from Barcelona (Astrée label, 1988) and Toledo (Fontalis, 1996), and here he gives us those from Majorca and Valencia.

The surviving music for these items is actually rather limited with a one melody for the chorus and another to be repeated for all of the verses. In the case of the Valèncian source, though, the chorus melody is embellished with polyphony. The interpretation of the Majorcan version is the least interesting: it is pleasant and atmospheric but ambles in a dramatically weak and meaningless way through the (apocalyptic) text. In the Valèncian version Monserrat Figueras' vocal maturity and finesse put the pale and unschooled rival attempt by Serendipity on the Mosaic label (reviewed February 1999) in the shade. But the only recording of the Sibyl's song to capture the sheer theatre of the text is the marvellous 1995 performance of the Barcelona version by Obsidienne on the Opus 111 label which alone manages to combine the tingle factor with the terror factor.
 

La musique / The music

SIBIL-LA MALLORQUINA

SIBIL-LA VALENCIANA

 1. Un rey vendrà perpetual
 2. Ans del Judici tot anant
 3. Aprés se badarà molt for
 4. Del cel gran foc devallarà
 5. Llos puygs e.ls plans
 6. Hanc hom non féu res
 7. Ladonchs no haurà hom talent
 8. Del morir serà tot lur talens
 9. Cascun cos s'alma cobrarà
10. Los infants qui nats no serant
11. E dirà cascú axí
12. Déus dexendrà del celsa ius
13. So és aquest que nos panges
14. Déus dirà aycels dulcement
15. Fanfares
16. Gloria tibi domine
17. Al jorn del judici
18. D'una Verge naixerà
19. Mostrar-s'han quinze senyals
20. D'alt dels cels devallara
21. Portarà cascú escrit
22. Als bons darà goig etern
23. Mare de Déu pregau per nos
24. Vosaltyres tots que escoltau
25. Fanfares


 

  Le Chant de la Sibylle
par Maricarmen Gómez

texte paru dans


Goldberg # 12 (08/200)

ENTREVUE
bullet

MONTSERRAT FIGUERAS: "Les visages de la Sibylle"
Propos recueillis par Noël Godts (05/09/2006)

 

 

 
Autres références disponibles via la base de données de Todd McComb/ Other available references  via Todd McComb's database:
(Site: http://www.medieval.org)
Re: AV9806

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