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Discography

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The 4 Holy Patrons of Maastricht (2011)

The 4 Holy Patrons of Maastricht
CD: The 4 Holy Patrons of Maastricht

Schola Maastricht conducted by Hans Heykers
Orchestra Musica Eyckensis conducted by Jeroen Beckers

Listen to this CD via concertzender.nl.

Liturgical plays in the Euregion (2005)

Liturgical plays in the Euregion
CD: Liturgical plays in the Euregion

Schola Maastricht conducted by Hans Heykers

On this CD the Schola Maastricht performs two liturgical plays from the late Middle Ages in concert form. It is drama based on texts from the Gospel which formed the heart of a religious high feast. For the common people, who did not understand Latin, these plays held a great attraction. Click on the image to view the back cover.

A. The Maastricht Easter Mystery

This play was performed annually on Easter Sunday in the Cathedral of Our Lady and was discovered by Jos Smits van Waesberghe in the Royal Library in The Hague. On this CD the play is surrounded with some highlights from the Easter Liturgy.

B. The Munsterbilzen play of Herod

Not far from Maastricht is Munsterbilzen. In this town another liturgical feast, i.e. Christmas, inspired the expansion of the liturgy. In this play Herod's part is of remarkable importance. The play tells the story of the journey of the Magi via Herod to the manger. Many dramatical elements are added to the original text. Some fine chants from the liturgy of the feast of Epiphany have been added to this part of the CD as well.

Listen to extracts from the CD:

Saints from the Euregion (Lambert, Charlemagne and Servatius) (2000)

Saints from the Euregion (Lambert, Charlemagne and Servatius)
CD: Saints from the Euregion
(Lambert, Charlemagne and Servatius)

Schola Maastricht conducted by Hans Leenders

Click on the image to view the back cover. This new CD titled "Heiligen uit de Euregio" by the Schola Maastricht with gregorian chant from its home region (Euregion Meuse-Rhin), contains sixteen gregorian chants (responsories, antiphons and hymns), written and composed for liturgical commemoration of the local saints Lambert (Liege), the emperor Charlemagne (Aachen) and Servatius (Maastricht). The CD's booklet contains the full texts of the chants with translations in Dutch, French and German. The compositions have not been recorded on CD before.

On this CD the oldest music from the "Land without borders", the Maastricht-Liege-Aachen region can be heard. The chants in honour of Saint Lambert and Saint Servatius date back to the 10th century and the chants in honour of Charlemagne date from the 13th century.

Four responsories from the Office of Saint Lambert which are exemplary for the entire piece were chosen. The texts of these chants are poetical. They are among the earliest examples of Offices in rhyme. The development of the music where the text is repeated is interesting; this extensive coda creates the impression that the singers were allowed to improvise here. The part devoted to Servatius starts with a sequence telling the saint's life. Next on the CD are a series of 6 antiphons which form part of the Lauds of the feast of Saint Servatius. The style of the chants from the Office of Charlemagne differs materially from the other two. The evolution of two ages of musical culture is evident even to non-specialists. Offices in rhyme had become generally accepted in the 13th century. Broad musical lines and unusual leaps add a lyric dimension to the brief texts.

Listen to extracts from the CD:

Medieval Vespers of Saint Servatias in Maastricht (sold out) (1996)

Medieval Vespers of Saint Servatias in Maastricht
CD: Medieval Vespers of Saint Servatias in Maastricht

Schola Maastricht conducted by Alphons Kurris 1996 -sold out-. Click on the image to view the back cover.

During the period of French rule, after 1794, the greater part of the archives and library of the Saint Servatius Church of Maastricht were destroyed. Today, the archives that were saved, remain at the Public Records Office of Limburg in Maastricht.

Luckily, some liturgical manuscripts from the Saint Servatius Church were saved. The Schola received them in a roundabout way, which makes research into medieval liturgy in Saint Servatius Church possible. It turned out to be possible to fully reconstruct the First Vespers of the high feast of Saint Servatius (13 May), i.e. not merely finding the order of service and the texts (which, as a rule, is not a big problem in liturgical historical research), but also the musical notation of all parts of the First Vespers, most of which are medieval handwritings. It turned out to be possible to sing the Servatius Vespers, in the end.

Although the Saint Servatius Office was compiled in the tenth century, the five antiphons, sung in conjuction with the psalms of the First Vespers may be even older. By means of musicological analysis it is possible to attempt a more accurate dating, based on style characteristics of the different parts: the five antiphons, sung in conjuction with the psalms of the First Vespers, were entirely composed in the style of the oldest propers of saint celebrations, e.g. Saint Martin and Saint Lawrence (presumably, they had been originally intended to be sung at Lauds). Therefore, it is not unlikely that they may be dated between 830 and 950, perhaps rather earlier than later in this period. The three responsories (one sung during the vespers and two as chants in processions), however, were composed in a "modern style", at least for the end of the tenth century. It is almost certain that these pieces can be dated between 950 and 1000 AD, which is also based on literary sources. The antiphon in the Magnificat A progenie is frequently used for several saints in the German speaking area; was it composed for Servatius or for another saint? It is safe to say that it will date from approximately the same period as the responsories. The hymn Audi precantis is devoted to Saint Servatius (also from the tenth century). The antiphon Christus resurgens, a celebration of the mystery of Easter, is common in manuscripts from all over Europe and dates back to the ninth century.

The vespers of the high feast of Saint Servatius were specifically compiled for this feast and they are very special indeed, as they are the oldest pieces of music that have been preserved in this area (Maastricht).

Listen to extracts from the CD: