Schola Cantorum Riga
Jānis Moors, Aigars Reinis, Jānis Kurševs, Dainis Geidmanis, Ansis Klucis, Kaspars Milaševičs, Mārtiņš Moors, Jānis Rožkalns
Riga Cathedral girls’ choir TIARA, choir master Aira Birziņa
Directed by Guntars Prānis
This recording is dedicated to the Gregorian chants that were sung at the Riga Cathedral in the Late Medieval period and are found in the Riga Missal (Missale Rigense), a manuscript dated to the 1460-1490s. The unique manuscript is the first written musical document in Latvian history, and it contains a Gregorian repertoire that differs in nuance from other local traditions at that time.
The Riga Missal contains two types of music material: traditional Proprium chants for masses intended for the dedication of churches (In Dedicatione Ecclesiae) and the musical marginalia materials containing 83 Ordinarium chant fragments that have not yet been fully studied. In addition to the above-mentioned chants, examples of other local Late Medieval Gregorian traditions are also included on the album
The goal of this album was to document and present to a broader audience the as yet little-known Medieval chants of the Riga Cathedral, with which written Latvian music history begins. But it was also just as important that the result be alive, expressive and let the manuscript’s message be revitalised. For this reason, the participants strived to both respect the experience gained from years of Medieval manuscript study and to combine it with their own musical feeling and certain elements based on the practice of interpreting oral Medieval music. The album also features the hurdy-gurdy, a well-known Medieval instrument that was used in monasteries to teach monks singing. This is our attempt to create something new, based on the heritage that has been left to us, and possibly also discover perspectives for the future.