Königreich des Himmels
Heinrich Laufenberg lived from about 1390 to 1460 in the Swiss region of Aargau, in Southern Germany and in Alsace. During is lifetime he composed a large body of songs and religious prose.
Artists: Jane Achtman (vielle, bells), Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett (voice, harp, symphonia), Marc Lewon (voice, plectrum lute, vielle)
Guest Artists: Hanna Marti (voice, symphonia), Elizabeth Rumsey (vielle)
Most of his work was preserved for posterity in one specific manuscript in the Strasbourg library, which was destroyed in a fire in 1870. Luckily a partial transcript of this manuscript was made before the fire, so that some of Laufenbergs work has survived to this day.
Laufenbergs surviving songs are of great interest both musically and textually. In one song Laufenberg praises Mary mother of god in artful poetry, in a lullaby he ask Jesus to protect a sleeping babe, in a third song he describe heaven’s kingdom in colourful detail.
The program „Königreich des Himmels – the kingdom of heaven“ presents songs that have not been heard for the past 500 years. Laufenbergs lyric songs are framed by virtuosic instrumental music of is time. The program paints a detailed and colourful picture of the late medieval era, brought to life by the ensemble Dragma with authenticity, verve and sensuality.
Ord. no.: RAM 1402, total recording time: 77:31, published by Ramee
Song of Beasts
Fantastic creatures in medieval song
Ballate and Madrigali by Johannes Ciconia, Francesco Landini, Guillaume de Machaut, Jacopo da Bologna, Paolo da Firenze, Giovanni da Firenze, Donato da Firenze and others
Artists: Jane Achtman (vielle), Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett (voice and harp), Marc Lewon (voice, medieval lute, vielle)
Medieval interest in animals and mythical creatures was not limited to the visual arts and literature. At the same time that bestiaries — manuscripts depicting animals and mythical creatures — were being compiled, composers were producing a wealth of pieces that portrayed these same beasts from a musical point of view. Song of Beasts combines medieval iconography with texts and music, immersing a modern audience in a fascinating world of verbal, visual and aural imagery. Ensemble Dragma presents a multifaceted, moving and profound depiction of these bestiaries that allows us a glimpse into the long-forgotten medieval mind. There are depictions of animals both mythical and real, including the panther, the viper, the phoenix and the basilisk. These pieces by well-known and less familiar composers are musical jewels, combining artful poetry with engaging melody.
Order no.: RAM 1901, CD and film, total recording time: 52:08, published by Ramee