Sacra Terra – Medieval Vocal Music

There is always a first time for everything, and listening to medieval vocal music live was definitely a first for me.  

I hope you enjoy the following short video clips from the evening of Middle East Flavour and Sound at Beit Zatoun House in Downtown Toronto, please feel free to comment.

Maryam Tollar

Shameema Soni

Alejandra Nunez

Andrea Kuzmich

Je Muir d’amourete – Adam de la Halle (1245’ish – 1285-88, or after 1306)

Adam de la Halle was a trouvere, poet and musician whose “chansons” and “jeux-partis” (poetic debates) are written in the style of the trouveres, polyphonic rondel and motets.

Sung in old French, English translation:

“I’m dying, I’m dying of love.  Alas!  Poor Me!”

Belle Qui Tiens Ma Vie – Thoinot Arbeau (pen name) born Jehan Tabourot (1519 – 1595)

Tabourot was a French cleric, theoretician and historian of the dance.

Sung in Middle French, English translation:

“Beautiful one who holds my life”.


Sequentia de sancto Maximino-Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 1179)

Hildegard of Bingen was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary and polymath; considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany .

Sung in Medieval Latin, English translation:

“The continuation of St. Maximin”.

Angelica Bilta-Francesco Landini (ca. 1325 or 1335 – 1397)

Francesco Landini was an Italian composer, organist, singer, poet and instrument maker famous during the Trecento period (pronounced trechento), Italian for 300, referring to the 14th century in Italian cultural history; considered the most revered composer of the second half of the 14th century in Italy.

Sung in Middle Italian, English translation:

“Angelic beauty has arrived on earth”.

Cantigas de Santa Maria, A madre de Jhesu Cristo – attributed to King Alfonso X EI Sabio (1221 – 1284)

The Cantigas are 420 poems with musical notation.  The authors are unknown, although studies suggest that Galician poet Airas Nunes might have been one of the authors, in addition to King Alfonso X.

Sung in Galician-Portuguese, a lyrical language in Castile at the time, English translation:

“A mother of Jesus Christ”.

Nos sumus in mundo (from Canti di Santa lldegarda) – Carlotta Ferrari (1975 – current), Librettist-Hildegard von Bingen 

Carlotta Ferrari is an Italian composer, currently Associate Professor of Composition at Hebei Normal University in China.

Sung in Latin, English translation:

“We are in the world”.


6 thoughts on “Sacra Terra – Medieval Vocal Music

  1. nzainabshah

    Very different but somewhat calming and peaceful. Thank you for the title translations and stating the languages. Interesting too hear different languages in song.

    Liked by 1 person

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