Septem dies: Seven Days with Music at Prague University (1360-1460)

Schola Gregoriana Pragensis, Corina Marti
Supraphon SU 4282-2

In their efforts to provide a snapshot of the complete musical lives of students at Prague University in the century from 1360-1460, Corina Marti and the Schola Gregoriana have drawn on the work of a number of musicologists on the University’s considerable collection of musical manuscripts to provide sacred and secular monophony and polyphony for this varied and beautifully executed programme. The singing is wonderfully idiomatic, the singers sounding equally at home in plainchant and polyphony, while Marti provides instrumental interludes and accompaniments on the clavisimbalum. In this way, liturgical music relevant to the seven-day round of religious services is punctuated by student songs and instrumental pieces of the sort they would have played for entertainment. A lavish book of background information provides an intriguing context for the music, and the whole package is a testimony to the very fruitful interaction of scholars and performers. Much of the music here has been freshly transcribed and is receiving its first performance in modern times. The whole team behind this admirable and vivid recording, made in the generous acoustic of the Basilica of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in Milevsko, has more than achieved its stated aim of representing the musical landscape that would have confronted a student at Prague University in the 14th and 15th centuries.

D. James Ross

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