A musical exploration of powerful ancient poetic texts, set by mediaeval English masters and complemented by present-day responses to their themes, Mary – Star of the Sea celebrates the biblical matriarch in her various guises and images that have grown up through eons of continuous fascination: celestial queen, guiding light, mediator, caring mother, virgin lover. ‘Out of the heavens a flaming band dropped, formed in a circle like a crown, that girdled and encompassed her’ – this vibrant imagery with its circling, soaring melodies of poetry describing the mythical qualities of Mary, and expressions of anguish and torment by the cross displaying her human side – ‘Son, how could I refrain from tears, I see those streams of blood run out of your heart to my feet’. Hear how the force of Marian lore transcends time and age, and how contemporary compositional skill combines with that force to unify the mediaeval and contemporary responses.
Music by John Dunstaple (c.1390-1453), his contemporaries and earlier, Joanne Metcalf (*1958), Andrew Smith (*1970)
Hear a Sample:
Alleluya psallat / Alleluya concinat – Virga Jesse
Stond wel, moder (Anon)
Pia mater salvatoris (Anon)
More samples on our Recordings page