Medieval Music & Plays

Statuit ei Dominus 
Old Roman Chant of introit for the Feast of St. Nicholas
Three Medieval St. Nicholas Carols
     Make ye merry, as ye may, Early English Carol
     Alle maydenis, for Godes grace, Early English Carol
     Sing today voices of the church, translated from 12th century Latin
Dominican Diurnal Propers for the Feast of St. Nicholas, Latin 
  • Miracula

    Medieval Music for Saint Nicholas
    Ensemble Peregrina Agnieszka Budzinska-Bennett
    TACET 213

    27 tracks with medieval music from the 12th to 15th centuries; voice, medieval harps, and vielle

  • Daar wordt aan de deur geklopt

    Hemony Ensemble

    Dutch Sint-Nicolaas music from the middle ages and the Dutch renaissance of the 16th and 17th centuries. The recording follows both the life of Nicholas and the development of song. 2-CD set with 34 songs.

    Purchase from Hemony CD

  • Legends of St. Nicholas

    Anonymous 4
    Harmonia Mundi CD 907232

    Outstanding recording of several legends, highly recommended

    Purchase from Harmonia Mundi

  • The Fleury Playbook: I, Four twelfth-century Saint Nicholas liturgical dramas

    Edited by Wyndham Thomas
    Antico Edition MCM4
    The four plays:
    Tres Filie (The Three Daughters)
    Tres Clerici (The Three Scholars)
    Iconia Sancti Nicholai (The Image of St Nicholas)
    Filius Getronis (The Son of Getron or the Golden Cup)

    Purchase from Antico Edition

  • Nicolaus: Ufficio Liturgico di San Nicola vesocovo di Myra

    Liturgical Office of St. Nicholas Bishop of Myra in the 13th century Bari Cathedral
    Ensemble Calixtinus
    Tactus CD 1000004

    Gregorian Chant
    Complete liturgical office of the saint

  • Ominus

    Anúna
    Anúna CD
    2003 Remastered and re-edited from 1995 and 1996 recordings

    Contains English mystic Godric’s (c. 1070-1170) very short St Nicholas. His three surviving songs are the earliest written in what has become the English language.

    St Nicholas, Godes druth timbray us faire scone hus
    At thee burthe at thee bare St Nicholas, bring us well thare

    St. Nicholas, God’s beloved, build us a wondrous place to dwell.
    At the time of birth, and at the time of death, St. Nicholas bring us safely there.

    Purchase from Anúna

  • Gregorian Chants from Medieval Hungary:
    Hungarian Saints

    Magyar Gregoriánum 5
    Schola Hungarica
    Hungaroton Classic HCD 12169

    Includes O Pastor aeteme, a two-part rundellus of St Nicholas, and Nicolai solemnia, a three-part Benedicamen of St Nicholas

    These two fine examples of 15th century Hungarian polyphony demonstrate Nicholas’ Hungarian popularity. Notes and text in English, French, German, and Hungarian.

  • La Nuit Saint Nicholas

    La Reverdie Cantori Gregoriani
    ARCANA CD 750

    Superb music of the traditional liturgical office

  • Les Miracles de Saint Nicolas

    Ensemble Venance Fortunat
    Harmonia Mundi ED 13013

    Two 12th century liturgical plays: The Spoiled Jew and the Three Scholars. Notes in French and English. Recording in French, excellent, rare

  • Les Miracles de Saint Nicolas

    Venance Fortunat
    L’empreinte digitale ED13153

    Two 12th century liturgical plays: The Spoiled Jew and the Three Scholars. Notes in French and English.

  • Summer Is Icumen In

    Medieval English Songs
    The Hilliard Ensemble
    Harmonia Mundi CD 19511154

    Includes St. Godric’s very short “Sainte Nicolas”

  • The Play of St. Nicholas:
    A 12th-Century Liturgical Drama

    New York Ensemble for Early Music
    Frederick Renz, Director, recorded in St. James Chapel,
    Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1981

    Musical Heritage Society CD 523742L set of 2 CDs

    Excellent recording of an authentic medieval play

  • The Play of St. Nicholas:
    A 12th Century Liturgical Drama

    New York Ensemble of Early Music
    recorded in Cathedral of St. John the Divine
    Musical Heritage Society MHS 824437 LP

    Excellent recording of an authentic medieval play, 2-record set of the above CDs

  • Plays of St. Nicholas

    Schola Hungarica
    Hungaroton CD 12887-88

    Superb recording of some legends in chant

  • The Solemn Mass Held in San Nicolò

    from “LO SPOSALIZIO: The Wedding of Venice to the Sea”
    Music by Giovanni & Andrea Gabrieli and Others
    Choir of the King’s Consort

    Hyperion CDA 67048

    From the 11th century, Venetians offered special prayers to San Nicolò, the patron saint of mariners, on Ascension Day. By the 16th and 17th centuries, this was a glorious day-long ceremony which began with a simple mass at the Basilica San Marco, moved through a water procession for the wedding of Venice to the Sea, and culminated with a Solemn Mass at the monastery church of San Nicolò at Lido.

  • Ludi Sancti Nicolai

    The Miracles of Saint Nicolaus
    Studio der Frühen Musik
    Ensemble Vocale Guillaume Dufay

    EMI Classics 7243 8 265009 2 8 (1978)

    Four miracles of Saint Nicholas were adopted for presentation as plays during the Middle Ages. Two, Three Daughters and The Icon of Saint Nicholas, are included here.

  • English Songs of the Middle Ages

    Saintë Nicholas, Godes druth
    Sequentia
    EMI CDC 7 49192 2 (1988)

    Three songs by Godric: Saintë viergeneë, Crist and Saintë Marië, and Saintë Nicholas, Godes druth

    St. Nicholas, God’s darling graciously prepare for us beautiful dwellings.
    By the merits of they birth, by the merits of thy bier,
    St. Nicholas, bring us safely there.

  • San Nicola di Bari

    Composer: Giovanni Bononcini, 1693
    Oratorio for four voices with concertino and groso
    Les Muffati

    Ramée RAM 0806 LC13839(2008)

    The oratorio treats one scene from Nicholas’ early life: the conversion of a fellow student. There are four characters, Nicholas, his mother and father, and the student. Near the end the student, Clizio, states, “If at so young an age you know how to cure the hurt of others’ souls, what will you do as the years pass? A mysterious voice foretells to me your works; and with accents of presage I hear it tell my heart that it will be your way to work wonders.” Text in English, German and French.

  • Klanken rond Sint Nicolaas

    Henk van Benthem
    Schola Cantorum Amsterdam
    Kemper Conseil Publishing

    Twelve Saint Nicholas songs, from ancient songs sung in church to modern well-known songs sung by school children.

    Congaudentes exultemus, the most popular sequence, from the middle ages is included.

Il Coro Vocilassù canta St. Nicholas by St. Godric, arranged Michael McGlynn
Live recording 18.12.2012 - St. Stefano - Reggio Emilia - Italy Dir. A. Saielli

St Nicholas, Godes druth
timbray us faire scone hus
At thee burthe at thee bare
St Nicholas, bring us well thare

St. Nicholas, God’s beloved,
build us a wondrous place to dwell.
At the time of birth, and at the time of death,
St. Nicholas bring us safely there.

Links
Congaudentes exsultemus: transcription
Listen to Congaudentes exsultemus, scroll down to click on “Congaudentes exsultemus”
Naufragantes visita/ Navigatrix inclita/ Aptatur a recently discovered rotulus in a Dorset manor house. They contain four motets, this one pleads both to St Nicholas, patron saint of sailors and to the Virgin Mary, star of the sea, to intercede as protectors and guides of seafarers. Further archival information, with image of the rotulus.

Book cover

Transcription and music file links from Sint-Nicolaasliederen by Henk van Benthem, Kemper Conseil Publishing, 2008.

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