Schola Hungarica - Das Gansebuch (The Geese Book)

Published Thursday 30th June 2005
Schola Hungarica - Das Gansebuch (The Geese Book)
Schola Hungarica - Das Gansebuch (The Geese Book)

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Naxos Early Music 8557412
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

The 'Geese Book' is the closest any of us will get to a time machine as it can take us on a fascinating journey back to the past. The book itself has 1120 pages and preserves the music of one of the most prominent city parish churches in the Holy Roman Empire. Along with the music the book has many detailed illuminations, often including narrative scenes where animals act as people, particularly musicians. Thus we get the popular name of the 'Geese Book' from an illumination of the Feast Of The Ascension showing a choir of geese directed by a wolf dressed as a cantor. The book is now in New York but much can be viewed by visiting . The CD presents selected chants from feast days of particular significance to the church of St Lorenz and to the city of Nuremberg, interspersed by some delightful organ music by South German and Nuremberg composers, played by Matthias Ank. The closing track segues into the sound of the bells of St Lorenz, a wonderfully evocative moment. Much of the music has never before been recorded and anyone with an interest in history or in early music will enjoy this release.

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