Forum Musicum
Hystorigraphi aciem mentis by Mikołaj of Radom
25.08
Sun.
1:00 PM
NFM, Chamber Hall
Programme:

Hystorigraphi aciem mentis by Mikołaj of Radom - an Unusual Medieval Political Manifesto

Performers:

Ars Cantus
Tomasz Dobrzański – host, recorder, citole, artistic direction of Ars Cantus  
Radosław Pachołek – voice
Maciej Gocman – voice
Piotr Karpeta – voice
Agnieszka Obst-Chwała – fiddle, rebec
Ewa Prawucka – chest organ

Venue:
NFM, Chamber Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Pricelists:
from 10 to 20 zł
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Non-refundable tickets

Although the birth of a royal descendant in Jagiellonian Poland, which was a de jure elective monarchy, did not have as much significance as in countries that were full-fledged hereditary monarchies, it undoubtedly constituted an occasion for celebration for the court. From the perspective of political history, the birth of Władysław Jagiełło’s second son, Casimir, was not a momentous event – the boy soon died, and his two brothers eventually sat on the Polish throne. However, from the point of view of cultural history, the birth of the prince is associated with an episode that cannot be overstated, because it was commemorated with the panegyric Hystorigraphi aciom written to the music of Mikołaj of Radom. A concert combined with a lecture by the Ars Cantus ensemble will be dedicated to him at the Forum Musicum.

Regardless of the sad fate of little Casimir, the ballad attributed to Mikołaj of Radom with the text Hystorigraphi aciem has become one of the canonical works of Polish medieval music. It is a three-voice vocal-instrumental piece divided into three parts. In the context of European music from the first half of the 15th century, the work belongs to the most avant-garde trend, stylistically being close to the music of Guillaume Dufay. The verbal text of Hystorigraphi aciem was probably written either by bishop Stanisław Ciołek, the royal vice-chancellor, or by Mikołaj of Błonie, a lecturer at the Krakow Academy, known as Pszczółka. The text was set to the piece by Mikołaj of Radom somewhat unnaturally and clearly contrary to the original form of the composition. This allows us to hypothesise that in the preserved version the work is a contrafactum, if not of a composition by Mikołaj of Radom, then perhaps of a French ballad. Overlaying foreign texts on works originally written with different words was a common practice in the 15th century.

The famous musical panegyric is preserved in the form of a black mensural notation, placed in an equally famous manuscript known under its former signature of “Kras 52”. In itself, this document is the most valuable monument of Polish musical culture dating from the times before Chopin. By a miraculous twist of fate, the manuscript survived World War II – in fact, it was most likely taken away from Warsaw by the Germans. Paradoxically, this allowed it to survive, because the Krasiński Library, where it was previously kept, was later deliberately set on fire by the occupiers during the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, the volume was found by members of the Polish Restitution Commission in Munich. Because of this it was possible to bring it back to the country, and it is now kept as a cultural treasure in a fireproof safe in the National Library in Warsaw.

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NFM Video Panel - obsługa komponentu Event

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