El cant de la Sibil.la and Draumkvedet:
mystical songs between the visible and the invisible, the great ancient mystery chants of Spain and Norway.
The Hirundo Maris ensemble presents an immersive experience into the enigmatic chants of the Middle Ages, from Spain’s El cant de la Sibil.la to Norway’s Draumkvedet. Both convey profound, apocalyptic visions of the world’s end and the dawn of a new era, traditionally sung on Christmas night.
El cant de la Sibil.la, from the 13th century, is an ode to the apocalypse and the promise of a renewed world. This chant centers on the Sibyl, a prophetic figure in classical Greece and later in Christianity. This program features two variants of the Sibyl: one from Barcelona, penned in 1415, and another from Girona, documented in 1550 but likely sung earlier. Recognized as world heritage in 2010, these renditions carry characteristic polyphonic choruses of great beauty, integrating melodies from the 16th century.
Draumkvedet, translated as “The Dream Poem,” is a Norwegian medieval ballad that encapsulates a dreamlike journey to the afterlife. To preserve its essence, Hirundo Maris selected 52 verses paired with four traditional folk melodies. New choral and instrumental compositions are courtesy of Petter Udland Johansen. His work intertwines tradition with innovation, crafting an auditory experience that bridges the ancient and the contemporary.
This musical journey pays homage to medieval cultures of Spain and Norway.
Special thanks go to L’ensemble vocal de Saint-Maurice, led by conductor Charles Barbier, whose collaboration enriched the March 18th, 2023 premiere. Furthermore, we’re indebted to musicologist Maricarmen Gómez Muntané, a Sibyl song specialist, for her invaluable insights.
Conceived by Hirundo Maris, this program evokes the mysteries of winter, blurring the boundaries between the seen and unseen.