Mya Senhor Velida

Lais from France and Cantigas de Santa María by King Affonso X

            Malandança performs in Mya Senhor Velida a series of Marian compositions from  12th and 13th centuries. Both, “cantigas” and “lais”, composed in the two main centers of medieval lyric poetry, Galicia and France, share the new idea that arises in troubadour poetry: the courtly love; love that embraces the profane and the divine, carnal and mystical. If in the carnal way there is a high lady who causes the poet suffering, in the mystical, the even higher Virgin Mary is exalted.

            We perform two “lais” from French lyric, long sung compositions, composed by stanzas with verses of variable meter, whose literary part can be narrative or lyrical. The musical matter, also organized by different stanzas, maintains a thematic relationship throughout the whole “lai”.

            Recordare is an antiphon for the Offertory, sung at the Maria Mediatrix feast. This role of mediatrix is, to medieval eyes, the main function of Virgin Mary; the intercession and defense of humans, trying to apology for their weaknesses.

            In the same way, the “cantiga” of Alfonso X Nenbressete, Madre de Deus was composed as a “contrafacta” of Recordare, making a translation to Galician language, expanding the song with new musical and poetic concepts.

            Ernoul "Le vieux" or "Le Vielle", troubadour of the end of s. XIII, is the composer of the Lai de Notre-Dame. This long work begins by manifesting his intention to serve no woman but the Virgin, a promise of fidelity that reminds us so much those of Alfonso X in his cantigas.

            The lai that opens this recording is the anonymous Plainte de la Vierge au Pied de la Croix, in which the Virgin Mary tells, in first person, a figurative lament at the foot of the cross. It is a dramatic, but not narrative “lai”, of almost theatrical expressiveness.Santa María loei, et loo e loarei, “cantiga” 200, "de loor" (of praise), is a “cantiga” where Alfonso X thanks the Virgin for all the kindness she has had with him, referring to events from his personal history, such as the very fact of being king of a "bõa terra" (a good country), and the help she gave him during the painful diseases he suffered, and her defense against the conspirators

            In “cantiga” 340 Virge, Madre Groriosa we find the fundamental relationship between the Galician and French troba: the "Wise King" recreates and makes a version of Reis Glorios a “estampie” of Giraut de Bornelh, preserving  the poetic theme of the ”alvada".


María Giménez: voice, organistrum

Xurxo Varela: voz (Recordare), five strings vyola

Tin Novio: citole

Manuel Vilas: romanesque harp

César Árias: lute with skin belly

Francisco Luengo: vyolón, organistrum.

Conductor: Francisco Luengo

Francisco Luengo. Musician & luthier

Brilliant Classics