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Hyperion Records

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The head of Christ by An anonymous 12th-century Spanish artist
Track(s) taken from CDA67039
Recording details: January 1998
Boxgrove Priory, Chichester, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: October 1998
Total duration: 5 minutes 32 seconds

'A truly fascinating compilation' (Gramophone)

'If you value excellence wherever it is to be found, then this disc, in its quiet way, is a piece of perfection' (Classic CD)

'Highly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

Jerusalem se plaint et li pais
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Crusade sermons, both in ‘market place and church’ promised indulgence to crusaders, the pardon, and usually summoned potential crusaders to take pity on the plight of Christians compelled to live in lands controlled by Moslems, as in this song. Biting criticism of certain sections of the clergy was another commonplace of such preaching. In 1215 the papal legate Robert Courson called for a crusade in France, as he had been licensed to do, ‘saying foul things about the clergy and misrepresenting their way of life to the people’. His criticisms were so severe that the French King, Philip Augustus, and the French clergy complained to the Holy See. Courson’s theme was no doubt that Christendom could not expect God to bless a crusading enterprise unless the clergy were free from all contamination of sin. Whatever the objections to his charges may have been, this argument was universally accepted throughout the crusading period. The wealth and financial dealings of the higher clergy attracted frequent comment; many observed that money could be raised for crusading by reducing the superfluous wealth of churches, by reducing the number of canons in the wealthier chapters and by turning the value of their prebends over to crusading ventures. There were frequent charges of misappropriation of funds. The claim that the clergy have played Ganelon to God’s Roland, refers to the supreme traitor of medieval French literature (see the Song of Roland).

from notes by Christopher Page © 1998

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