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Gaude martyr / Collaudemus venerantes / [Celestium contemplator]

author of text

Gaude martyr, by the musically distinctive ‘Forest’, seems, as proposed by Robert Nosow, to be a rare further survival of a motet for Edmund, who met his end at the hands of the Danes in 869 for refusing to renounce Christianity. Edmund’s status as an early English royal martyr clearly made him a focus of Lancastrian veneration, as revealed by John Lydgate’s presentation, in 1433, to Henry VI of a sumptuous manuscript Life of St Edmund. The two texts of the motet are read here as an allegory both of Henry V, ‘clothed in purple and crowned with victory’, and also of his young son Henry VI, for whom Edmund, who was crowned at fourteen, would have presented a model of princely fortitude and probity to a child monarch. The motet also invokes other kingly saints, including the nordic St Olaf/Olave and St Magnus. Nosow suggests, as an occasion for the motet, the knighting of the four-year-old Henry by his protector-uncle John Duke of Bedford, at the (still surviving) church of St Mary de Castro in Leicester on 19 May 1426, an occasion intended to cement aristocratic loyalty, in a divided country, to the young king.

from notes by Andrew Kirkman & Philip Weller © 2017


Music for the 100 Years' War
Studio Master: CDA68170Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 12 on CDA68170 [4'11]

Track-specific metadata for CDA68170 track 12

Recording date
9 January 2016
Recording venue
Ascot Priory, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
Andrew Mellor
Hyperion usage
  1. Music for the 100 Years' War (CDA68170)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: April 2017
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