Insula felix

Music from the island monastery Reichenau

„Insula felix – augia felix“, beloved island, island of hapiness – this is how Walahfried Strabo in the 9th century sings about his beloved island, yearning for his monastery from far away.

The monastery of Reichenau indeed made up with the monastey of Saint Gall a center for sciences and arts, a cradle of European culture within the area of the Lake of Constance.
In both monasteries chant, poetry and illumination of manuscripts flourished.

This program unites for the first time music exclusiveley from the monastery of Reichenau.
Among this tropes for the introit of St. Stephen and sequences for the saints of the island as Ianuarius and Marcus.

The old high-german Georgslied from the 9th century, the earliest versified text for the veneration of a saint in the German language, is today now longer attributed to the Reichenau.
Nevertheless because of the very strong veneration of St George on the Reichenau it fits well into this program.

Please click video to start
Among the many anonymous poet-musicians of the Reichenau two personalities stand apart:
Abbot Bern of Reichenau (ca. 978-1048), who composed a Ulrichs-Offizium.

And Hermannus Contractus (the Crippled, 1013-1054), who for a long time was only known as a historian and music theorist.
Meanwhile some of his very outstanding compositions on saints of the South-German area, as for St. Wolfgang, Afra and Magnus have been rediscovered.

The CD Insula felix has been recorded in September 2009 in St. George's church on the Reichenau and was issued in June 2010 on the Christophorus label.

"Het ensemble Ordo Virtutum weet de juiste sfeer te treffen ... Mede dankzij de prachtig vastgelegde akostiek is dit een sfeervolle cd die een tipje oplicht van de muziekpraktijk in een Duits klooster rond het jaar 1000"
Marcel Bijlo, Klassieke Zaken 5/2010

"The singing is excellent throughout ... It is musically captivating repertoire and historically intriguing. In particular those with a special interest in early liturgical music shouldn't miss this disc"
Johan van Veen, musica Dei donum 2010

Further information:
  • [-> Audio] [-> Recordings]

  • Program information:

    • 4 singers, fiddle, harp, organetto; for small to medium-sized resonant churches.

  • Performances:

    • 03. 04. 2009, 7pm
      Stiftskirche Stuttgart

    • 27. 09. 2006, 8pm
      St. Georg/Insel Reichenau

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