Barcelona Mass

Barcelona Mass / Song of the Sibyl
Obsidienne - Emmanuel Bonnardot
Opus 111 30-130


  1. Madre de Deus, ora por nòs (bagpipes, drum)
  2. El Cant de la Sibilla (solo voice, chorus)
  3. Benedicamus Domino (bagpipes, drums)

  4. Barcelona Mass (voices)
  5. Introïtus
  6. Kyrie (a 3)
  7. Gloria - Splendor patris (a 3)
  8. Graduale - Tecum principium (chant)
  9. Alleluia (chant)
  10. Credo (a 3)
  11. Offertorium - Laetentur caeli (chant)
  12. Sanctus (a 3)
  13. Agnus Dei (a 4)
  14. Communio - In splendoribus (chant)
  15. Anon., Ivrea: Ite missa est (a 4)

Performers: Gisela Bellsolà (voice of Sibyl), Hélène Moreau, Catherine Sergent, Caroline Magalhaes, Yves Guidet (cantus); Bruno Bonhoure, Pierre Bourhis, Pierre Briaud, Olivier Germond (tenors); Emmanuel Bonnardot, Raphaël Picazos, Daniel Sarda, Pierre Tessier (basses); Pierre Boragno, Pierre Hamon, Florence Jacquemart (bagpipes); Pierre Boragno (drum)

Playing time: 60'

Recording date: June 1995

The Barcelona Mass is one of the earliest surviving mass cycles, however it was obviously pieced together due to the survival of individual movements in other sources. Nonetheless it has a nice overall coherence, if not at the level of the later real cycles.

The Kyrie, Gloria, Credo & Sanctus are for three voices, with the latter being in the form of an isorhythmic motet. The Agnus Dei is unusually for four voices. The 4-voice Ite missa est is taken from the Ivrea Manuscript and is not part of the surviving cycle. The other movments are liturgical plainchant.

The Song of the Sibyl is a widespread monophonic chant, on the topic of prophecy. Many versions survive, and the present performance includes a 4-voice refrain to conclude the long solo voice lines. The opening track (a Cantiga de Santa Maria) is a brief contrafactum on the Sibyl melody, played here on bagpipes (with drum); track #3 (from the Las Huelgas Codex) is similarly performed to act as a conclusion.

Older recordings of the Mass of Barcelona:

Messes de Barcelone et d'Apt
Ensemble Gilles Binchois - Dominique Vellard
Evidence Classics 060
Messe de Barcelone - Ars Nova du XIVe siècle
Atrium Musicae de Madrid - Gregorio Paniagua
Harmonia Mundi 10 033 (LP)
La Messe de Barcelone / La Messe de Toulouse / Chansons, motets, danses
Musique liturgique et profane du XIVe siècle
Ensemble médiéval de Toulouse - Pierre Hudrisier
Ariane 148
Missa mediaevalis
Mittelalterliche Weinachtsmesse
A. Reichling; Maria Laach Benedictine Abbey Choir; Capella Antiqua, Stuttgart
Psallite 38 (LP)

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Todd M. McComb