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“Let the Whole World Praise the Saint”: Medieval Songs for St. Nicholas
CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture
Mary Channen Caldwell (Assistant Professor of Music, University of Pennsylvania).
St. Nicholas was unquestionably one of the most popular and accessible saints in medieval Europe, serving as patron saint to everyone from sailors and unmarried women, to clerics, children, and repentant thieves. Due to his role as “everyman’s saint,” Nicholas was, from an early period, widely celebrated in song, drama, and literature in many forms and languages. Among the plentiful music composed in his name, a handful of songs from the twelfth to thirteenth centuries highlights his wide-spread popularity by setting poems that move between languages and musical styles. In this talk, Professor Caldwell considers how such works symbolize popular veneration of St. Nicholas by all medieval Christians, conveyed in song by multilinguality and musical play.
Co-sponsored by the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Department of Musicology.
Funding for CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholars is provided by the Humanities Division of the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences, and the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Image above: The National Library of Wales Book of Hours. St Nicholas and Clerks NLW MS 15537C De Grey Hours ca 1400 fol 57r