Songs of Praise and RepentanceSongs of Praise and Repentance from Medieval Spain, England, Italy, Russia and Byzantium
Faith does not depend on geography—so it is no surprise that English songs such as “Worldes bliss ne last no throwe” use the same structure as the Russian lirnyi stikh. Neither is it surprising that the joy of Jesus’ birth and for the Mother of God is expressed similarly in all Christian traditions. Likewise, the reflections of King David’s Psalms can be found throughout all medieval poetry.
This similarity in lyrics is followed by an even more unexpected likeness in music. The Greek “Agni parthene” uses formulas typical of Italian saltarellos or French estampies. The Spanish “Rosa das rosas” and the English “Ther is no rose”, “Worldes bliss” as well as the Russian “Greshny cheloveche”, the Russian-Byzantine “Dushe moya” and the Italian “Ogne homo” also resemble each other considerably both in music and in lyrics. Experienced together, these compositions allow us to glimpse the close connections between the medieval culture and music of different peoples.