Concert for Notre Dame - September 26, 2019



This year, the emotion raised by the fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, has reminded us of the profound cultural ties which exist between France and America. To celebrate this common heritage, the Consulate General of France in Boston presents a Concert by the Boston Camerata Ensemble together with the Choral Fellows of Harvard Memorial Church, interpreting arias composed and first performed at Paris Notre Dame in the late 12th century.

This concert will be introduced by a presentation of the current reconstruction efforts by Mr. Michel Picaud, president of the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris. Prominent Harvard professors will also share their views on the cultural and historic significance of Notre Dame in Europe and America.

If you wish to further support the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, you can make a donation to the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris. The Friends of Notre-Dame is a 501c3 public charity; all gifts are tax deductible in the United States.

We thank the sponsors of the Consulate for making this concert possible.


Thu, September 26, 2019
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM EDT
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Memorial Church
1 Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138, United States
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Lamentations of Jeremiah - Gregorian
How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!
She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: among all her lovers she hath none to comfort her: all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies. All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for meat to relieve the soul: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord!

Las, las, las - Gautier de Coincy, 1177-1236 | Les Miracles de Notre Dame
Alas, alas, alas, until now, I only sang and read ; but now that the enemy has hurt me so, I have to cry out in a loud voice : « I have lost my lady, the virgin Leocadia : return quickly, my sweet friend, my sister ! ». Clerics and lay people, all are praying to you, Mother of God: please return Leocadia to us.

Mirroir des anges – Mirror of Angels

Et honore virginali - Anonymous, 12th century
In honor of the virgin birth of an everlasting Son, O, O, O. Rejoicing in this news, we say, O,O, O.

Gedeonis area - Music : Anonymous, 13th century | Text: Philip the Chancelor, 1165-1236
The flower of Gideon is wet with the heavenly dew, and the flames of the burning bush burn without heat. The earthen vase produces a seed from a seed, golden light ! The grain comes from rye grass, the olive from the olive tree, and the water, from a rock.

Beata viscera - Music: Pérotin, Notre Dame School, late 12th century | Text: Philip the Chancellor
Blessed womb of the Virgin Mary,at whose breast the king of eminent name,concealing, under altered guise, the force of divine nature,has sealed a pact of God and Man. O astonishing novelty and unaccustomed joy of a mother still pure after childbirth. Mortal sight cannot endure to behold in its radiance the sun, unconcealed, as he rises forth, pure. Let the wholly enclosed womb of the motherbehold from the side as it is reflected. O astonishing novelty and unaccustomed joy of a mother still pure after childbirth.

La quinte estampie real - Anonymous, 13th century

Ave Maria - Gregorian
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Post partum virgo/Ave regina/Propter veritatem - Anonymous, 13th century

After the birth, you remained a virgin. Mary. In giving birth to a son, to whom you are daughter, you have overcame nature. We pray you, be kind to us, Mother of Christ. Hail, Queen of glory and mirror of angels.

Rive Gauche – Students in the Shadow of the Cathedral

Dum juventus floruit - Music: Carmina Burana, 13th century | Text: Anonymous, 13th century
While youth flowered, I could do whatever pleased me, to run about at will and give myself to the pleasures of the flesh. But the state of manhood does not allow one to lead such a life; those familiar ways are annulled. The spirit of the age said, "Nothing is to be ruled out;" and it has given me everything for my pleasures. I want to be prudent, to abstain from what I have done in the past, to dedicate myself to serious things, and to redeem with my virtues my former sins.

Ad cor tuum revertere - Music: Carmina Burana, 13th century | Text: Philip the Chancelor, 1160-1236
Return to your heart, you man of miserable state. Why do you spurn life? Why do you dedicate yourself to sin? Why do you indulge in evil?... Consider how hard this life is, like another death. Why do you not rid yourself of sin, since the hour of your death is unknown to you? If you come to the Bridegroom with an empty lamp, you are like a foolish virgin. Therefore, sleep not, but keep a vigil for the Lord when he knocks!

Fas et nefas ambulant - Music: Carmina Burana, 13th century | Text: Gautier de Châtillon, 1135-1180
Right and wrong go walking, almost in step together, and virtue must take care to stay halfway between two vices. As Cato says, "Walk with the good," and consider who is worthy of your gifts. Be friendly and smooth towards everyone, but be careful to discern the grain among the chaff; misplaced charity is no virtue. You can give properly only when you know who I really am, from the inside. If you wisely sift the wheat from the chaff, your donation will buy fame. I glory in you, for you are loaded with wealth!

Honneur à la Vierge - Honor to the Virgin

Bonum est confidere - Philip the Chancelor
It is good to trust in the Lord of Lords; it is good to place our trust in the object of our hope. They deceive themselves, who trust in the power of kings, and they exclude themselves from the court of the Most High. Follow the ways of righteousness, study improvement, earn your bread through the sweat of your brow.

Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum - Gregorian
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Virgo gemma virginum - Anonymous, 12th century
Virgin, jewel of virgins, bright star of the sea, surpassing the sun’s light, shining pearl, Daughter of Jerusalem most pure, hail, Mother of God. O love immeasurable in holiness, the choir of angels praise you over the skies. We beg that you may hear our prayers.

Benedicamus Domino - Anonymous, Notre Dame School, 12th century
Let us bless the Lord.

Sur ce rivage - Gauthier de Coincy | Les Miracles de Notre Dame
On this bank, at the foot of this cross, we have to go every year on a pilgrimage. Let’s be thankful, and make a processional and pilgrimage to the Virgin. Whoever doesn’t love her is a fool !


Last modified on 09/10/2019

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