A Song is Heard After a 1000 Years !
An 11th-century manuscript that had been stolen from Cambridge 142 years ago and was discovered in a library in Frankfurt, Germany. The theft was carried out by a German scholar who made away with a page while visiting the university in the 1840s. The missing page was the essential part of a song collection.
The melody “Songs of Consolation” originally written by the philosopher Boethius was performed recently. The song is related to Boethius’ poetic work, ‘The Consolation of Philosophy’. It is considered to be the last great work of the Classical era, and was admired by Alfred the Great and Queen Elizabeth I among others. Apparently in the early medieval period, classical poetry and similar works used to be reworked into songs.
Sam Barrett, a specialist in medieval music at Cambridge was able to piece together almost 90 percent of the melody of the songs, and then turned to Benjamin Bagby of the music group Sequentia to help with the rest. And all this took a mere 20 years ! Watch the trio perform an excerpt below.
Those involved in this arduous task say that it’s moments like this that make their many years of hard work so worthwhile. We cant help but agree, wholeheartedly.