A Paradise of Priests: Singing the Civic and Episcopal Hagiography of Medieval Liège
In the "priestly paradise" of medieval Liège, sacred music became a pervasive and versatile medium by which the clergy promoted the holy status of their city. While this hotbed of female piety and Eucharistic devotion is recognized as a center of liturgical innovation and clerical writing, the symbiosis of saintly and civic ideals voiced in locally composed plainchant and polyphony has remained overlooked. The key to unlocking the civic meaning of this music lies in the saints' legends and bishops' deeds from which it emerged and in the rituals and performance spaces in which it was heard. In A Paradise of Priests, Catherine Saucier forges new interdisciplinary connections between musicology, the liturgical arts, the cult of saints, church history, and urban studies to demonstrate how liégeois clerics constructed a civic sacred identity through sung rituals in conjunction with hagiographic writing and relic display. Focusing on the veneration and influence of five bishops active between the seventh and sixteenth centuries, Saucier explains how the performance of sacred music accrued new meanings at moments of signal importance in the life of the city. A Paradise of Priests is an essential resource for scholars and students interested in the history of the Low Countries, hagiography and its reception, and ecclesiastical institutions. Catherine Saucier is Assistant Professor of Music History at Arizona State University.
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Repertory Sung in the City of Liège
Abbey Acta inedita altar Anselm antiphon B-Br B-Lu biblical blood Brassart Brimeu Burgundian Canon Nicholas Carmen de sancto cathedral chapter Cathedral of Liège celebrated century chants choirmaster Christ church of Saint city of Liège city’s civic clergy clerical collegiate churches commemorating consecrated Cult of Saints death depicting diocese divine episcopal Erard Evangelist fols Gesta pontificum hagiographic Hubert’s hymn ideal inspired Johannes Brassart Jonas of Orléans Kupper l’église impériale l’histoire Laetare et lauda Lambert’s martyrdom Lauds legend Legia Liège et l’église liégeois liturgical Maastricht Marck martyr Matins medieval melody motet musical Musicians Nicholas of Liège Nicholas’s NL-DHk Notger Office Pope Sergius praise processional reliquary responsory sacred Saint Hubert Saint John Saint Lambert Saint Lambert’s relics Saint Peter Saint Theodard saintly sancti Huberti sancti Lamberti sancto Landberto secular sequence Sigebert of Gembloux singers sung texts Theodard and Lambert Tongeren Translation urban Urbs veneration versicle Vita Notgeri Vita quarta sancti Vita secunda votive