Stary Olsa - Litvin's Treasures: Middle Ages (CD)

Stary Olsa - Litvin's Treasures: Middle Ages (CD)

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Litva (Lithuania) is an historic name of Belarus. The Litvins is an old name for the Belarusians. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) was the Litvins' nation-state. Viĺnia (Vilnius) was the capital of old Litva. The Litvins' treasures are spiritual works of both local and West European origin.

The Middle Ages is a 1,000-year period of our history from the time when the Slavs came (6th c.) to the heyday of Renaissance (16th c.). There are the Early Middle Ages (6th-13th c.; the Principalities of Polack, Turaŭ and others) and the Late Middle Ages (13th - early 16th c., GDL).

Piesnia a kniaziu Vitaŭcie (Song about Grand Duke Vitaŭt) (9) is a martial song of the 15th-16th c. Its lyrics were found by Vaclaŭ Lastoŭski in 1923; its music - by the Students' Ethnographic Society during an expedition in Vierchniadzvinsk (Drysa) District in 2002. "Hey, Litvins! God advises us!" is the Duke Radzivils' army battle-cry.

Baharodzica (Holy Mother) (10) is a hymn of the 14th-17th c., its music was written in the 13th c. The first verses - in the 12th-14th c. are in the Old Belarusian Liturgical language. The first song description dates back to Grunwald. At the beginning of the battle the whole army of GDL and Poland started singing Holy Mother and then plunged into the battle (Chronicle of Jan Dlugosz). In the 15th c., this song was called Homeland Song and was already considered very old.

In the 16th c., Holy Mother was the GDL National Anthem. The GDL Army would sing it before every battle, and it was played during all state and martial celebrations, and even in the Catholic and Orthodox churches to honor the Belarusian Saints.

On this CD, there is a reconstruction of the oldest variant of Baharodzica (the last verses and their melody were written in Poland much later). The fact that the song text is in the form of a verse proves that Baharodzica is a hymn, not a prayer. The song is based on the melody of a song composition that is close to folklore. The fullest text and melody were written in 1407.


Track listing

  1. Surmy
  2. Oj, rana
  3. Ula
  4. Udaviec
  5. Stajnia vajskavaja
  6. Ciacierka-Padušačka
  7. Totentanz XIII−XVI с.
  8. A que por XIV−XVI с.
  9. Piesnia a kniaziu Vitaŭcie XV−XVI с.
  10. Baharodzica XIV−XVII с.
  11. Šturm
  12. Vojciech
  13. Totus floreo XIV−XV с.
  14. U karčmie XIV–XVI c.
  15. Tourdion XIV−XVI с.
  16. Litvin