Kapela Brodow

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Folk songs and hymns to Virgin Mary

Among the characteristics of the Polish religiousness one may point its strong connection to tradition and the devotion to Virgin Mary present in all aspects of religious life. This may seem natural - we may find it specific to other nations too - yet here surprising is its intensity and scale. The Marian worship, which in other countries seems to be rather a local colour, in Poland is omnipresent and constitutes a certain phenomenon being conditioned both historically and culturally. It is easy to notice that the continuity of the country's history is connected with a deep faith in a particular protection of Virgin Mary -the Queen of Poland, supporting and reinforcing Her nation in difficult moments.

Folk Marian hymns represent an important element in the history of the Polish song-composing. We can find them in almost all manuscript, printed song-books and hymn-collections; old and recent ones. We can say that this genre is the best-documented among the sources of oral tradition. Surprising is their vitality: still today there are commonly performed songs originating form the 16th c. Some of them underwent significant transformations according to local singing practices or subjective mannerisms; yet in major part they preserved their archaic character and genetic connection with the old tradition originating from the plain chant.

Both the repertory collected on this record and the way of its performing stand out among others similar editions. One should mention the selection of songs, belonging mostly to the earliest stratum and dating back to 17th-19th c. Texts, abundant with poetic metaphors, reveal deep theological thoughts expressed with a simple, commonly understood language though not lacking the beauty specific to old-Polish lyrics. Noble melodies often draw freely form plain chant repertory which had been shaping the style of church music for years.

The performing musicians turned for materials to Archives of Musical Religious Folklore of the Musicology Institute of the Catholic University of Lublin as well as gathered them during the field-expeditions. In their interpretations they follow the traditional practices and historically-established norms (instruments accompanying the voices are testified in numerous sources) yet not giving up the spontaneity and individual artistic freedom in shaping details of these still-inspiring musical and spiritual jewels.

                                                                                                            after Antoni Zoła

Kapela Brodow:
We have been playing together since 1992. The band's repertory consists of religious and profane pieces from the regions of the First Polish Republic. Our concerts are guides through the calendar of Polish feasts and rituals.

In order not to spoil the beauty of ancient songs and scores we are following the original performance practices and - in case of religious music - the proper context. Ye we do not forget that the music is nourished by individualities of its performers; we are not quoting then but rather tell the story as it was being told ages ago.