Demonstration Performance of the Cividale Planctus Mariae: A Report


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Audrey Ekdahl Davidson’s transcription of the Planctus Mariae contained in Cividale, Reale Museo Archeologico Nazionale, MS CI, fols. 74r–76v, was originally prepared in 1986,1 but remained unpublished and used only for a performance in 2006 after being checked for accuracy by her a little more than six weeks before her death on June 11 of that year. Since she had been involved in directing nearly a dozen productions of medieval music dramas, including Hildegard of Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum, during her career,2 she was well aware of the sharp debates over how such dramas can or should be revived. Each performance for her was an experiment, and each was different in some way from the others that she directed. In this manner, albeit necessarily working with local singers essentially untrained in early music, she entered into the discussion about authenticity in performance that was being argued in the latter part of the twentieth century.


1. See Audrey Ekdahl Davidson, “The Cividale Planctus Mariae: From Manuscript to Modern Performing Edition with Commentary on the Liturgical Context,” Fifteenth-Century Studies 13 (1988): 581–95; a corrected text of this essay will be published in her Aspects of Early Music and Performance (New York: AMS, 2008).

2. See Audrey Ekdahl Davidson and Clifford Davidson, Performing Medieval Music Drama (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1998).

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.