Candens Lilium

Agnethe Christensen: mezzo soprano, kantele, gusli, and bells

Elizabeth Gaver: medieval fiddle, rebec, and voice

Maria - a blooming flower and mother to all - has been an inspiration and comfort through the ages and in many cultures. Always nearby in countless icons, frescoes, statues, and paintings, she helps both rich and poor with miracles and guidance on pilgrimages. We celebrate her joy and sadness, strength and despair in songs from Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Sweden.

“Candens Lilium” includes instrumental improvisations as well as pieces composed by Elizabeth as reflections on the texts, some meditative and others lively dances, using fragments of the songs’ melodies. The wire-strung gusli and kantele played together with the gut -strung medieval fiddle and rebec creates a uniquely haunting and earthy soundscape. “Candens Lilium” works well in collaboration with readings, lighting design, organ improvisations, etc.


Press photos

Nomemus 2021

Candens Lilium 

Agnethe Christensen - mezzo sopran0, gusli, kantele & bells

Elizabeth Gaver - medieval fiddle, rebec & voice 

Polorum regina Spanish pilgrim song in Latin from “Libre Vermeille”, 14th c. Song to the Holy Virgin Mary - the morning star. 

Mit hjerte brænder hedt som boll Danish song about Mary from “En klosterbog”,ca. 1450 My heart burns hot as a fire, and so it must be, prolaudibus Maria 

Ave Pulcherima på latin fra Lochamer Liederbuch, 1452-55
 Hail, you fairest of queens. We call on you to help us. 
Maria meditation by Elizabeth Gaver 

Iam laetaris from Cantus Sororum of Hellige Birgitta, 1303-1373 
Now we rejoice with you, O holy Virgin now in the Lord's house. Let us rejoice with the angels. 

O divina Virgo flore from Laudario de Cortona, ca 1300 Laude dance by Elizabeth Gaver

Voi c’amate from Laudario de Cortona 
I am Mary and I mourn my dearest who is now hanging on the cross. Bloody in the hair and beard but still my son. The spirit picks him up and a fragrance leaves his body. 

O Maria, d’omelia Laudario de Cortona 
Maria, you are like the most beautiful flower. We lift up our faces to you. 

Beata Viscera Perotin, ca 1220. 
Blessed be the Virgin Mary who held the saint to her breast. The divine nature has created the power in the bond between the Father and the Son. We rejoice over this wonderful news. Even those weighed down by burdens can feel the joy. 

Kristallen den fina traditional song from Skattungbyn in Dalarna, Sweden Morapolska traditional tune from Dalarna 

O Viridissima Virga, Hildegard von Bingen, 1098-1179 Viriditas dance by Elizabeth Gaver 

O holy flower, your fragrance reaches out to God. You are the Holy Virgin, the sweetest Mary who leads us to heaven. We praise you with both wine and bread, sweetest Mary. The most beautiful flower let its fragrance waft and mingled with herbs. It now stands in its green dress and points towards the sky where the holy dew caused the grass to grow - and the holy Virgin bore fruit.