Deo Gracias Anglia!

Medieval English Carols: The Trinity Carol Roll

Andrew Lawrence-King
Michael Grebil
Pamela Thorby
Directed by David Skinner

The Trinity Carol Roll (Trinity College, Cambridge, MS O.3.58) is the earliest source for the English polyphony carol. The thirteen works preserved in this manuscript include the patriotic ‘Agincourt’ carol, celebrating Henry V’s victory over the French in 1415, and the most famous of all early English carols ‘Ther is no rose’.

The performances on this recording offer a fresh take on medieval instrumentation, and include the gothic harp, psaltry, plectrum lute, recorder and the etherial gemshorn, while the recording itself took place in the Wren Library in Trinity College, Cambridge.


Track listing

The Trinity Carol Roll (nos. 1-7)
1. Hail Marye ful of grace
2. Nowel, nowel, nowel
3. Alma redemptoris mater
4. Now may we syngyn
5. Be mery, be mery
6. Nowel syng we
7. Deo gracias Anglia

8. Nowel, nowel
9. Lullay, lullay
10. Princeps pacis
11. Nova, nova
12. Tibi laus, tibi gloria

The Trinity Carol Roll (nos. 8-13)
13. Now make we merthe
14. Abyde I hope it be the beste
15. Qwat tydynges bryngyst thu messager
16. Eya martir Stephane
17. Prey for us the prynce of pees
18. Ther is no rose of swych vertu

In the press

“Here's a truly scholarly project: a filling-out of the 15th-century Trinity Carol Roll, reconstructing a performable version of the words and vocal part-writing in the unfolded manuscript...A fascinating, if specialised issue.”
- BBC Music Magazine

“The performances are very cleanly done, with all texts presented complete (which is rare for recordings of this repertoire) and all intonation absolutely excellent...Alamire may be more slimline than in the past; but David Skinner directs them with absolute control.”
- Gramophone Magazine