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Joglaresa and Belinda Sykes perform medieval songs for Mary Magdelene -
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'... enormous freshness and immediacy.'

Magdalena - Medieval Songs for Mary Magdalen. Joglaresa; Belinda Sykes. © 2003 Belinda Sykes

Mary Magdalene is a medieval construct. In the Bible she is present only as a witness to Christ's crucifixion and resurrection; in fact some scholars argue that she is a last vestige of Christ's female disciples. But in the sixth century, Pope Gregory associated her with the penitential woman sinner who, in St Luke's Gospel, anoints Christ's feet with her hair. He also associated her with Martha and Lazarus's sister Mary. The resulting saint became the antithesis of the ideal Virgin Mary, a penitential sinner who could be a model for their daily lives.

On this disc, Belinda Sykes and Joglaresa have assembled a fine array of songs to Mary Magdalene, a testament to the great devotion to the saint in the Middle Ages. In fact, this continued into the Renaissance; Isabelle d'Este and her circle had a special devotion to Maria Magdalene.

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Copyright © 15 January 2004 Robert Hugill, London UK


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