Membra Jesu Nostri
Dieterich Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri performed by Three Parts Vied
The early music collective Three Parts Vied returns to the Oxford Festival of the Arts to explore the ‘parts vied’ of Jesus on the cross.
The ensemble’s name comes from George Herbert’s evocative description of music as ‘but three parts vied’, and the programme follows this close relationship between the part and the whole. Buxtehude’s poignant masterpiece for voices and strings takes each part of the sacred body in turn, meditating on suffering and redemption through an affective musical treatment of the crucified feet, knees, hands, sides, breast, heart, and face. We intersperse the seven movements with devotional poetry from the post-Reformation world in which Buxtehude lived.
Some of the texts exist in books dating from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century which now reside in the collections of the Magdalen College Library. There will be a rare opportunity to view and handle these books in the chapel before the concert.
Readings by Dr Cathy Oakes
Three Parts Vied directed by Alexander Pott
Historical research by Dr Katie McKeogh