Seven Invocations for the Contemplation of Things Celestial
Experience the music of the spheres with this CD recording of the Hymns of Orpheus, translated from Greek into Latin in the 15th century, now set to music by the Marini Consort with the singers Catherine King and Mark Tucker.
In Renaissance Florence the magus and philosopher Marsilio Ficino likened himself to Orpheus, as he took up his lyre and sang hymns to the planetary gods - both to alleviate his own melancholy and to heal others. We have followed his descriptions of astrological music, and used the different musical modes attributed to the planets by 15th century music theorists, to compose our own settings of Orphic invocations, which are interspersed with 15th and 16th century music and song in the spirit of each god.
The former director of the Globe Theatre, Mark Rylance, reads the words of Ficino himself to introduce each invocation. Accompanied by the delicate but powerful sonorities of voices, lute, viols and lira da braccio, we invite you on a journey through the spheres from the Moon to the highest sphere of Saturn, the planet devoted to divine contemplation. As Ficino tells us:
"These celestial bodies are not to be sought by us outside in some other place; for the heavens in their entirety are within us, in whom the light of life and the origin of heaven dwell."