Bernard Clarke Airs Four Weeks Of Selections From July 10th Release Of THE RED BOOK OF OSSORY
On June 11, 2020, audiences around the world tuned into Bernard Clarke's nightly musical program "The Blue of the Night" (https://www.rte.ie/lyricfm/blue-of-the-night/) and heard selections from the upcoming worldwide release of Heresy Records' The Red Book of Ossory by Anakronos, featuring singer Caitríona O'Leary. Anakronos includes some of Ireland's top musicians from the worlds of early music, jazz, world/traditional music, classical and contemporary classical. The members are founder and singer Caitríona O'Leary, saxophonist/percussionist Nick Roth, clarinetist Deirdre O'Leary, and keyboard/percussionist Francesco Turrisi.
Award-winning radio presenter Bernard Clarke has called The Red Book of Ossory "One of the best albums I've heard this year. Musically the gang are firing on all cylinders; thematically it's fascinating; and historically it is horrifying and illuminating in equal measure."
In anticipation of the release of The Red Book of Ossory on Friday July 10th, Clarke will air four consecutive weeks of selections from the recording on RTE Lyric fm. RTE is Ireland's national broadcaster. RTE Lyric fm is a music station with a classical bias whilst also offering the listener an array of music from all periods, continents, genres and styles.
An important 14th century Irish manuscript, The Red Book of Ossory is a collection of texts that includes 60 poems by Richard de Ledrede, Bishop of Ossory. Upon his arrival from the papal court at Avignon to Kilkenny in 1317, Ledrede immediately set about challenging the secular authorities and making a name for himself as a zealous moralizer and "scourge of heresy".
In 1324 he arraigned Dame Alice Kyteler, a wealthy businesswoman and serial espouser (she married four times) on the charge of being a witch. He alleged that she denied Christ, enchanted the citizens of Kilkenny with magic potions made from the entrails of cocks which had been sacrificed to demons, dead men's nails, hair and brains of boys who had been buried unbaptised, all cooked up in the skull of a decapitated thief, that she had a demon lover named Artisson with whom she had sex in public, and that she murdered her first three husbands and was poisoning her fourth. Dame Alice, however, had powerful allies who protected her and facilitated her flight to England where she vanished from history.
Though Dame Alice escaped with her life, her servant Petronilla de Meath was not so fortunate. She was burned alive at the stake for the heresy of witchcraft, the first person in history to be thus charged and immolated.
The lyrics on the album are by the Richard de Ledrede. The bishop instructed that these lyrics be sung by the priests, clerks and choristers of St Canice's Cathedral " in order that their mouths may not be polluted by songs which are lewd, secular, and associated with revelry, and, since they are trained singers, let them provide themselves with suitable tunes according to what these words require". O'Leary has set Ledrede's esoteric and imagistic poetry to music from several medieval sources including Chansonnier du Roi, Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, Codices Chantilly, Modena, Squarcialupi and others.
The Red Book of Ossory will be released on 10th July by Heresy Records (www.heresyrecords.com) and distributed by London-based Proper Music Distribution and its international affiliates. The album will be available at record shops and on all digital download and streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer, etc.