The Temptation of Christ in The Metropolitan Museum

Carnes Tollenda

Carnes Tollenda – or stop eating meat – is a lost Old Hispanic chant. Recently it was restored digitally…

Carnes Tollendas is the Mozarebic name for the first Sunday in Lent following Ash Wednesday. The name is found in the Liber Comicus from the 11th century. At this feast the text is traditionally Matt 4:1 -11 (The Temptation of Christ)

Next Saturday, March 15, Gregoriana will perform Chant for the first and second Week of Lent in the Obrecht Kerk, Jacob Obrechtstraat 30, Amsterdam, at 17:00.

Among these beautiful chants is a reconstruction of a chant from the Old Hispanic ‘Carnes Tollendas’ / ‘stop eating meat’, the name for the last Sunday before Lent. This chant is noteworthy for several reasons:

  • It is the first chant ever restored completely in an automated process.
  • It is the first chant ever restored form the lost Old Hispanic tradition with means independent of taste or background of the restorator.
  • Possibly for the first time in modern history we might be able to perceive something of the beauty of the substantial pieces of Old Hispanic chant.
  • This chant is part of the typical Old Hispanic liturgy of saying farewell to the Alleluia before Lent.

Geert Maessen has reconstructed the sound of these old Hispanic chants through a combination of specific algorithms, developed by him. Geert Maessen originally studied architecture and philosophy, but hello has a lifelong experience in performing chant. Recently he has been involved with Braille Music Notation and computational analysis of Mozarabic chant. His Scores for Tenth-Century Chant offers a representative sample of early chants restored to the best available evidence.

The organizers of this event is promising more:  reconstructions, performances, an article, a book with contributions by international experts, a paper presentation for the IMS Study Group Cantus Planus in Venice in July.


Chant wisigothique/Mozarabe


Scores for Tenth-Century Chant
By Geert Maessen
Gregoriana 2011
ISBN: 9789081321709
ISBN-10: 9081321706

Music and Meaning in Old Hispanic Lenten Chants
Psalmi, threni and the Easter Vigil Canticles
By Emma Hornby and Rebecca Maloy
Series: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music
Boydell & Brewer Press 2013
ISBN: 9781843838142

List of literature on  Hispanic, Visigothic and Mozarebic liturgy


The Temptation of Christ, ca. 1125. Hermitage of San Baudelio de Berlanga, province of Soria, Spain. The Metropolitan Museum



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