Fourteenth century Ireland was a time of invasions, war, lawlessness, famine and plague. A time of fear, violence and almost unimaginable mutability.
In 1317 Richard de Ledrede arrived in Kilkenny as the new Bishop of Ossory and immediately set about challenging the secular authorities and making a name for himself as a zealous moraliser and "scourge of heresy". He was responsible for the famous witchcraft trial of Dame Alice Kyteler, composed a fantastical and nightmarish list of charges against her and others, and caused the first person ever to be burned at the stake for witchcraft – Dame Alice’s servant, Petronella de Meath.
Throughout Ledrede’s forty-three years as Bishop of Ossory he continued to court controversy for the sake of ecclesiastical power. He was also the author of some sixty Latin verses which he intended to be sung by the priests and choristers of St. Canice's Cathedral so that their throats would not be "polluted" by secular lyrics. These verses, collected in The Red Book of Ossory, were set to popular tunes of the day.
While the majority of those tunes have been lost to the ages, Anakronos has undertaken a project of speculative reconstruction.
With The Red Book of Ossory Anakronos presents these remarkable works in a mesmerising concert that promises to be one of the musical highlights of 2019