Iter Hierosolymitanum

Jew and Christian at the Time of the Crusades

(6 musicians)

From the beginning of the modern Early Music revival movement, the “Chansons des Croisades,” have been one of the most beloved, and most frequently performed repertoires, although they often contain fiercely anti-Judaic texts. Normally, the incriminating strophes are left out, explained away as “harmless” or “normal for the time,” or, sometimes, coupled with program notes or a conference on antisemitism. Here, Lucidarium takes a different approach because we believe that this kind of rhetoric should never be considered harmless. And indeed, in 1096, inflamed by anti-Judaic hate, a group of Frankish crusaders on their way to the Holy Land attacked the Jewish communities of Speyer, Mainz and Worms. Although, in many cases, the Christian townspeople and ecclesiastical authorities made efforts to save their Jewish neighbors, except for Speyer, all the communities were decimated. Numerous poems devoted to this trauma, and others, have survived in Hebrew and French, often, ironically, borrowing the poetical forms of their Christian neighbors. In Iter Hierosolymitanum, the beloved Crusade repertoire is contrasted with the laments of the victims of Anti-Judaism, together with the dances that all Europeans, Jewish or Christian, would have enjoyed, sometimes even together.


Carla Nahadi Babelegoto, Enrico Fink – voice

Luca Piccioni – voice, lute, chitarrino

Avery Gosfield – recorder, pipe and tabor

Élodie Poirier – viella

Massimiliano Dragoni – percussion, hammer dulcimer