Friday, May 11, 2012

A Newsletter

My God; what I've been through just to find my blogs today! GBS what have you done to us!! Here is a newslatter, very interesting, honoring The Countessl; 2 COBSAE is a community of enthusiasts dedicated to research, discussion, and the appreciation of one of history’s most enigmatic figures, Countess Erzsébet Báthory. Community of Báthory Scholars & Enthusiasts Greetings, Good People of COBSAE! SPRING 2012 It’s hard to believe that it’s already May! We wish you a warm and wonderful spring. This issue leads us gently into the season as we feature the wonderful work of medieval renaissance musicians, Cançoniȇr and the sublime poetry of Spanish writer, Juan Schreiber. We also give you an update on the release status of Ravin Tija Maurice’s new novel, “Legacy: A Daughters of Darkness Novel” and where you can get your copy. As always, we would love to hear from you and make your contributions a part of our next issue! Feel free to write us at: also invite you to join our online group on Facebook and like our Infamous Lady Fan Page on Facebook! Many thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm! ~ Liz Carrington, COBSAE Co-founder In this Issue: Condesa Bathory, “Ad Honorem”………….2 Release Update for Legacy: A Daughters of Darkness Novel ………………………….4 The Black Dragon & The Blood Countess: An interview with Tim Rayborn of Cançoniȇr…………………….……....…….5 The Last Word News & Reviews…………..7 Join COBSAE @: 3 Condesa Bathory, “ad honorem” By Juan Schreiber Based in Madrid, Spain, writer and educator, Juan Schreiber is an aficionado of mythical gothic writings, the alternative, and the scientific. Here he shares with us one of his many works dedicated to the Countess. I. Una niña llora, abrazada por las Sombras Grita y muerde, entre convulsiones Alfarero Oscuro moldea circunvoluciones Después yace, inerte, sobre ricas alfombras II. De niña a mujer, tenebrosa melancolía Genio precoz preso de crasos intereses Comercio nupcial, infinito tedio de años, meses Alivio en oscura lujuria y oculta sabiduría III. Espejo mágico de lucíferos conjuros Único amigo fiel, insomne y mudo testigo De un alma desolada, sedienta de abrigo Reflejo de Belleza, solaz de gélidos muros IV. Por fin, viuda, libre, poderosa, espléndida, madura Hechicera de Safo, bañada en fresca virginal sangre Los gemidos de un mar de ninfas no sacian tu hambre Cobraste así al PADRE-Dios su deuda con feroz usura I. A girl cries, embraced by the Shadows Screaming and biting, from seizures Dark Potter molds convolutions Afterwards she lays, inert, on luxurious carpets II. From girl to woman, dark melancholy Precocious genius a prisoner of gross interest Bride of commerce infinite tedium of years, months Finding relief in dark lust and hidden wisdom III. Magic mirror of demonic spells The one loyal friend, a sleepless and silent witness From a desolate soul, thirsting for shelter Reflection of Beauty, comfort of icy walls IV. Finally, the widow, free, powerful, splendid, mature Sorceress of Sappho, bathed in fresh virgin blood The groans of sea nymphs do not quench your hunger Father-God has charged you his debt with fierce usury Visit to read Juan’s essays and learn more about his work. 2 IV Katrine is a seemingly ordinary girl who is suddenly thrown into extraordinary circumstances. When three mysterious women unexpectedly arrive to see her mother, Anastasia, a sinister secret is revealed and a terrifying chain of events is unleashed, leaving the young girl and her mother forever changed. Tormented by violent encounters and chilling dreams, Katrine embarks on a macabre journey to claim her dark and dangerous birthright as the granddaughter of the notorious and bloodthirsty Countess Elizabeth Bathory. She struggles to cope with an unusual transformation and control the new hunger for blood which overwhelms, and finally brings her face-to-face with the Countess. A twist of fate leads Katrine to meet others with similar traits; what is left of her life changes when she joins them and becomes a part of their strangely enigmatic and disturbingly beautiful world. Despite her new beginnings, the frightening past continues to stalk her, leaving her to consider if the Bathory blood running through her veins would ultimately save or destroy her. A young girl’s life is forever changed when she learns she is the granddaughter of the bloodthirsty, Countess Elizabeth Bathory… AVAILABLE NOW! Legacy: A Daughters of Darkness Novel By Ravin Tija Maurice Legacy: A Daughters of Darkness Novel Paperback 6x9: $14.95 ISBN: 978-0615589879 Published by: Batori Szatmar Publishing Support this talented new author by getting your copy today! Available now at, and other fine retailers and distributors. Learn more about Ravin @: Watch the trailer on YouTube: Excerpts: "The Countess smiled. The expression lit up her porcelain skin, which was so perfect, one could never guess her age. Her elegantly shaped face was like a beautifully carved image, her dark eyes holding a gilt of something mysterious and forbidden...She walked around me so she could examine me fully. The intense look on her face was unsettling, but I did not want to stop her from looking at me. I was completely drawn in by her dominance." "I could feel the rage welling up inside of me. Looking into his eyes, I could sense something dark and evil about him, a thing that made him unworthy of his religious station. He was no man of God...'I believe you are not a good man, Father. You are closer in kin to the Devil than any God I know,' I growled at him. He called me strigoi then began to pray…” “Her fangs suddenly came out and I tried not to recoil in fear. She laughed. 'Afraid of what you really are? Too bad. You'll never learn that we are all the same in the end, little rat. We need blood, and yours smells divine.'…” 3 V In March Cançonièr, offered a fascinating concert entitled, “The Blood Countess—Music from the Time of Elizabeth Báthory.” We chat with musician, Tim Rayborn to learn more about this project, the group, and the music that emerged during the life and times of Countess Bathory. COBSAE: Tim could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your early music ensemble, Cançonièr? TR: Cançonièr is an Occitan word (medieval southern French), meaning “songbook.” Its equivalent in northern France was the chansonnier. These books were medieval collections of songs, with both secular and sacred works being included. Cançonièr seeks to inform as well as entertain; we spice our concerts with fascinating historical anecdotes, and our signature humor! I am a multi-instrumentalist, playing dozens of musical instruments from medieval Europe, the Middle East, and the Balkans, including lutes, plucked strings, flutes, and percussion. To date I’ve recorded on more than 35 CDs for a number of labels, including: Gaudeamus, Wild Boar, EMP, Magnatune, and Harmonia Mundi. I lived and worked as a musician in the UK for seven years and received a Ph.D. in medieval studies at the University of Leeds. I have toured the U.S. and Europe (from Ireland to Turkey) extensively, performing with the medieval groups Tintagel and Ensemble Florata (including concerts at both of the York and Beverley Early Music Festivals, Alden Biesen Castle in Belgium, Bunyloa in Majorca, and the Spitalfields Festival in London). I’ve also performed for BBC in the UK and Channel Islands, toured in Canada and Australia, and worked with folk musicians in Marrakech and Istanbul. I’ve also taught at the SFEMS Medieval/Renaissance summer workshop, and Pinewoods Early Music Week in MA. I currently co-direct Cançonièr with fellow musician Annette Bauer. Cançonièr is the Ensemble-in-Residence at Music Sources, Center for Historically Informed Performances, Inc. Based in Berkeley, CA, this organization is a non-profit institution and an educational resource. Its annual concert series features distinguished local and international artists. Visit our website to read our bios and learn more about us. The Black Dragon & The Blood Countess An interview with Tim Rayborn of Cançonièr Their work described as “mesmerizing” (Fanfare) and “exquisite” (Early Music America), Cançonièr is a Bay Area-based early music group devoted to medieval repertoire from the 12th to the 15th centuries. Created by acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Tim Rayborn and recorder virtuoso Annette Bauer in the summer of 2008, the group has quickly gained the attention of the early music community. Utilizing voices and instruments, Cançonièr brings to life the vibrant musical cultures of medieval Europe, through a combination of scholarly research, improvisational techniques, and impeccable musicianship. Learn more about and Connect with Cançonièr on the web at: Email: Facebook: “During Countess Báthory’s life, Hungary was a remarkable mix of cultures: medieval and Renaissance, Catholic and Protestant, Ottoman and Romany (“gypsy”), all residing uneasily side-by-side. The music reflected this mix…” Listen to tracks & purchase this wonderful album at CD baby! 4 VI Romany (“gypsy”), all residing uneasily side-by-side. The music reflected this mix, and is represented by our program. We opened and closed the concert with a piece by Sebestyén Tinódi, a 16th-century Hungarian poet and musician who was deeply affected by the conflicts with the Turks, and wrote epic poems and chronicles about the events he had witnessed. The Ottoman Turks, who controlled large areas of Hungary, had their own elaborate musical traditions, including complex suites of secular court music, and the chanting of the Qur'an (which is not considered music by Muslims, to differentiate it from secular traditions). The Roma ("gypsies") were an established presence in the Balkans by this time, and had their own folksong traditions, but these are not as easily datable, owing to the fact that they come from an oral, rather than a written, tradition. COBSAE: The famous Hungarian poet, Bálint Balassi, attended court and studied with Countess Báthory’s husband, Ferenc Nádasdy. Did Balassi, set his poems to music? If so, what are the themes of the music? TR: Bálint Balassi, baron of Kékkő (Modrý Kameň in modern Slovakia) was a nobleman, the founder of modern Hungarian lyric poetry, and the first author of Hungarian erotic poetry. He was said to have spoken eight languages, and he produced hundreds of songs on religious, political, and amorous subjects. He borrowed from both Hungarian folk music and the Western Renaissance style. As a teenager, he was a friend of Ferenc Nádasdy, only a few years before his marriage to Lady Báthory. We perform one of his songs instrumentally (Háborúit), as well as his setting of the lyrics Szép vénuszt to the music of La Zanetta Padoana, which was originally composed as an instrumental four-part dance by the Italian composer Giorgio Mainerio. COBSAE: What sort of traveling ensembles might have visited the Báthory or Nádasdy courts. What would these performances have been like and what kinds of instruments would they have used? TR: The Countess' tastes or interest in music are not known. Since her upbringing was Calvinist, there would have been a distaste in her home for all but the simplest of psalm melodies and hymn tunes. She may COBSAE: In March, your ensemble offered a fascinating concert entitled, “The Blood Countess—Music from the Time of Elizabeth Báthory.” Can you please tell us about what kind of music was popular during Countess Báthory’s lifetime (1560-1614), and what type of music she would likely have heard in Hungary or at court in Vienna? TR: There were many varieties of music known in Hungary, depending on the region and the religion in question. Our recent concert tried to show some of that diversity. Hungary was deeply influenced by the emerging trends in Western music, and Renaissance dance music, songs, and polyphony (both religious and secular) were certainly known in the courts. Western composers also took certain Hungarian dance melodies and reworked them into Western forms. Hungary looked to the West for musical inspiration, and Western composers were also fond of creating or adapting “Hungarian” dances. In the 15th and early 16th century, we are lacking any native Hungarian musical sources for the current repertoire, but there do exist nine distinguished sets of courtly Hungarian dance tunes that were transmitted in various Western sources during those centuries. Mainerio's Ungaresca, the Hayduzcky transmitted in Jan of Lublin's lute tabulature, and Ein Ungarischer Tanz (“A Hungarian Dance”) adapted from the Heckel lute tabulature, are all examples of those pieces. From the 17th century on, several Hungarian sources survive and transmit Hungarian songs and instrumental music, often in settings for virginal, a compact, very soft keyboard instrument popular throughout Europe in the 17th century. The two pieces taken from the Kajoni Codex and the Sopron Virginal Book are both examples of that repertoire. The lower classes would have had folk songs and dances, as well as the religious music they heard in church (Latin chant and polyphonic music in Catholic areas, vernacular psalms in Protestant ones). COBSAE: How was music of this time period influenced by the Ottoman wars? TR: During Countess Báthory’s life, Hungary was a remarkable mix of cultures: medieval and Renaissance, Catholic and Protestant, Ottoman and The Black Dragon & The Blood Countess Continued 5 VII The Black Dragon & The Blood Countess Continued have developed a liking for other kinds of music as an adult, but this is not recorded. Her husband, Ferenc Nadasdy, however, came from a courtly tradition of artistic patronage, thus it is likely that Nadasdy brought musicians of various kinds to his court. Musicians and composers certainly traveled in the medieval and Renaissance periods, often very far from their lands of origin. They often sought patronage wherever they could find it, and it is likely that the Hungarian courts of the late 16th century hosted many such entertainers, from Western Europe, as well as closer to home. A group providing music for a banquet might number anywhere from a few to a dozen or more. Good singers were always appreciated and in demand. Western European instruments were often grouped in families and might include a consort (group) of recorders, violas da gamba (early bowed, cello-like instruments with frets), shawms (rather like loud oboes, originally from the Middle East), or a mixture of viols, a lute, one or more violins (more or less the same instrument as now), a wooden flute, etc. These were sometimes known as "broken consorts" because they contained different instruments, not just different sizes of one instrument family. Other popular instruments included the bagpipe (similar, but not the same as the modern Scottish bagpipe), various kinds of drum (played with sticks or the hands), and the harpsichord (smaller, spinet-like instruments). In Hungary itself, there were folk instruments such as the kobza (a short-necked lute that seems to have developed in the 16th century), as well as folk flutes, folk fiddles, and Balkan bagpipes which came from medieval traditions. The Turks had a bewildering number of instruments of their own. Many were of Central Asian or Arabic origin, including the saz and tanbur (long-necked lutes), the kemence (a small three-string, bowed instrument played upright), the qanun (a large zither played in the lap), and the ney (a side-blown cane flute, essentially just a hollow tube, with a haunting breathy sound). COBSAE: Can you tell us a bit about your latest recording, The Black Dragon and how your concert, The Blood Countess: Music from the Time of Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1614) emerged from it? TR: The fifteenth century was a time of remarkable change in music, as musical conventions and practices evolved from medieval to early Renaissance styles. It also was a time of major transitions in art, religion, politics, and technology. During this century, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, the printing press was invented, the Tudors took the crown of England, the Moors were expelled from southern Spain, Christopher Columbus sailed, Leonardo da Vinci was born and began to work, the Renaissance in Italy bloomed in full, and for a few years, a man who would become infamous ruled a small country called Wallachia in what is now southern Romania. He was called Vlad Dracula (c.1431 – 1476). His father, Vlad II, adopted the name Dracul (“Dragon”) when he joined the Order of the Dragon, a chivalric order dedicated to crusading against the Turks in the Balkans. His son took the name Dracula, or “Son of the Dragon.” Dracula was, of course, partially the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic anti-hero, though he was no vampire, but rather sought to repel the Ottomans by any means necessary, including brutal forms of torture and execution. This album explores the rich musical cultures of Vlad's time, from both Eastern and Western Europe. Featuring Michel Beheim’s German poem about Vlad’s deeds, Italian dances and German songs, music of the Byzantine court, Balkan folk songs, Turkish classical music, the Lamentation for the Fall of Constantinople by Guillaume Dufay, and more. Countess Báthory's bizarre and ghastly legend has evoked fear and morbid fascination for centuries, rivaling the reputation of Vlad Dracula, and providing ghoulish fodder for horror films, novels, and other such fictional diversions. The stereotypical image of the Balkans as dark, frightening, and perverse lands, filled with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts, is due in no small part to the stories of such real-life figures as Vlad Dracula and Erzsébet Báthory. Both were certainly monstrous in their own way, but both were also accused of crimes that they never committed. We hope this concert provides an introduction to the rich musical life of this time, an age when (like now) a good, lurid story was frequently more popular than the truth. COBSAE: Where can we listen to and purchase your music? TR: You can listen to samples and purchase the CD or individual tracks of The Black Dragon at: 6 VIII The Last Word News & Reviews Coming Soon to an iPad Near You! Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory Expanded Digital Edition Available Summer 2012 exclusively for iPad via iTunes & iBooks! Prof. Kimberly Craft brings you exciting new content in this interactive and visually stunning special electronic edition. You will find new information including new letters, images, and media such as videos and audio. Stay tuned and we’ll bring you more information as the release date nears and let you know when it’s available and where to download your copy! From “A much needed biography of the ‘Infamous Lady” Not since the late Prof. Raymond T. McNally's 1984 *Dracula was a Woman* has there been a scholarly biography that attempted to examine the facts surrounding the life and crimes of Erzsebet Bathory, the Lady Widow Nadasdy, the so-called "Blood Countess." But even McNally's otherwise great book catered to the more sensational aspects connected with Elizabeth Bathory in that the second half of the book explored the occult themes connected to her crimes (vampirism, necrophilia, lycanthropy, etc.) in the popular imagination, and of course there was its title *Dracula was a Woman.* Kimberly Craft's book is a very well-researched historical biography which examines the historical facts that can be adduced regarding the "Infamous Lady's" life and crimes. So if you're looking for tales of lesbian vampirism this is probably not the book for you. All in all,’ Infamous Lady’ is a great book.” ~ L. Freeman If you’ve read Infamous Lady, The Private Letters of Countess Erzsébet Báthory, or Elizabeth Bathory: A Memoire, we’d love to hear your feedback! Please share your reviews with us @: IX We hope you enjoyed this issue! We look forward to your thoughts and feedback! If you’re a fan of the Countess and would like to contribute to a future issue, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you and feature your contributions. Please write to us or send your inquiry to: Community of Báthory Scholars & Enthusiasts SPRING 2012 Many thanks to the members who have so generously contributed to the creation of this newsletter: COBSAE Founder /Author, Kimberly L. Craft COBSAE Co-founder / Production Editor, Liz Carrington Juan Schreiber Tim Rayborn Features: “Condesa Bathory: Ad Honorem” Juan Schreiber “Legacy: A Daughters of Darkness Novel” Batori Szatmar Publishing “The Black Dragon & The Blood Countess” Tim Rayborn Images Courtesy of: Tim Rayborn/Scott Shappell, Batori Szatmar Publishing, and Kimberly L. Craft Last Word Review: L. Freeman

1 comment:

  1. I will work on format for some postings; still new at this :)!