Programmes

 

"Faces" of Paschal de L’Estocart

A musical journey into the beautiful vocal polyphony of Paschal de l’Estocart. This program gives us some insight into the different types of vocal work composed by L’Estocart giving us a taste of his unusual moral and spiritual “chansons”, his psalms and motets in latin. 8 a capella singers

 

 "French and Italian rhymes" : Chansons, motets and madrigals by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

This prestigious composer represents the Dutch keyboard school. Although he is mostly known for his harpsichord and organ work, he also composed vocal music including Rîmes françaises et italiennes and French chansons which constitute the outcome of the genre chanson or madrigal “ à la française”. In this respect, he is the real successor of Claude Lejeune and Paschal de L’Estocart. Moreover, his madrigals and motets in the italian style are as beautiful as the most famous pieces of his italian contempory composers. 8 a capella singers and a lautenwerk

 

 A Musical Journey into Polyphony of the Renaissance

This program brings together masterpieces of three great composers of the 16thcentury: Orlando di Lassoand his sublime Stabat Mater for 8 voices, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and his madrigals devoted to the Virgin with poems of Petrarch put to music and Paschal de l’Estocart with extracts of the Sacrae Cantiones, collection recently rediscovered which contains treasures of figuralisms and madrigalisms that one thought of as typically belonging to italian music. 8 a capella singers

 

 Church Music of the Scottish Kingdom

A program devoted to Robert Carver, one of the greatest polyphonists of the early 16th century in Scotland: Mass for 3 voices, motet Gaude flora virginali for 5 voices, mass Ferapessima for 5 voices. These pieces are an important part of Carver's music and belong to an Antiphonary called Carver Choir Book which also includes three other masses and the motet for 19 voices (O Bone Jesu). Robert Carver’s way of composing music is unusual. This is clearly shown in the motet Gaude Flora Virginali with extremely rich harmonic moments. Carver is probably the first composer who frequently used the “polymodality” creating in his music audacious modulations. 11 a capella singers

 

"Love, Death and Life"

This program is devoted to Love and its musical expressions. The greatest masters of the Renaissance are brought together with chansons amoureuses from the french Renaissance (Clément Janequin, Jacotin), italian secular madrigals (Luca Marenzio, Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo) and sacred italians madrigals (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina). 8 a capella singers

 

 Four Centuries of Polyphony in Vienna

This is an unusual way of discovering Vienna's musical inheritance through a capella polyphonic music with composers working in Vienna or music which has been published there in during different periods. The same type of ensemble and the same principles for composition have been used - including canons, motets, lieders and madrigals by: Heinrich Isaac (1450-1517), Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Paulus Hofhaimer (1459-1537), Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).8 a capella singers

 

 Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, Claudio Monteverdi

This program is an innovation in the sense that we chose to perform the famous Vespers of 1610 in the setting that Monterverdi considered doing without melodic instruments like violins, cornets and sackbuts, and by building the continuo part on an organ of italian type (principal of 8 feet). Thus the singers become both soloists and tuttists and the "ensembles" sound more convincing.The use of plainsong gives the Vespers a stronger sense of unity than the usual way of performing. Because of the absence of melodic instruments, the Sonata Sopra Sancta Maria is replaced by a motet by Frescobaldi and by the magnificat for 6 voices instead of 7. 12 singers and 5 instrumentists.

 

 English Polyphonies from the 16 th Century

This program is built around the famous Mass for 5 voices composed by William Byrd, for private worship at a time when Catholics had to hide. Thus the 3 masses William Byrd wrote in 1592 and 1595 were intended to be used in private chapels where roman Catholics prayed secretly.

In this program showing an example of this "private devotion", we chose to add between the different parts of the mass, motets and spiritual songs composed in the same period by Robert White, Robert Carver and Alfonso Ferrabosco who were all composers during the reign of Elizabeth the 1st. 8 a capella singers