Utrecht Early Music Festival 2018
In April, Stingray Classica continues its tribute to early music, a genre of classical compositions that arguably requires immense research and dedication to be interpreted authentically than all other genres of classical music. It generally comprises Medieval and Renaissance music, composed for instruments that have long left the standard repertoire of orchestras. The Dutch Early Music Festival has been dedicated to keeping the adventure of early music alive for over 30 years. The festival celebrates the unique genre with a ten-day programme of concerts, workshops and masterclasses in several locations all over the city of Utrecht every year since 1982. This year, Stingray Classica will present some of the best concerts of the 2018 edition every Sunday. April’s first concert contains medieval women appearing in all their guises, in music by Cordier, Binchois and Ghiselin. Next week presents Josquin’s famous Missa L’homme, armé sexti toni, while Bertrand Cuiller performs baroque key works of Couperin’s Troisième Livre on April 19th. The month closes with works by Guillaume Dufay, a figurehead of Burgundian polyphony. The choir Graindelavoix performs a fully dedicated concert featuring Nuper rosarum flores, a motet used for the dedication of the cathedral of Florence.
Ladies first, From Marian motet to love song
Sunday, 5 April | 10:00
Despite his motto ‘Aultre n’auray’ (‘I shall never have another’), Philip the Good was known for his passion for the fairer sex. Could this explain why Le Champion des Dames – Martin le Franc’s monumental poem about famous women – was dedicated to Philip? From the Virgin Mary to Joan of Arc to Christine de Pisan: in this programme medieval woman appears in all her guises, in music by Baude Cordier, Gilles Binchois and Johannes Ghiselin, among others.
Josquin - Missa L'homme armé sexti toni
Sunday, 12 April | 14:00
‘Beware the armed man!’ The warning about ‘L’homme armé’ sounds twice as powerful from the mouth of Josquin Desprez: he twice used the popular medieval melody as the basis for composing a mass. Earlier in this Festival, the Missa super voces musicales was performed by Marco Mencoboni and Katharina Bäuml; today Lionel Meunier is the duty chef, with the brilliant Missa Sexti toni, in which the melody keeps popping up all over the place.
Couperin - Third book: A New Path
Sunday, 19 April | 10:00
With his third harpsichord book, Couperin discovered his own unique voice. The old-fashioned suite has had its day, the ordre reaches its peak. Although the number of sections per ordre is restricted, a powerful atmospheric description provides character and coherence. This legendary publication contains some of the most remarkable examples of Baroque keyboard repertoire: right up Bertrand Cuiller’s street.
Dufay: A Burgundian in Italy
Sunday, 26 April | 10:00
The career of Guillaume Dufay – figurehead of Burgundian polyphony – begins in Italy. He seems to have particularly strong ties with Florence and her finest artists. Graindelavoix draws inspiration from this chapter in Dufay’s career in order to breathe new life into his dance-like oeuvre. Dufay’s pièce de résistance is of course included: Nuper rosarum flores, the motet used for the dedication of the cathedral of Florence.