Utrecht Early Music Festival 2018
In June, Stingray Classica continues its tribute to early music. Arguably, this category of classical compositions requires more profound research and immense dedication than all other classical music genres, as it is ideally interpreted in a historically informed way. It generally comprises Medieval and Renaissance music, composed for instruments that have long left the standard composition of orchestras. Ever since 1982, the Dutch annual Early Music Festival has been dedicated to keeping the adventure of early music alive. The festival celebrates this unique music with a ten-day program of concerts, workshops and masterclasses on several locations across the city of Utrecht. This June, Stingray Classica premieres some of the best concerts of the 2018 edition every Sunday. The first of these, on June 7, features multiple prize-winning ensemble Stile Antico, interpreting Josquin Desprez’ Missa Gaudeamus. June 14 brings the Chansonnier Cordiforme, a manuscript of Italian and French love songs in the shape of a heart, as interpreted by the phenomenal Ensemble Leones. Next up is a recital of Josquin Desprez’ finest dark timbres, on Sunday, June 21. The series of Early Music premieres reaches its conclusion on June 28, with a rendition of 15th-century compositions for two lutes and soprano, interpreted by the acclaimed musicians Marc Lewon, Paul Kieffer and Grace Newcombe.
Josquin - Missa Gaudeamus
Sunday, June 7 | 10:00
Energetic, intellectual, eloquent and confident: in the Missa Gaudeamus we encounter a grown-up Josquin Desprez, who shows off with bravura all the compositional techniques and stylistic elements of his day. Cantus firmus and canon techniques go hand in hand with melodic ingenuity, rhythmic complexity and sophisticated climax-building. In the hands of the multiple prize-winning Stile Antico, this work, alternated with Josquin’s motets including Ave Maria and Salve Regina, shines like new.
Straight from the heart: Chansonnier Cordiforme
Sunday, June 14 | 10:00
With three singers and three instrumentalists Ensemble Leones is ready for one of the finest gems of the Burgundian era: the Chansonnier Cordiforme, a manuscript of Italian and French love songs in the shape of a heart. Containing works by the most renowned polyphonists of the 15th century – Dufay, Morton, Binchois, Ockeghem – this manuscript represents a rich source of high-quality court music.
Sunday, June 21 | 10:00
In 15th-century polyphony suffering is, after love, possibly the most important theme. As in the Flemish Primitives’ paintings, the tears flow copiously in the oeuvre of composers such as Josquin Desprez. With this selection of Josquin’s finest dark timbres (Miserere mei, De profundis, Absalon fili mi), Cappella Amsterdam guarantees us a breathtaking programme with a palette of muted colours. The concert ends with Musae jovis, Gombert’s lamentation on the death of Josquin.
Two Lutes with Grace
Sunday, June 28 | 10:00
The lute in the limelight: no better opportunity to get a taste of 15th-century music for two lutes and soprano! These three musicians bring popular dances, chansons and cantus firmi from Burgundian repertoire back to life: the echo of popular music practice from the era of the mighty House of Valois.