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At 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 23, 2019, Pomerium presented “Pythagoras in the Middle Ages: Music in Tune with the Heavens” in the Church of the Transfiguration (“Little Church Around the Corner”) in New York. One of the principal teachings of Pythagoras—that music on earth can be numerically in tune with the “music of the spheres”—plays a role in all the pieces presented here, from an organum setting, possibly by Leonin, for the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris at the end of the twelfth century to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame of ca. 1360 to mind-boggling isorhythmic motets by Guillaume Du Fay and Tapissier in the waning Middle Ages. The program charts an evocative journey from the earliest numerically designed polyphony (thirteenth century) to the sophisticated numerical structures of the Ars nova (fourteenth century) to some of the last and most intricate numerical masterpieces before the innovations of the Renaissance (early fifteenth century).
At 1:15 pm, Thursday, March 12, 2020, Pomerium will perform “Gregorian Chant and Amazing Motets from German-Speaking Lands” in the Midtown Concerts series at the Episcopal Church of St. Bartholomew in New York. It may come as a surprise to people who know how many teachings of the Catholic Church Martin Luther rejected to learn that he loved Catholic Church music, both Gregorian chant and the elevated polyphony of Renaissance composers. Those two styles of Catholic music remained mainstays of the Lutheran Church, alongside the newer congregational chorales, throughout the sixteenth century and into the seventeenth. Our program juxtaposes a selection of the greatest Gregorian chants of the church year—as transmitted in German service books by Luca Lossius (1561), Franz Eler (1588), and medieval German manuscripts—with wondrously chromatic polyphonic works by Jacobus Gallus (1550-1591), Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612), and Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672).
At 3:00 pm, Sunday, April 26, 2020, Pomerium will perform “The Brilliance of Josquin Desprez versus the Drama of the Mannerists,” at the Church of the Transfiguration (“Little Church Around the Corner”). In this program, the amazing counterpoint of Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé is juxtaposed to chromatic and dissonant motets by Jacobus Gallus, Hans Leo Hassler, Giaches de Wert, and Carlo Gesualdo.
Pomerium’s April 9, 2015, concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall was a triumphant end to the group’s 42nd season.
The program for the evening’s concert was the entirety of “Music for the Tudor Queens,” Pomerium’s fifteenth CD, released in February 2015. The CD can be purchased here. You can also download the tracks at our “Music & Store” page.
Background music: Gesualdo – Ecce vidimus eum
Or download MP3 files here, or at Amazon.com, iTunes, and dozens of other sites.
Pomerium’s first concert of the 2012-2013 season was September 14 at the University of Notre Dame. It included slides of art works projected on a large screen above the singers. Here are some comments from people who were there: “Alex, thank you for the evening of beautiful music. We also appreciated both the well-chosen slides and your comments, which added a deeper dimension to our listening experience. Bravo to you and to your Pomerium; the concert was a delight in every way.” — Jane D. “I thought the concert last night was superb. I could have listened to three more hours. I was in the front row of the balcony and the acoustics were, to my ear, just perfect. Hearty congrats, and many thanks” –John E.