Inspired by the renowned chapel choirs of the Renaissance, Pomerium revives the golden age of a cappella singing. The ensemble, featuring some of the finest singers in the country and acclaimed for its luminous sound, performs frequently in New York—at such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Frick Collection, and Music Before 1800—as well as across the USA and abroad.
POMERIUM was founded by Alexander Blachly in New York in 1972 to perform music composed for the famous chapel choirs of the Renaissance. (The name—medieval Latin for “garden” or “orchard”—derives from the title of a treatise by the 14th-century music theorist Marchettus of Padua, who explained that his Pomerium in arte musice mensurate contains the “flowers and fruits” of the art of music.) Widely known for its interpretations of Du Fay, Ockeghem, Busnoys, Josquin, Lassus, and Palestrina, the 15-voice a cappella ensemble has performed for numerous international festivals, including the Festival di Musica Sacra Bressanone e Bolzano (Brixner Initiative), the Tage Alter Musik festival in Regensburg, Germany, the Flanders Festival Antwerp, and the Holland Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht.
In fall 1998 Pomerium performed in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, Japan. The ensemble has released four CDs for Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Produktion: “A Musical Book of Hours” (Archiv Produktion 457 586-2; re-issued as “Musical Book of Hours”), “Creator of the Stars: Christmas Music from Earlier Times” (Archiv Produktion 449 819-2; re-issued as “An Old-World Christmas”), “The Virgin & the Temple: Motets and Plainchant by Guillaume Du Fay” (Archiv Produktion 447 773-2), and Du Fay’s Mass for St. Anthony of Padua (Archiv Produktion 447 772-2); and, on the Dorian and Classic Masters labels, music by Arcadelt, Busnoys, Du Fay, Gesualdo, Marenzio, Monteverdi, Ockeghem, Wert, and Willaert. “Musica Vaticana,” featuring music composed for the Sistine Chapel choir at the time Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and “Carolus Maximus: Music in the Life of Charles V” were released on the Glissando/Pure Classics label in 1998 and 2000. They are distributed in the USA by Qualiton. In June 2003 Pomerium released “Josquin Desprez: Missa Hercules dux Ferrarie, Motets & Chansons,” also on Glissando/Pure Classics. Pomerium’s most recent recording, released in 2008, features motets and a Magnificat setting by Orlande de Lassus. In June 2011 the ensemble recorded a CD of Mannerist motets by Giaches de Wert, Carlo Gesualdo, Orlande de Lassus, and Claudio Monteverdi.
One of the finest early-music ensembles in the country, and perhaps the world.
–THE NEW YORK TIMES
The standard by which early music vocal groups are measured.
–THE NEW YORK TIMES