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Creator of the Stars Concert

 

131222CreatorAllSouls

Program

Alma redemptoris mater
Alma redemptoris mater II

Conditor alme siderum
Conditor alme siderum

Puer natus est
Puer natus est

Preter rerum seriem
Preter rerum seriem

Quem vidistis pastores
Quem vidistis pastores

Sarum Chant (England, ca. 1260)
Guillaume Du Fay (ca. 1397-1474)

Chant, Rome, BAV MS 18 (Italy 16th cent.)
Costanzo Festa (ca. 1490-1545)

Sarum Chant (England, ca. 1260)
William Byrd (1543-1623)

Paris, BN, MS Lat. 1107 (France, 1254)
Josquin Desprez (ca. 1452-1521)

Paris, BN, MS Lat. 12044 (France, 12th cent.)
Cipriano de Rore (ca. 1515-1565)

INTERMISSION

A solis ortus cardine
A solis ortus cardine

Enixa est puerpera

Dies sanctificatus

Descendit sicut pluvia

Reges Tharsis et insule
Reges Tharsis et insule

Resonet in laudibus
Resonet in laudibus

Hymni totius anni (Rome, 1589)
Giov. Pierl. da Palestrina (1525-1594)

Adrian Willaert (ca. 1490-1562)

Giov. Pierl. da Palestrina

Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594)

Sarum chant (England, 13th cent.)
William Byrd

Vienna 4494 (Austria, ca. 1460)
Orlande de Lassus

 

Pomerium

Kristina Boerger, Melissa Fogarty, Michele Kennedy, Dominique Surh, Elizabeth Baber Weaver – sopranos
Silvie Jensen – mezzo-soprano
Robert Isaacs – countertenor
Thom Baker, Neil Farrell, Michael Steinberger – tenors
Jeffrey Johnson, Thomas McCargar – baritones
Kurt-Owen Richards, Peter Stewart – basses

Commentary on the Program

by Alexander Blachly

Among the themes celebrated in the sacred art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, none approaches in significance the threefold mysteries of the Christian faith: Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost—God’s birth as man, his resurrection from death, and the dramatic bestowal of the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension. These three supernatural events served from early on as the pillars of the Christian religion. Yet the Gospels of Mark and John do not describe Jesus’ birth, and Matthew does so only sufficiently to establish that Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, the Church for nearly two thousand years has relied heavily on Luke’s extensive narration of Christ’s nativity, incorporating the many colorful elements of his account into the chants, prayers, and readings for the Christmas season.

Because of their pre-eminence, Christmas and Easter from early on required not just a full day of Hours of the Office and a Mass, like the other great feasts, but also at least a month of preparation: Advent for Christmas, Lent for Easter. Each served also as the springboard for celebrations in their wake: Circumcision and Epiphany for Christmas; Ascension and Pentecost for Easter. Thus, the Christmas season extends from the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew’s Day (November 30) to the beginning of February. Throughout this period the liturgy continually recalls Mary’s virginity, the birth of Christ in a stable, the wondering shepherds, the host of angels singing “Glory to God in the Highest,” and the adoration of the Magi. The emphasis on the Virgin birth of Jesus confirms that in all respects God’s appearance on earth as man marked a break in the natural order, something præter rerum seriem (“beyond the order of things”) that could only occur natura mirante (“to the astonishment of nature”). In time, Christmas came also to represent the Parousia, the second coming of Christ, thereby endowing the prophecies of Christ’s birth with an additional layer of meaning.

Our concert presents a selection of Gregorian chant and monophonic devotional songs (cantiones) for the Christmas season and follows each with its polyphonic elaboration by a Renaissance composer. To appreciate the full effect that polyphony produced in the Renaissance, we must remember that throughout most of Europe the most frequently heard music in the church prior to the 17th century was monophonic chant. Although the polyphonic works heard here stand on their own as independent works of art, we comprehend them best in recognizing their origins as polyphonic elaborations of already well-known melodies and words.

For the modern listener, perhaps the most striking aspect of the Renaissance elaborations is their supple and, as it were, “three-dimensional” character. In this respect they mirror exactly the progression in Renaissance painting, as it moved from more stylized two-dimensional figures to full-blooded representations who look capable of stepping out of their frames into our own space. As might be expected, the latest musical elaborations in our program—composed when it was widely accepted that music can illustrate specific ideas, emotional states, and natural phenomena—produce the most dramatic emotional effects. The chant items and the earliest Renaissance elaborations, on the other hand, impress us with their austere and mystical beauty.

 Posted by at 12:35 pm

Creator of the Stars

 


NOMINATED FOR A 1999 GRAMMY AWARD

Creator of the Stars

Christmas Music of the  Middle Ages & Renaissance

ARCHIV PRODUKTION 449 819-2
© 1997 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

Creator of the Stars we reissued as “An Old World Christmas” and is available at Amazon.com

ANON. CANTIO In dulci jubilo à2
MICHAEL PRAETORIUS • In dulci jubilo à2, In dulci jubilo à3, In dulci jubilo à4
ANON. CANTIO • Resonet in laudibus
CHRISTIAN ERBACH • Resonet in laudibus
ORLANDE DE LASSUS • Resonet in laudibus
RECONSTR. CHANT • Preter rerum seriem
JOSQUIN DESPREZ • Preter rerum seriem
CHANT/ GUILLAUME DU FAY • Conditor alme siderum
WILLIAM BYRD • Puer natus est
CHANT O • Sapientia
WILLIAM HORWOOD Magnificat secundi toni
ROBERT RAMSEY • O Sapientia
CHANT • Quem vidistis pastores
CIPRIANO DE RORE • Quem vidistis pastores
CHANT (SARUM) • Alma redemptoris mater
JOHANNES OCKEGHEM • Alma redemptoris mater
WILLIAM BYRD • Reges Tharsis et insulae

SINGERS

Michèle Eaton, Elizabeth Henreckson-Farnum,
Alessandra Visconti, Cynthia Richards Wallace – soprano
Johnson Flucker, Stephen Rosser – alto
Gregory Carder, Timothy Leigh Evans, Neil Farrell, Michael Steinberger – tenor
Mark Duer, Jeffrey Johnson, Kurt-Owen Richards, Peter Stewart – bass

Click here to hear a RealAudio sample of  the In Dulci jubilo from this CD

 Posted by at 10:44 am

2015 – 2016 Concert Season

 

Saturday, October 31, 2015, 2:00 pm, Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Saturday, December 19, 2015, 8:00 pm, All Souls Unitarian Church, NYC, “Creator of the Stars: Christmas Music from the Old World”

Sunday, February 21, 2016, 1:00 and 3:00 pm, The Cloisters, NYC, “Musical Games, Puzzles, and Riddles of the Renaissance”

Saturday, March 19, 2016, 1:00 and 3:00 pm, The Cloisters, NYC, “Passion and Resurrection Motets of the Renaissance”

Friday, April 8, 2016, 8:00 pm, University of Notre Dame, “The Motet from Palestrina to Bach,” special program for the annual meeting of the American Bach Society

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2013-2014 Concert Season

 

2013

131024SpiritualMusicOCTOBER

24 Thursday 7:30 p.m.
Town Hall
New York, NY
Participating in Philip Glass’s “In the Spirit”: a benefit concert for the Garrison Insitute
Click to see program and poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
131027MaryTudorTriumphant
27 Sunday 4:00 p.m.
Music Before 1800
Corpus Christi Church
New York, NY
Mary Tudor Triumphant: Music for England’s Catholic Queen

Click to see program and poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

131222CreatorAllSouls

DECEMBER

22 Sunday 5:00 p.m.

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church

Lexington Avenue at East 80th Street

New York, NY

Creator of the Stars

Click to see program and poster

See the GEMS page for this event here.

 

 

 

 

2014

140419PomeriumCloisters

APRIL

19 Saturday 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.

The Cloisters

New York, NY

Passion & Resurrection Motets of the Renaissance

Click to see program, poster, and Ticket Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 7:21 pm

Music & Store

 

Pomerium’s latest CD “Music for the Tudor Queens,” released in February 2015, is available here.
MusicForTheTudorQueensCOVER
Add to Cart

Here is a brief downloadable video excerpt from Pomerium’s
May 5, 2013 concert at the Phillips Collection
in Washington, DC.  (11 mb file)
You can also play it on our Facebook page
Pomerium (excerpt of Robert White’s Regina coeli, ca. 1555) – Mobile

“A Voice in the Wilderness—Mannerist Motets of the Renaissance,” was heralded on its release in 2012 as the best recording Pomerium had ever made.
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The first of Pomerium’s recordings issued under their own “Old Hall” label, “Orlande de Lassus–Motets & Magnificat” is an extraordinary example of Pomerium’s richly blended voices and Director Alexander Blachly’s superb interpretation.
PomeriumLassusAdd to Cart
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Many of Pomerium’s early recordings were available only on vinyl (starting back in the early 1970s) and are collectors’ items today. Some of the following are available as CDs. Click on the image for more details or to purchase. You may also listen to samples and purchase digital downloads by scrolling down to bottom of page. For international sales we can arrange for paympoent through PayPal. Please contact us for instructions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchase Pomerium’s three most recent CD’s in digital format online here. It may take a moment for the window below to load. We will also soon make available some of Pomerium’s older and archival recordings. Please join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on future concerts, events, and recordings.

 

Online Download

 Posted by at 11:10 am

Concert Schedule

 

2012

SEPTEMBER

14 Friday 7:00 p.m.

Leighton Concert Hall

DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

The Sorrows of Our Lady: Music of the Renaissance, 1484-1594

Click to see program and poster

 

 

 

DECEMBER

18 Tuesday 7:30 p.m.

All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church

Lexington Avenue at East 80th Street

New York, NY

Creator of the Stars

Click to see program and poster

See the GEMS page for this event here.

 

 

2013

FEBRUARY

27 Wednesday 7:00 p.m.

St. Ignatius Loyola Church

New York, NY

Timor et tremor: Renaissance Motets for Lent

Click to see program and poster

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH

3 Sunday 4:00 p.m.

South Church

New Britain, CT

Mary Tudor: Music for England’s Catholic Queen

Click to see program, poster, and Ticket Information

 

 

 

 

 

9 Saturday 7:00 p.m.

Church of the Visitation

Kansas City, MO

Mary Tudor: Music for England’s Catholic Queen

Click to see program, poster, and Ticket Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Saturday 8:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh Renaissance & Baroque Society
Calvary Episcopal Church
315 Shady Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
Mary Tudor: Music for England’s Catholic Queen

Click to see program, poster, and Ticket Information

 

 

 

 

 

30 Saturday 1:00 & 3:00 p.m.

The Cloisters

New York, NY

Passion & Resurrection Motets of the Renaissance

Click to see program, poster, and Ticket Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL

21 Sunday 1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m.

The Cloisters

New York, NY

Spem in alium: Music for England’s Catholic Queen

Click to see program, poster, and Ticket Information

 

 

 

 

 

MAY

5 Sunday 4:00 p.m.

The Phillips Collection

Washington, DC

Mary Tudor: Music for England’s Catholic Queen

Click to see program, poster, and Ticket Information

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 11:10 am

About

 

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

 Posted by at 11:09 am