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September 10, 2017

 

tout-par-compas


4:00 pm, Sunday, September 10, 2017
Early Music at Saint James
Saint James Episcopal Church
119 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

MUSICAL GAMES, PUZZLES, AND RIDDLES OF THE RENAISSANCE

A CENTURY OF MUSICAL INGENUITY, 1410-1510

MUSIC FOR HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN I

Argentum et aurum (chant antiphon)
Missa Argentum et aurum, Kyrie
Missa Argentum et aurum, Gloria

Regensburg 4306 (1501)
Henricus Isaac (ca. 1450-1517)
Henricus Isaac

A PICTURE SONG IN THE SHAPE OF A HEART

Belle, bonne, sage

Baude Cordier (ca. 1410)

THEME SONG OF THE ORDER OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE

L’homme armé
Il sera par vous conbatu/L’homme armé, 3vv
Missa L’homme armé, Kyrie
Missa L’homme armé sexti toni, Gloria

Anonymous
Guillaume Du Fay (ca. 1397-1474)
Johannes Ockeghem (ca. 1410?-1497)
Josquin Desprez (ca. 1451-1521)

A MUSICAL RIDDLE

Prenez sur moy

Johannes Ockeghem

MUSICAL PORTRAIT OF OCKEGHEM

In hydraulis Antoine Busnoys (d.1492)

A PICTURE SONG IN THE SHAPE OF A CIRCLE

Tout par compas, 3vv

Baude Cordier

THE MASS OF THE DICE

Missa Di dadi, Sanctus

Josquin Desprez

INGENIOUS MUSICAL CANONS

Missa Hercules dux Ferrarie, Sanctus

Josquin Desprez

 

Pomerium

Kristina Boerger, Martha Cluver, Melissa Fogarty, Chloe Holgate – sopranos
Michèle Eaton – mezzo-soprano
Peter Gruett, Emerson Sieverts – countertenors
Nathaniel Adams, Neil Farrell, Patrick Fennig, Michael Steinberger, Christopher Preston Thompson – tenors
Kurt-Owen Richards, Peter Stewart – basses

Commentary on the Program

by Alexander Blachly

    Today’s program was designed to complement the exhibit of Renaissance playing cards mounted at The Met Cloisters in early 2016. Among the sets on display was a complete deck of finely-detailed, hand-painted fifteenth-century playing cards in the permanent collection of The Cloisters. All of the sets showed ingenious ways to illustrate numbers, suits, and face cards, reminding us that the late Middle Ages was a period fascinated by games and puzzles. This fascination extended to music. We find pieces from that time, for example, notated fancifully in the shape of a heart or a circle, or in the shape of a circular labyrinth to illustrate the theme of the lyrics (that the beloved is trapped in a maze which frustrates the lover’s attempt to reach her). The different movements of Josquin Desprez’s Missa Di dadi show augmented durational values in the tenor voice by way of dice in the margin (e.g., one die showing five and another die showing one, to indicate that breves are to be augmented in performance in a ratio of five to one). Johannes Ockeghem’s chanson Prenez sur moy, a three-voice canon, indicates the starting pitches of its three voices by sharps and flats on the staff lines above and below the middle one, on which the canon’s first note is written. By defining the notes a third above and a third below the starting ones as the hexachordal syllables mi or fa in a piece with no sharps and flats in the key signature, the actual starting notes of the three voices can be identified. Today’s program features still other musical games, such as Isaac’s first Kyrie from his Missa Argentum et aurum, which uses only dotted breves in the top voice, dotted semibreves in the altus, dotted longs in the bassus, and dotted maximas in the tenor. As an example of popular medieval and early Renaissance games, playing cards provide a window into an intellectual culture that delighted in games.

    Paintings from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that show people playing cards depict men and women who belong to the nobility. Card and board games at that time, like hunting, hawking, and jousting, were the privilege of the wealthy. In taking as the inspiration for a musical program Cloisters Collection 1983.5151-.52, a hand-painted complete deck of 52 pasteboard playing cards from the South Netherlands ca. 1470-80, we are reminded that the musical counterparts of medieval playing cards were created for the courts. In the case of the playing cards in the Cloisters collection, these were the courts associated with the Netherlands, such as the Imperial court in Vienna or the Burgundian court, which traveled from city to city throughout the duchy of Burgundy. We have therefore chosen as the principal composers of our program Guillaume Du Fay, from the Burgundian city of Cambrai; Johannes Ockeghem, composer from the Netherlands who served in the prestigious position as treasurer of the Abbey of St. Martin in Tours; Henricus Isaac, who at the end of his life was imperial court composer to emperor Maximilian I in Vienna; Josquin Desprez, who came from an area in the Netherlands not far from Condé-sur-L’Escaut, on the border of the imperial county of Hainaut; and Antoine Busnoys, who was active in aristocratic circles connected with the French court in the Loire valley, later in Tours, later still as chantre in the service of Charles Charlomais, who became duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy in 1467.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm

Welcome to Pomerium

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Jul 212012
 

At 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 10, Pomerium performed Musical Games, Puzzles, and Riddles of the Renaissance at St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, PA, to a wonderful crowd in an excellent early-music series. Our appreciative thanks to the series’ director, Kathleen Spencer, who treated Pomerium like royalty.

On Sunday, October 22, 2017, Pomerium performed Flemish Musical Mastery in the Age of Hieronymus Bosch in the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch in New York.

On Sunday, October 29, 2017, Pomerium performed Flemish Musical Mastery in the Age of Hieronymus Bosch at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

On Sunday, March 11, 2018, Pomerium will present the Feast of Saint Gregory in conjunction with Byzantine singers at The Met Cloisters, at 1:00 and 3:00 pm.

On Thursday, March 15, 2018, Pomerium will perform Musical Games, Puzzles, and Riddles of the Renaissance at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church at East 50th Street and Park Avenue, New York, NY.

Pomerium@LOC103115

Pomerium’s April 9, 2015, concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall was a triumphant end to the group’s 42nd season.

AlexBlachlyWsoldOutPosterCarnegieHalle

The program for the evening’s concert was the entirety of “Music for the Tudor Queens,” Pomerium’s latest CD, released in February 2015.  The CD can be purchased here.  You can also download the tracks at our “Music & Store” page.

MusicForTheTudorQueensCOVER
Add to Cart
READ THE AMAZING WASHINGTON POST REVIEW OF POMERIUM’S MAY 5, 2013, CONCERT AT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

Pomerium celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012-2013 with the release of “A Voice in the Wilderness-Mannerist Motets of the Renaissance.” 


Background music:
Gesualdo – Ecce vidimus eum

Order your copy here: Add to Cart

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.

 Posted by at 7:01 am

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On Saturday, April 15, 2017, Pomerium will perform Passion and Resurrection Motets of the Renaissance, its annual Holy Saturday concert at The Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, Pomerium performed Musical Games, Puzzles, and Riddles of the Renaissance in the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch in New York.

On Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, Pomerium performed The Golden Age of Polyphony: Renaissance Music from the Library of Congress Collection in the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch in New York, a program first performed October 31, 2015, at the Library of Congress. Read the Washington Post’s extraordinary review.

Pomerium@LOC103115

Pomerium’s April 9, 2015, concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall was a triumphant end to the group’s 42nd season.

AlexBlachlyWsoldOutPosterCarnegieHalle

The program for the evening’s concert was the entirety of “Music for the Tudor Queens,” Pomerium’s latest CD, released in February 2015.  The CD can be purchased here.  You can also download the tracks at our “Music & Store” page.

MusicForTheTudorQueensCOVER
Add to Cart
READ THE AMAZING WASHINGTON POST REVIEW OF POMERIUM’S MAY 5, 2013, CONCERT AT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION


Pomerium celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012-2013 with the release of “A Voice in the Wilderness-Mannerist Motets of the Renaissance.” 
Background music: Gesualdo – Ecce vidimus eum

Order your copy here: Add to Cart

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.

 Posted by at 7:01 am