THE MUSIC OF THE EUROPEAN RENAISSANCE AND EARLY BAROQUE
For our 2012 summer concerts, Cantores are teaming up with the early music ensemble The Six to perform a rich medley of choral and instrumental music from the Renaissance and Early Baroque period, when – very different from today - composers didn’t mind too much whether their music was sung or played.
After all, without our modern means to record or play back music electronically or mechanically, households and courts in the 16th and 17th centuries had to make do with whatever music-making tools they had to hand, whether voice or instrument.
To illustrate this eminently flexible and at times cheerfully improvisational approach to the making of music, Cantores together with the sackbuts and cornets of The Six will be exploring the compositions of such titans of early music as Gabrieli, Byrd, Tallis, Schütz and the incomparable Monteverdi.
Our singing will, as so often through our now 21 years of music-making in the Cotswolds, be beautifully enhanced by the acoustics of two of our favourite local churches - Northleach's St Peter and St Paul (GL54 3EE) on June 16th, and Tetbury's St Mary the Virgin (GL8 8DN) on June 30th, 2012, each a Saturday at 7.30 in the evening.
Tickets at £10 can be bought in advance from the end of March at Tetbury, Northleach and Cirencester Tourist Information Offices, from the Cornerstone Bookshop in Cirencester, and there will be tickets on the door on the night.
Alternatively, Cantores are again offering a small discount for those who would prefer the convenience and commitment of booking online, where tickets can be ordered using the box at the right hand side of each page of this website for £8.50 and a small booking fee. Scroll down for full details of the evening's programme.
We asked our Musical Director John Holloway to explain the background of this very special concert:
Nowadays we are all used to highly idiomatic writing for different instruments and for singers;
Liszt has shown us what the piano can do and Paganini the violin. Their musical idiom is not normally interchangeable.
Composers of the Renaissance and early Baroque, while aware of the possibilities of different instruments and particular players, were often content to write music that could be either sung or played.
This was especially important in the domestic environment where one used the skills, vocal or instrumental, of whoever was present. A particular part or line had to be accessible to a range of voices or instruments. Title pages would often say 'Apt for Voices or Viols'.
This is not to say that composers were unaware of sonority or virtuosity, rather that performers had greater freedom to exploit their particular resources.
Both Giovanni Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi had access to companies of players and singers, differently constituted at different times and so performances of their music would have sounded different on different occasions.
For our summer 2012 concerts in Tetbury and Northleach, grand motets in eight or twelve parts will combine the instrumental and vocal textures, and the separate ensembles will show off their skills in choral music by Tallis, Taverner and Victoria and instrumental canzonas and dances of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
G Gabrieli Plaudite Omnis Terra a12
G Gabrieli Hodie completi sunt a8
Schütz German Magnificat
Monteverdi Dixit Dominus (from Vespers of 1610)
Monteverdi Nisi Dominus (from Vespers of 1610)
Victoria Missa O Quam Gloriosum
Tallis Loquebantur variis linguis
Taverner Dum transisset sabbatum
When & Where
Cantores Chamber Choir in the Cotswolds
We are a small, passionately dedicated chamber choir in the Cotswolds, 26 of us singing six or so concerts a year in some of England's most beautiful parish churches.
Two of our concerts every year are with the accompaniment of the Cantores String Ensemble, and we particularly love a cappella singing, with a repertoire ranging from the earliest Tudor times to the most contemporary English composers.