Jacob Obrecht in Antwerp

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Jacob Obrecht in Antwerp

Post by PJME » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:34 am

To wet your appetite!
The "Laus polyphoniae" festival started in Antwerp . Saint Augustine's church has been restaured and is now a center for "old music". Jacob Obrecht is the central figure, Capilla Flamenca is group -in-residence.

http://www.festivalvanvlaanderen-antwerpen.be/ - at this site you can find all details - in english.

Jacob Obrecht and his times

Jacob Obrecht (Ghent 1457/1458 – Ferrara 1505) was a natural talent: in a short period of time, he developed into a composer of exceptional quality who was greatly admired by his contemporaries, even though his career –like that of many polyphonists- did evolve rather erratically. His biography mentions that he lived and worked as a choirmaster in Ferrara, Bergen-op-Zoom, Kamerijk, Bruges and Antwerp. Eventually, he returned to Ferrara where he became chapel master. He died there exactly five hundred years ago from the plague, as did his employer, Duke Ercole I d’Este.

Obrecht was a particularly accomplished composer of mass cycles: he created at least thirty. But the motet, which during the generation of Josquin Desprez had come to occupy a central position on the musical scene, would also continue to interest him throughout his life. In addition, Obrecht made an exceptional contribution to the repertoire of instrumental adaptations of Flemish songs, polyphonic arrangements of which often only the opening words have survived. Obrecht’s music is still undervalued, so in this respect there is clearly a task cut out for Laus Polyphoniae. As Obrecht expert Rob Wegman has quite rightly pointed out, many discoveries and surprises still await us in his work.

Equally as fascinating as Obrecht was Pierre de la Rue. This Flemish polyphonist consecutively served Maximilian of Austria, Philip the Fair, Joanna the Mad, Margaret of Austria and Archduke Charles – who would later become known as Charles V. He worked in Siena, ‘s Hertogenbosch, Vienna, Spain, Mechlin and Courtrai. His chansons are little gems of restrained expression, and his motets and masses emanate a similar sense of solemnity.

Other, less well-known contemporaries of Obrecht were Antoine Busnois, Alexander Agricola, Loyset Compère, Johannes Prioris, Antoine Brumel, Matthaeus Pipelare and Johannes Tinctoris. All these composers receive the attention they deserve in this year’s programme of concerts.

Besides 27 concerts, the Festival of Flanders-Antwerp, in association with Musica, the Impulse Centre for Music, will once again be organising a range of other activities: workshops, an interview, a lecture, introductions to concerts, round-table conversations, an academic colloquium and the second edition of the International Young Artist’s Presentation – Historical Wind Instruments.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:49 am

It is nice to know that this acquired taste is still shared by enough people to merit live performances. I just wish that they would still occur with a bishop sitting through the Ordinary in a great cathedral (Bamberg would do).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:57 pm

We eagerly anticipate a full report, P.
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