IBERIA & BRITANNIA - The Tudor Golden Age
12 December 20h00 - Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja | SPAIN
13 December 12h00 - Rioja Fórum de Logroño, La Rioja | SPAIN
Marking 260 years over the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, Officium Ensemble performs the acclaimed Missa Et ecce terraemotus, written by Antoine Brumel. Pupil of Josquin des Prés (c.1440-1521) and one of the leading Franco-Flemish composers around 1500, Brumel was famous throughout the 16th century. His impressive mass quickly gained a striking reputation for itself in the renaissance Europe, and was regarded as a rare and difficult experiment to achieve at the time - even nowadays, it is not a work considered as being performed intensively.
Reminding the listener of the complexity and inumerous forces involved in the 40-part motet Spem in Alium, by Thomas Tallis, the Missa Et ecce terraemotus is also striking for its voice setting. It was written for three sopranos, one true alto, five tenors and three basses, and the range of all parts – leaving out the soprano lines – attains levels of eccentricity: countertenor II, for example, has a range of two octaves and a tone.
Officium Ensemble brings out the lavishness of its lines and rythm, in a concert where the Brumel mass is blended with music of Portuguese renaissance composers such as Duarte Lobo, Manuel Cardoso, and Filipe de Magalhães. Interspaced by the Dies Irae plainchant, our programme strives to transport the listener into a sumptuous musical world, that depicts the lushness of renaissance music.
Huelgas Ensemble, Ludovice Ensemble and Officium Ensemble - 13th September, Lisbon
Paul van Nevel
Officium Ensemble, Ludovice Ensemble and Huelgas Ensemble teamed up to present "La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina", an opera by Francesca Caccini.
In the words of the conductor Paul van Nevel, the opera La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina is an “almost unknown opera”, but also “a milestone in Italian music from the first half of the 17th century”.
Written by Francesca Caccini, with a libretto by Ferdinando Saracinelli, this work had its première on 3 February 1625, at Villa di Poggio Imperiale, in Florence, on the occasion of the visit of Prince Wladyslaw Vasa, the heir to the Polish throne at that time. The work had been commissioned by the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Maria Maddalena of Austria (who had married Cosimo de’ Medici), and, with this opera, whose libretto is full of references to both local and international political contexts of that time, her main aim was to make the Polish Crown Prince marry her daughter.
Utrecht concert with standing ovation
Officium Ensemble's concert in Utrecht Oudemusiek Festival, Saturday the 5th of September, was sold out since early July. Officium performed THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE TUDORS: BYRD, SHEPPARD AND TALLIS on a balanced and structured concert, getting a standing ovation for several minutes. Audivi vocem (Duarte Lobo) was the encore Officium Ensemble offered to the thrilled audience.