Gombert Concerts

December 12, 2013

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Welcome to our twentieth annual subscription series. We commence the year by celebrating a remarkable woman, Anne of Brittany, who died in 1514. Our second and third concerts both survey choral music of the past five centuries, one focussed on the Austrian a cappella tradition, the other on music of various traditions for double choir. And our final concert, Deo volente, will be the Jacobean Christmas to Candlemas with viols originally planned for 2013. We look forward to seeing you in the wonderful Xavier Chapel for another year of superb choral music.

Concert 1: Saturday 22 February at 8.00 pm

Commemorating Anne of Brittany

Jean Mouton – Quis dabit oculis nostris
Costanzo Festa – Quis dabit oculis nostris
Pierre Moulu – Fiere attropos
Johannes Prioris – Requiem

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When Anne of Brittany, uniquely the wife of two successive French kings, as well as Duchess of Brittany in her own right, died on 9 January 1514, her funeral lasted for forty days. Such an extended ceremony must have involved a lot of music, though only the three motets presented here can be identified with certainty. Nevertheless it is generally accepted that Prioris’s fine Requiem was also written for the occasion.

Concert 2: Saturday 29 March at 8.00 pm

Five Centuries of Austrian a cappella sacred music

Heinrich Isaac – Virgo prudentissima
Jacobus Vaet – Continuo lacrimas
Philippe de Monte – Super flumina Babylonis
Johann Stadlmayr – O magnum mysterium
Johann Fux – Three Offertoria:
Ad te, Domine, levavi
Ave Maria, gratia plena
Tollite portas

Johann Ernst Eberlin – Two Offertoria
Bonum est confiteri Domino
Improperium exspectavit cor meum

Franz Schubert – Der 92. Psalm
Johannes Brahms – Drei Motetten, Opus 110
Arnold Schoenberg – Friede auf Erden

Some of the composers represented here were Austrian imports while others were home grown. But all works were composed in Austria, some for Catholic liturgical use, Brahms’s motets possibly for Lutheran use, Schubert’s Hebrew setting of the 92nd Psalm for the Jewish synagogue, while the Isaac, Vaet and Schoenberg works are non-liturgical. Of course Austria’s best-known sacred music consists of Masses for soloists, choir and orchestra, but this program shows that there was also a fine a cappella tradition spanning the centuries.

Concert 3: Saturday 10 May at 5.30 pm **PLEASE NOTE EARLY TIME**

Music for Double Choir

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Laudate Dominum omnes gentes
Orlande de Lassus – Osculetur me
Tomás Luis de Victoria – Regina caeli laetare
Michael Praetorius – Gott der Vater wohn uns bei
Johann Sebastian Bach – Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied
Johannes Brahms – Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Opus 109
William Henry Harris – Faire is the heaven
Frank Martin – Mass for Double Choir

Music for double choir immediately conjures up Venice in many minds, but most of the famed Venetian repertoire involves instruments as well as voices. This program surveys double-choir music of various parts of Europe from the late Renaissance to the early twentieth century. The major work is the wonderful Frank Martin Mass, which returns to our repertoire a decade after our first performance of it.

Woodend Winter Arts Festival

Saturday & Sunday, 7 & 8 June at 8.30 p.m.
St Ambrose’ Church, Woodend
Motets of Bach & Brahms

Johann Sebastian Bach – Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied
Johann Sebastian Bach – Jesu, meine Freude
Johannes Brahms – Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Opus 109
Johannes Brahms – Drei Motetten, Opus 110

Melbourne Recital Centre Local Heroes Series

Thursday 2 October at 6.00 p.m.

Urmas Sisask – Benedictio
Arvo Pärt – Magnificat
Arvo Pärt – Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen
Arvo Pärt – ‘Ode IX’ from Kanon pokajanen
Edmund Rubbra – Mass in Honour of St Teresa of Avila
Calvin Bowman – Death be not proud

Friday 7 November at 6.00 p.m.
Two Parisian Masterpieces

Olivier Messiaen – Cinq rechants
Naji Hakim – Missa Redemptionis

Concert 4: Friday 5 December at 8.00 pm

Christmas to Candlemas: a Jacobean celebration with viols and organ, with Consort Eclectus

William Byrd – This day Christ was born
William Byrd – O God that guides the cheerful sun
Orlando Gibbons – This is the record of John
Orlando Gibbons – See, see the Word is incarnate
John Bull – Almighty God, who by the leading of a star
John Amner – O ye little flock
John Amner – Lo, how from heav’n like stars
Thomas Weelkes – Gloria in excelsis Deo
Thomas Tomkins – Behold, I bring you glad tidings

Performance of anthems with viols has been on our wish list for some years. Now that it is to become a reality it is impossible not to anticipate our Christmas to Candlemas season a bit in order to include that favourite Advent anthem, Gibbons’ This is the record of John. For that matter the other Gibbons piece, See, see the Word is incarnate also transcends the temporal limits, subsequently taking us through Passion, Resurrection and Ascension, but it begins with the Incarnation. This is truly a rare opportunity to hear many of these works.

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