John Bradley, Conductor
Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594)
Missa Osculetur me à8, Song of Songs Motets, Magnificat, and Marian Antiphons
Time: 8 pm
Pre-Concert Lecture at 7 pm
Tickets: $30 – General Admission
$20 – Students, Seniors & Early Music America (EMA) Members
Polyhymnia will sing the music of Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) on Saturday, May 6th at 8 pm at the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch on West 87th Street in Manhattan.
Lassus is one of the most familiar names associated with Renaissance choral music, but his works are rarely performed on the concert stage. He is, along with Palestrina, one of the most accomplished composers of his age. His music is widely varied, sacred and secular, in Latin, German and Italian, and of the highest caliber. He was associated with the Ducal Court of Bavaria for most of his professional life but had close ties with his Italian contemporaries, most importantly, the Venetians Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli. Despite his close associations with the Venetians, he composed a relatively small body of polychoral music, composing only three double-choir masses. Polyhymnia will perform the beautiful Missa Osculetur me, a skillful parody on his own motet, one of many lovely settings of texts from the Song of Songs. The Song of Songs remains one of the most beautiful collections of biblical poetry, an ancient celebration of erotic love. For Christians, The Song is an allegory of the marriage of Christ to the Church, and the texts are also frequently used in praise of the Virgin Mary. Lassus was no stranger to the tradition of Renaissance settings of these texts, and his compositions are among the most beautiful. Completing the program are four of Lassus’ settings of the Four Marian Antiphons, and an eight-voice tone VI Magnificat.
About the Ensemble:
Founded in 1994, Polyhymnia creates vibrant, historically informed performances of music from the courts and cathedrals of the Renaissance world. Working with museums and libraries, liturgical historians and educational institutions, Polyhymnia preserves and revives masterworks of the choral literature composed in Europe and the Americas between the years 1450 and 1650. Since 2000, Artistic Director John Bradley has been preparing original editions of music for the ensemble in repertoire including numerous modern premiers of works which have remained unperformed since the 16th century.
Polyhymnia’s three concerts are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.