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Symphoniæ

In 1647, archduke Leopold Wilhelm traveled from Austria to Brussels to become a high authority in the Low Countries. He loved music so much, that he decided to bring his royal chapel from Austria with him: ensemble Musica di Camera.

The ensemble consisted of many Austrian, German and Italian musicians, and became very influential on the chamber music in the Low Countries. Dutch composers like Nicolaes a Kempis and Philipp van Wichel started using very 'Italian' combinations of (brass)winds and strings, and experimented with new forms of musical expression. At the same time, music by the succesful Italian composers Dario Castello and Marco Uccellini was printed in Antwerpen.

We collected the most exciting (and nowadays rarely performed) music that was played by ensemble Musica di Camera in seventeenth-century Brussels, and present it in our programme Symphoniæ.

"All of this is combined with a highly virtuosic mastery of their instruments, with clever choices in sound."

Michael Schäfer | Göttinger Tageblatt | May 21, 2017

Odhecaton 1501

Harmonice Musices Odhecaton was the first book of polyphonic music that was printed using movable type. It can be seen as the beginning of printed music. In this book, Ottaviano Petrucci collected compositions by famous Franco-Flemish masters, including Johannes Ockeghem, Antoine Brumel, Josquin Desprez and Jacob Obrecht. These works were probably played on instruments, given that no text was provided.

Tielman Susato was the first music printer in the Low Countries. Exactly 50 years after the publication of Petrucci's Odhecaton, he printed three 'musyck boexkens', containing vocal music (to be played on instruments) and many instrumental dances.

In our programme Odhecaton 1501, we will play a selection of the most beautiful works from both collections.

"The two pieces where the violin and sackbut challenged each other [...] are real jewels, that are a delight for our ears."

Bruno Maury | BaroquiadeS | May 29, 2017

Canzoni e Sonate

During the early 1600's, Italian composers started to experiment with the new possibilities of instruments. They were often active performers themselves, so they knew how to stretch the technical limits of their instruments. Carlo Farina and Biagio Marini were among the first to write double-stops for violins, while Dario Castello challenged trombonists and bassoonists with extremely virtuosic solo passages.

The canzona is a more traditional form of instrumental music, playable on any combination of instruments. The sonata often asks for specific instruments, and allows for more expression of the performers.

This programme contains the music that brought our musicians together, several years ago. Lots of virtuosity, and much fun for both the audience and the ensemble!

This was an impressive UK debut by a bright and receptive quartet of players, bringing us a curated choice of music that helped us understand the repertoire that is at the core of their interests."

The Agent Apsley | May 27, 2017