Cappella Pratensis

Sunday, November 8, 2015, 4 p.m.
Corpus Christi Church

NEWEST ATTRACTION – Pre-concert lecture: Music for the Star of the Sea: Josquin in Renaissance Rome,  presented by M. Jennifer Bloxam, Herbert H. Lehman Professor of Music, Williams College.

 3pm, Corpus Christi Auditorium

Stratton Bull, superius, artistic director
Andrew Hallock, superius
Pieter De Moor, altus
Lior Leibovici, altus
Olivier Berten, tenor
Peter de Laurentiis, tenor
Lionel Meunier, bassus
Pieter Stas, bassus

Josquin in Rome: Missa Ave maris stella

In 1489 Josquin Desprez, already a renowned singer and composer, joined the papal choir at the Sistine Chapel. He wrote his exquisite Missa Ave maris stella for performance during Advent, with liturgythat tells the Annunciation story. The eight men of Dutch-based vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis intersperse the mass movements with plainchant and Marian motets, including Sumens illud Ave by Dufay.

Artist website:

This concert is funded, in part, by the Florence Gould Foundation, and the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.



Artist Bios

The Dutch-based vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis – literally ‘Cappella des prés’ – champions the music of Josquin Desprez and the polyphonists of the 15th and 16th centuries. The group combines historically informed performance practice with inventive programs and original interpretations based on scholarly research and artistic insight. As in Josquin’s time, the members of Cappella Pratensis perform from a central music stand, singing from the original mensural notation scored in a large choirbook. This approach, together with attention to the linguistic origin of the compositions and the modal system on which it is based, offers a unique perspective on the repertoire.

Besides regular appearances at concert venues in the Netherlands and Belgium, Cappella Pratensis has performed at leading international festivals in Utrecht, York, Regensburg, Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, Knechtsteden and Brezice. Tours have taken the group to the United States (including a week in residence at Harvard University), Canada and Japan. Cappella Pratensis has also made a series of recordings that have met with critical acclaim and distinctions from the press (including the Diapason d’Or and the Prix Choc). From 2005 to 2007, the group was ensemble-in-residence at the Fondation Royaumont (France), where it gave courses, presented concerts and worked with distinguished musicians. In 2009 the ensemble released a DVD/CD production around the Missa de Sancto Donatiano by Jacob Obrecht, which included a reconstruction of the first performance of the mass, filmed on location in Bruges together with substantial documentary material. This production was crowned with a Diapason découverte and the highest rating from Classica magazine (Fineline Classical FL72414). The 2010 release, Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope, conducted by Joshua Rifkin, was awarded a Diapason d’Or.

Cappella Pratensis also passes on insights into vocal polyphony and performance from original notation – both among professionals and amateurs – through masterclasses, multimedia presentations, collaboration with institutions, an annual summer course and training young singers within the group itself.