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Spring 2013 Concerts Celebrate 75th Anniversary of The Cloisters

The following spring concerts from the ongoing series Concerts at The Cloisters will be presented in celebration of The Cloisters’ 75th-anniversary year, which begins in May 2013.

Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 1 and 3 P.M. $45
Passion and Resurrection Motets of the Renaissance

Pomerium returns to The Cloisters for an exploration of the great Renaissance choral music for Passiontide and Easter. The program progresses from Palm Sunday to Easter Day, encompassing music from ancient Gregorian chant to the polyphonic elaborations by Du Fay and Senfl and the increasingly grand and expressive motets of Lassus, Monteverdi, Morales, Gesualdo, White, and Byrd. Expressively, the program moves from the fervent and austere music associated with the Crucifixion to the splendid celebrations of the Resurrection.

Pomerium was founded by Alexander Blachly in New York in 1972 to perform music composed for the famed chapel choirs of the Renaissance. Widely known for its interpretations of Du Fay, Ockeghem, Josquin, Palestrina, and Lassus, the modern Pomerium is currently recording a series of compact discs of the masterpieces of Renaissance a cappella choral music, including “A Voice in the Wilderness: Mannerist Motets of the Renaissance,” recorded in the Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters and released in 2012.

Vexilla regis prodeunt
Plainchant (Modena, Bib. Estense 471)

Vexilla regis prodeunt
Cuillaume Du Fay (ca. 1397–1474)

In monte oliveti
Carlo Gesualdo (ca. 1566–1613)

Felle amaro
Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)

Circumdederunt me
Cristóbal de Morales (ca. 1500–1553)

Alleluia: Pascha nostrum
Plainchant (Graz 807, 12th century)

Alleluia: Pascha nostrum
Ludwig Senfl (ca. 1486–ca. 1542)

Regina coeli
Robert White (ca. 1538–1574)

Tristis est anima mea
Orlande de Lassus (1532–1594)

O vos omnes
Alfonso Ferrabosco (ca. 1543–1588)

Judas, Mercator pessimus
Carlo Gesualdo

Plorat amare
Claudio Monteverdi

Regina coeli
Orlande de Lassus

In resurrection tua
William Byrd (ca. 1540–1623)

Haec dies
William Byrd

Sunday, April 7, 2012, at 1 and 3 P.M. $45
Beata Virgo: Marian Devotional Music from Medieval and Renaissance Europe

The ever-growing veneration of the Virgin in the Middle Ages was often expressed in texts, much of which were set to music and sung in a devotional or liturgical context. Requested by Concerts at The Cloisters, amarcord performs a program focusing on the celebration of the Virgin—mirroring the magnificent collection of the images of the Virgin on display at The Cloisters. The program spans from the earlier examples such as the 13th-century Worcester Fragments and the 14th-century Llibre Vermell (one of the oldest Spanish polyphonic manuscripts) to later polyphonic music (Pierre de la Rue’s Sanctus is a beautiful example as is Josquin’s beloved Ave Maria). The program ends with the Magnificat set by one of Germany’s most important composers of the early 16th century, Thomas Stoltzer. 

Amarcord, one of today’s leading vocal ensembles, was founded in 1992 by former members of the Saint Thomas Boys’ Choir in Leipzig, one of the most illustrious churches in Germany (where Bach was its music director, and where Wagner was baptized). The group’s impeccable technique and musical sensitivity have won them prestigious competitions and awards, including the first Choirlympiad in Linz (Austria), the German Music Competition for Chamber Music in Bonn (2002), and the Early Music category of the International Classical Music Award (2013).

Stella splendens
Llibre Vermell, 14th century

Ave Maria
Josquin des Préz (ca. 1450/55–1521)

Introit: Gaudens gaudebo in domino

Kyrie: De plus en plus

O Viridissima virga
Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179)

Gradual: Benedicta es tu, Virgo Maria

Alleluia V. Nativitas
Perotin (ca. 1200)/ 
Worcester Fragments (13th century)

Sequence: Stabat Mater

O Virgo splendens
Spanish, 14th century

Offertory: Ave Maria

Sanctus: De septem doloribus
Pierre de la Rue (ca. 1460–1518)

Salve sancta parens
Worcester Fragments, 13th century

Communion: Gloriosa dicta sunt de te Maria

Magnificat sexti toni
Thomas Stoltzer (ca 1485–1526), from 
Thomaskirche 49/50, Leipzig (ca. 1550)

Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 1 and 3 P.M. $75
Music for Mary Tudor, Triumphant Catholic Queen

Concluding the spring series celebrating The Cloisters’ 75th anniversary, the choral ensemble Pomerium will perform a concert featuring grand choral works from the court of Mary Tudor, Queen of England (r. 1553–1558). Often portrayed as a blood-thirsty monarch, Mary’s zeal to return England to Catholicism in effect produced some of the most spectacular polyphonic music of the 16th century. Encouraged to return to the Gregorian chant of the Sarum rite, composers such as Christopher Tye, Robert White, and William Byrd wrote chant-based polyphony for the Mass and Office by expanding and exploring, if not exploiting, the musical idioms and effects of their time that achieved unprecedented scale and complexity in scope and texture.

Commissioned by Concerts at The Cloisters, this splendid choral program will conclude with Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium, the spectacular motet written for eight choirs of five voices each (sung by current and former members of Pomerium). The well-known yet infrequently performed motet has been recorded by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir for Janet Cardiff’s sound installation The Forty Part Motet (2001).

Kyrie Orbis factor
Christopher Tye (ca. 1505–1573)

Christe, qui lux es et dies
Robert White (ca. 1538–1574)

Christe, qui lux es et dies
William Byrd (ca. 1539–1643)

In manus tuas I
John Sheppard (ca. 1515–1558)

Gloria, Missa Puer natus est
Thomas Tallis (ca. 1505–1585)

Salvator mundi
Thomas Tallis

Alleluia. Confitemini
John Sheppard

Sanctus, Missa Euge bone
Christopher Tye

Iam Christus astra ascenderat
Robert Parsons (ca. 1535–1572)

In pace, in idipsum dormiam
John Sheppard

Spem in alium
Thomas Tallis

Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet opens at The Cloisters on September 8 and runs through December 10, 2013.

The installation is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

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The Cloisters museum and gardens—the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe—is located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson. The Cloisters collection includes sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, metalwork, and stained glass housed in a building designed to evoke the period in which these splendid objects were produced.

Concerts at The Cloisters are held in the Fuentidueña Chapel, its stage set in the 12th-century apse from the church of San Martín in Fuentidueña in the Spanish province of Segovia.

Concert tickets include same-day admission to the Museum. All tickets are for general seating. To purchase tickets, or for further information, call (212) 650–2290 or visit our website at www.metmuseum.org.

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March 18, 2013

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