Early Music Now
Press Release

Early Music Now Continues Christmas Tradition

A pair of early music concerts at St. Joseph Center Chapel, 1501 South Layton Boulevard, offering a meditative and inspiring alternative to the usual Christmas concert fare.

By - Nov 18th, 2014 09:19 am
Lionheart. Photo by William Wegman.

Lionheart. Photo by William Wegman.

Early Music Now’s 28th season continues with its holiday trademark: a pair of early music concerts at St. Joseph Center Chapel, 1501 South Layton Boulevard (South 27th Street), offering a meditative and inspiring alternative to the usual Christmas concert fare.

Lionheart (chantboy.com/lionheart), one of America’s leading ensembles in vocal chamber music, makes a return visit for concerts on Saturday, December 13th at 5:00 and Sunday, December 14th at 3:00, with a program that might be considered the aural equivalent of the “Of Heaven and Earth” exhibit currently at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

“Laude: Joy and Mystery” celebrates the Christmas story with lauda (songs of praise) beginning with songs from the earliest surviving manuscripts of such pieces that was produced between 1250 and 1300 in Corona (Italy), not far from Assisi. This collection is also significant because it contains the earliest extant repertoire of Italian vernacular poetry.

In the late Middle Ages and Renaissance the performance of laude became an important part of social life in Italian cities. Singers and their supporters produced a rich repertoire of songs address to Jesus, the Virgin Mary, to other saints, and to celebrate various feasts.

Over the years the lauda incorporated new ideas of harmony, counterpoint, and form, developing into compositions in multiple voice parts. Manuscripts from Bologna, Florence, Trier, and Venice are the sources for much of the 14th and 15th century repertoire in this program. To this point in history, all of the manuscripts were handed down anonymously.

The concert moves finally to lauda of the 16th century, when musical texts began to appear with the names of their composers, with compositions from the 1508 publication of Ottaviano Petrucci. The program ends with the only surviving music attributed to Innocentius Dammonis, a monk of the Congregation of San Salvatore in Venice.

Tickets for these concerts are available online at EarlyMusicNow.org, by phone at 414.225.3113, or by mail at Early Music Now, 759 N. Milwaukee Street #420, Milwaukee 53202. Prices are $28-$44 for adults or seniors, and $10-$15 for students. Group rates are also available.

Program Notes

Mentioned in This Press Release

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