November 18, 7:30 pm, 2023

Inextinguishable Light – A 400th Year’s Mind
Byrd – Mass for Four Voices, Weelkes – 9th Service

Join us as we commemorate two very different and very English composers who both died in 1623, William Byrd, a devout Catholic, and Thomas Weelkes, a Protestant libertine. Both composed music for Elizabeth I and James I. Weelkes was firmly planted in the English Cathedral repertoire composing Services and anthems for the now-established Anglican Church. William Byrd composed music for clandestine Catholic celebrations of the Roman Mass at the country houses of Catholic nobility while appeasing Elizabeth and James while retaining his post as a gentleman of the Chapel Royal and providing music for the court. The concert will include Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, the grand Ninth Service of Weelkes, motets, and anthems.

March 9, 2024, 7:30 pm

Three Cities – Munich, Vienna, Prague
Motets by Handl, Lassus, de Monte, and Vaet

These three major cities in Renaissance Europe were centers of art and learning, as well as the seats of the power of the Habsburg and Wittlesbach families. These families, in the persons of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria and Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian II and his son Rudolf II, patronized such illustrious composers such as Orlande de Lassus, Philipe de Monte, Jacob Vaet, and Jacob Handl, along with progressive thinkers like Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe, whose intellectual ideas spread throughout the area. It was a time of humanim scientific, and social progress. Scientists and artists were all welcomed to the noble courts. This concert of motets will celebrate these composers’ undeniable musical accomplishments and the role of these three cities within the political complexities of Europe at the twilight of the Renaissance.

May 11, 2024, 7:30 pm

Plus Ultra – Music from the Empire of Charles V
Clemens non Papa – Missa Caro mea

Charles V, colonial despot, ruthless emperor, or enlightened ruler? Charles was probably all of these things. The glories of his Imperial Chapel remain undisputed, and its reputation as one of the grandest in history endures. Charles’ Imperial Chapel employed some of the most notable composers of his age, including Nicolas Gombert and Thomas Crecquillon, and peripherally Clemens non Papa and Pierre de Manchicourt. Charles, a devout Catholic, was said to have possessed an ear for elegant music, and the selections on this program leave no doubt. Music from his chapel blurred the heavenly border with the secular, and along with the great mass settings, many musical commissions memorialized political conquests and state occasions.