Cappella Pratensis (Pratensis is a reference to the composer Josquin des Prez) is a vocal ensemble that specializes in 15th- and 16th-century polyphonic masterpieces, focusing principally on the repertoire of the Flemish School. Its home is the Lutheran Chuch in 's Hertogenbosch. The ensemble's programmes, which are underpinned by research ...
Biography Cappella Pratensis
Cappella Pratensis (Pratensis is a reference to the composer Josquin des Prez) is a vocal ensemble that specializes in 15th- and 16th-century polyphonic masterpieces, focusing principally on the repertoire of the Flemish School. Its home is the Lutheran Chuch in 's Hertogenbosch. The ensemble's programmes, which are underpinned by research of historical sources, are based on the following premises: presenting lively, exciting interpretations designed to connect with audiences today; giving voice to the essence of the polyphony (transparency, flexibility, fluid lines, expressiveness, colourful melodies); using a vocal technique in keeping with the style; using historical performance practice as a means of attaining these ideals (and not as a goal in itself); presenting programmes that set the music in a broader context (for instance, a historical or liturgical one, or put in contrast with other genres or styles). The ensemble devotes much effort to educational activities. The singers all lead individual projects derived from their specific repertoire expertise. In addition, Cappella Pratensis serves as a centre of expertise on polyphony and early forms of music notation. It performs in the Benelux and at distinguished music festivals around the world. It has travelled to the United States, Canada and Japan. Its CDs have garnered critical acclaim and awards (Diapason d'Or, Prix Choc).
The ensemble is founded by Ludy Vrijdag. Artistic director Rebecca Stewart establishes its central philosophy, emphasizing historical performance practice and musical sensitivity.
Bart Demuyt succeeds Stewart as artistic director. He initiates a series of work sessions that reformulate the ensemble's vision and mission. Among the results are a return to its main purpose, the performance of the music of Josquin des Prez. Several personnel changes add to the quality of its singing.
Stratton Bull and Peter van Heyghen follow Bart Demuyt as joint artistic directors. The ensemble organizes the first of its annual international summer courses in the French Pyrenees.
2005 - 2007
Cappella Pratensis is ensemble-in-residence at Foundation Royaumont (France).
Cappella Pratensis becomes a male vocal ensemble, in keeping with authentic performance practice.
Stratton Bull becomes full-time artistic director. The ensemble makes a successful tour of the United States, during which it gives workshops and lessons at Princeton and Indiana University. This is the Year of the Religious Heritage in the Netherlands, and the ensemble commissions the British composer Antony Pitts to write a polyphonic mass. In November, Cappella Pratensis performs the premiere of this 'Missa Unitatis', and it enters into a collaborative effort with the Alamire Foundation.
In cooperation with the Alamire Foundation (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Cappella Pratensis develops an extensive website about polyphony (Polyfonie Academie). It contains original music sources, educational articles, discussion forums and musicologically founded performance practice suggestions. In the summer, the ensemble joins up with Joshua Rifkin, an expert on music at the Papal Chapel, among other things through his study of the Medici Codex (ca. 1518).
Discography Cappella Pratensis
Jacob Obrecht - Missa de Sancto Donatiano
|Type and year||CD, 2009|
|Label||Fineline Classical, FL 72414|
Paul van Kemenade - Close Enough
|Type and year||CD, 2011|
|Label||Kemo, Kemo 09|
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.
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