Gothic Breath

Fully immerse yourself in the sonic universe of Europe’s late Middle Ages and early Renaissance with this program featuring the fascinating timbres of historical winds and percussion. Copies of historical instruments, their brilliant colors and sounds, unfamiliar to modern ears, transport you through the centuries to visit a captivating musical world mixing intimacy with extravagance, tumult with serenity, and moments of celebration with periods of contemplation…

At a jousting tournament, the calls of heralds announcing the knights’ arrivals are accompanied by the fanfares of talented minstrels, preludes to their elegant performances to come that evening at the ball. Once night has fallen, musicians positioned in palace alcoves will trade their shawms and slide trumpets for sweeter-sounding recorders, singing out subtle polyphony inspired by folk tunes that bring young and old to their feet to dance.

Elsewhere, the hypnotic melodies of ancient motets that once filled the earliest Christian cathedrals interweave with the wistful songs of troubadours calling for the besieged Jerusalem’s deliverance, and the cathedral naves ring with luminous harmonies, evocative of a heavenly peace not yet present in the realm of men.

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