Our next events

Norwich Cathedral: 21-23 Jul

The Moon of All Music

Polyphonic Laments from the 15th Century

As part of the celebrations for the 900th anniversary of the death of Norwich Cathedral’s founder, Herbert de Losinga, who was born and educated in France, we are performing a concert of music for remembrance by composers of the Franco-Flemish tradition of the 15th century.

The concert will take place in the cathedral on Sunday 21st July at 5pm. Tickets are free, and there will be a retiring collection.

The Divine Office

We will be observing the full Benedictine Liturgy of the Hours on Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd, as it was sung by the Benedictine monks of the Cathedral Priory for hundreds of years. Come along to be transported back in time.This is a truly special opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of the medieval Cathedral. 

Sunday 23 July

3am Matins
4.30am Lauds
6am Prime
12 noon Sext
2.30pm None
5pm Concert
7pm Vespers
9.30pm Compline

Monday 22 July

3am Matins
4.30am Lauds
6am Prime
9am Terce
12pm Sext
2.30pm None
7pm Vespers
9.30pm Compline

The Herbert Mass

On Herbert’s Day itself, Tuesday 23 July, a solemn Eucharist will be celebrated according to the Sarum Rite of the medieval English Church at 7pm.

Previous EVENTS

Fumeux Fume

A programme of dazzling French songs from the late 14th century and Machaut's famous Messe de Nostre Dame

20th June, St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford

Join us in St Mary Magdalen’s Church for a programme of dazzling French songs from the late 14th century, as well as the famous Messe de Nostre Dame by the great poet-musician, Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300 – 1377).

The songs transmitted in the Chantilly Codex are known for their infamous rhythmic challenges, the often-abstracted approach to tonality, and their stunning beauty. Be transported back to fourteenth-century courtly culture with lyrics expressing unrequited love, mythology, battle-cries, and the smokiness of Parisian society!

The Machaut Mass is the earliest surviving polyphonic mass cycle by a single known composer – its six extraordinary movements capture the height of sacred polyphonic technique in the mid-fourteenth century. The use of four-voice texture allowed for new and elaborate colours hitherto unknown to mass composition, and its sheer scale and invention is testament to the personal value this music most likely held for the composer towards the end of his life.

Anglia Rubet

The Quest for English Polyphony through the 15th Century

29th May in Oxford & 1st June in London

This programme follows English polyphony from the dawn to the dusk of the 15th century, seeking out a variety of styles from English composers writing and working in different regions during this period. The programme includes both sacred and secular polyphonic treasures, including works by Dunstaple, Roy Henry, Frye, Horwood, Cornysh, Wylkynson, and more.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries in England between 1536 and 1541 saw the destruction of a great number of English music manuscripts. Much of the English sacred music which survives from the 15th century is therefore transmitted solely in continental sources. There are a few exceptions, such as the wonderful Eton Choirbook, which gives us a tantalising glimpse into the repertory of sacred music which must have circulated in England at this time, most of which is now lost.
Dunstaple A5 both events

5th March 2019 - Quit Timet Deum: Lassus - Cantiones Sacrae Sex Vocum and Gesualdo – Tenebrae Responsoria for Holy Week

Qui Timet Deum follows a programme of music for six voices by the renaissance composers Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) and Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613).

The Cantiones Sacrae Sex Vocum by Lassus is the composer’s final book of motets, published in the year of his death. The collection features some of his most accomplished and beautiful compositions, setting music to a range of texts and themes.

Gesualdo’s collection of responsories for Holy Week deals with texts that follow the evocative story of Jesus’s crucifixion. His music captures the intense emotional conflicts associated with Christ’s death through the use of jarring dissonances and warped tonal progressions – the hallmarks of his later style.

9th February 2019 - Ockeghem’s Missa Caput: The music of Jean de Ockeghem and Leonel Power

Jean de Ockeghem (d.1497) is considered the most famous and influential composer of the second-generation Franco-Flemish school. Almost certainly written in the 1440s, early in Ockeghem’s career, the Missa Caput contains some of his most beautiful and unusual counterpoint. It is a wonderful example of the sort of experimentation which ushered in the era of musical renaissance in the fifteenth century.

Leonel Power (d.1445) represents an earlier generation – born in England in the late fourteenth-century, Power and his probably younger compatriot John Dunstaple were both highly influential in culivating a new musical aesthetic. Power’s style combines characteristically-English rich sonorities with French rhythmic intricacy and invention. The composer and theorist Johannes Tinctoris (c.1435-1511) comments in his Proportionale Musices (1472-3) on the ‘new art’, and credits the English (and particularly Dunstaple) as its fons et origo (fount and origin). The programme features some of Power’s polyphonic motets and antiphons.

3rd November 2018 - Dufay’s Missa Ave Regina Caelorum

Dufay’s last surviving mass, Missa Ave Regina Caelorum, represents the breathtaking culmination of his musical career, boasting both established late-medieval gothic technique and the beauty and clarity of the new Renaissance art. The Mass movements will be interspersed by some of Dufay’s motets, contrasting the unique colours beholden to the various stages of his life.