ABOUT the ensemble
Fount & Origin is a Oxford-based early music vocal ensemble specialising in late-medieval and early-renaissance music. We are committed to performing lesser-known works from this period and exploring the rich cultural and liturgical history that accompanies the music. We hope that our work will inspire further performance and interest in this neglected repertory.
Formed in Autumn 2018 by our director, James Tomlinson, the ensemble of a dozen students and young professionals delight in reviving forgotten and underperformed early music to the highest standards of choral performance, combining clarity of tone with an expressive wit, and demonstrating “impressive control over challenging idioms” (Edward Higginbottom, 2019).
Fount & Origin has been awarded the Stile Antico Ensemble Development Bursary 2019-2021, for which the members of Fount & Origin will be working closely with those of Stile Antico to embark on exciting projects and performances in the near future.
Our next event
Wed 12th Feb, The Queen's College Chapel, Oxford
The Sword and the Lily
Music for the End of Time
The Sword and the Lily presents music which explores the images in and around an exceptionally beautiful work of art from the fifteenth century. Rogier van der Weyden’s Beaune Altarpiece (c. 1445) furnished the altar in the chapel of the Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune. Founded in 1443, this hospital for the sick and dying was created by Nicholas Rolin, Chancellor of the powerful Duchy of Burgundy, after a period of devastating plague and famine in the area. The painting, commissioned by Rolin, depicts the last judgement at the end of time, which must have been an incredibly powerful image for those within the hospital.
Our programme includes Franco-Flemish polyphony and chant from the fifteenth century, and paints a musical story from Christ’s descent and the dreadful blasts of the angelic trumpets, through the fiery pits of hell, and finally tracing the ascent to the pearly gates of the celestial palace. The focal point of the concert is the glorious Missa Dum sacrum mysterium/L’homme armé by Johannes Regis (c. 1425 – c. 1496). This Mass sets texts and music from the liturgy of St Michael, who appears centrally in the Beaune Altarpiece weighing up the souls of the dead. The piece also uses the famous L’homme armé tune, which resonates strongly with the image of Christ as ‘the armed man’ in Van der Weyden’s painting.