UNDERGROUND: Rumours of Glory | Melbourne 22 March

1 St Heliers St Abbotsford

Tuesday, March 22 2022 from 09:00 AM to 10:15 AM

Rumours of Glory

Romano Crivici: from Dreams and Visions

Orlande de Lassus: Prophetiae Sibyllarum

Josquin des Prez: Missa Pange lingua 

Heather Percy: Locus iste (after Bruckner)

Tue 22 March 2022 7pm
The Oratory, Abbotsford Convent Melbourne

Roberta Diamond Principal Artist – Soprano

Hannah Fraser Emeriti Artist – Mezzo-soprano

Dan Walker Principal Artist – Tenor

Hayden Barrington Associate Artist – Baritone

Antony Pitts Artistic Director – Director

In the 500th anniversary year of his death (according to the Julian Calendar), we present Josquin’s most celebrated Mass, interspersed with the extraordinarily colourful madrigalian settings by Lassus of the writings of ancient female prophetesses or Sibyls.

The first in our 2022 Underground series and sung one-to-a-part by a quartet of singers, Rumours of Glory takes us back both to the glories of the European Renaissance and another two millennia further to the ancient Sibyls of Greece and Rome and the Middle East, believed to be harbingers of the Judaeo-Christian story with their mystical pronouncements on “the secrets of salvation”.  Born in what is now Belgium, Orlando di Lasso (as he was known on the Italian peninsula where he spent much of his early life) set classical versions of twelve of these apparently precognizant women in a madrigalian form, along with an introductory “chromatic” or “colourful” song – carmina chromatico, and dedicated them to his new boss in Munich, Albrecht V of Bavaria.  His predecessor, Josquin des Prez, born not far away near the modern Belgian-French border was considered the absolute paragon of early polyphony, with his contemporary Martin Luther calling him simply the “master of the notes”.  In perhaps his final Mass setting, the Missa Pange lingua, Josquin provided a model of the style that was to dominate the 16th century throughout Europe, using a plainchant hymn as its inspiration: “Sing, my tongue, of the mystery of the glorious Body”.  Rumours of Glory begins and ends with contemporary Australian music by Romano Crivici and Heather Percy, whose model is Anton Bruckner’s famous motet – stemming from a 19th-century resurgence of interest in the polyphonic style – Locus iste.