Sunday 12 February
Gallicantus performed Death in Venice: The Venetian Lament and its English Imitators in the Bristol Chapel, Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ, USA.
Saturday 11 February
Gallicantus performed Death in Venice: The Venetian Lament and its English Imitators for their debut in Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY, USA.
Queen Mary’s Big Belly Recording
With all the brinksmanship and bloodshed that carried her to the throne in 1553, the issue of Mary Tudor’s succession was a thorny one for the staunchly Catholic queen and her court. Until her marriage to Philip of Spain in the summer of 1554 bore fruit, the presumptive heir was the troublesome young Protestant princess Elizabeth. There was an immense sense of expectation for the announcement of a royal pregnancy in the months immediately following the royal wedding, and it duly arrived in late November. The announcement was heralded by churchbells ringing through the city, the singing of choirs, and the rush of poetic tributes from prominent artists of the day. This disc summons up the spirit of this euphoric moment in Mary’s reign, and her subsequent descent into a depression as it was finally recognized, six months later, that no heir would be born. It is available from Signum Classics.
Lagrime di San Pietro Recording
Orlande de Lassus created nothing finer than Lagrime di San Pietro. Lassus hurls the listener through the stages of Peter’s rage, remorse and resignation, concluding with a motet that presents Christ’s response to the world. It is available from Signum Classics.
The Word Unspoken Recording
The Word Unspoken pairs the music of William Byrd with works by Philippe de Monte, whose secret gift to Byrd of a setting of Psalm 136 moved Byrd to repay de Monte with a gift of his own setting of the same psalm. It is available from Signum Classics.
Dialogues of Sorrow Recording
Dialogues of Sorrow is a collection of seventeenth century music lamenting the untimely death of Prince Henry, son of James I. It is available from Signum Classics.
Sacred Music by Robert White Recording
Hymns, Psalms & Lamentations is a collection of Sacred Music by Robert White and is available from Signum Classics.
“Everything Gallicantus touches seems to turn to gold”
– Adrian Horsewood, Early Music Today
Literally meaning ‘rooster song’ or ‘cock crow’, Gallicantus takes its name from monastic antiquity; the name of the office held just before dawn, it was a ceremony which evoked the renewal of life offered by the coming day. Dedicated to renaissance music and directed by Gabriel Crouch, the membership of this early music group boasts a wealth of experience in consort singing.
The group is bound by a shared love of communicating text, and creates performances which draw out unifying themes within apparently diverse repertoire; to this end they are as meticulous about providing context and insight for audiences as they are about crafting interpretations of the music they love.
Recent concert highlights have seen the group perform in the UK (Wigmore Hall, Spitalfields Festival, York Early Music Festival), Germany (Essen, Maria Laach, Regensburg), Poland (Wrocław), Italy (Cremona), Belgium (Antwerp), and in the USA where they held a residency at Princeton University in 2014 giving concerts and interacting with student vocalists and composers. In the 2014/15 season concerts include a return to Princeton University as well as concerts in Utrecht (Holland), Schwetzingen (Germany), London (Temple Winter Music Festival, Chapel Royal, Palace of Westminster) and Cratfield (UK).
Gallicantus regularly releases benchmark programmes on CD on the Signum Classics label, which form the basis of their concert programmes. With Hymns, Psalms and Lamentations, dedicated to the music of Robert White, critics acclaimed an “impressive debut” (Observer) of “impassioned, exciting music” (The Times), whilst Gramophone Magazine declared: “What an outstanding disc… The opening of the Lamentations could stand as a kind of illuminated initial at the beginning of a gorgeous manuscript, so transparent and luminous is it”. Their second recording Dialogues of Sorrow – Passions on the Death of Prince Henry (1612) was described as “one of the year’s best choral releases” by TheArtsDesk.com, possessing “singing of clarity, suppleness and poignancy” (Daily Telegraph); whilst International Record Review proclaimed “...this is a well sung, intelligently produced and exhaustively researched project, which deserves great success.”
The 2012 release The Word Unspoken, featuring music by William Byrd and Philippe de Monte was equally well-received, with The Sunday Times saying “The intensity of the music is reflected in Gallicantus’s beautifully shaped performances”. It was named ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone Magazine, which noted that “The ensemble’s view is delivered with such intelligence and rhetorical persuasiveness that the cumulative weight of their Byrd, in particular, is well-nigh symphonic in effect.” The group’s fourth CD – the remarkable Lagrime di San Pietro by Lassus – has cemented Gallicantus as one of Europe’s foremost early music ensembles, earning a second consecutive ‘Editor’s Choice’ selection from Gramophone, as well as nomination for a coveted Gramophone Award in 2014.