Saturday 31 August
Gallicantus performed Dialogues of Sorrow in AMUZ, Antwerp, Belgium.
Saturday 6 July
Gallicantus performed Lassus Lagrime di San Pietro in the Wigmore Hall, London.
Friday 24 May
Gallicantus performed Music of Penitence in St Mary’s Church, Beverley.
Lagrime di San Pietro Recording
Orlande de Lassus created nothing finer than Lagrime di San Pietro, a collection of twenty spiritual madrigals and one motet for seven voices; a cycle of intense reflections on the sorrows of St Peter following his denial of Christ, it was assembled shortly before the composer’s death in 1594 and dedicated to Pope Clement VIII. Into this collection Lassus pours every dramatic nuance and piece of harmonic invention he could possibly muster, hurling the listener through the stages of Peter’s rage, remorse and resignation, and 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 reveals the real William Byrd – a devout Catholic deeply troubled by the persecution of his brethren. His music is paired with works by Philippe de Monte, the Flemish composer whose secret gift to Byrd of a setting of Psalm 136 expressed the solidarity of an entire continent, and 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.
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.
Gallicantus released their first disc on Signum Classics in 2009, 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 possessing “singing of clarity, suppleness and poignancy” (Daily Telegraph), “milking every plangent suspension” (Independent on Sunday), and as “one of the year’s best choral releases”. (TheArtsDesk.com). Their 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 featured in the choice of the month recordings of Gramophone Magazine, which also said, “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”. Gallicantus released its fourth disc in July 2013, featuring the Lagrime di San Pietro by Lassus.
Recent concerts have seen the group perform in the UK (Spitalfields Festival, York Early Music Festival, Chester Festivals, Beverley and East Riding Early Music Festival, Wigmore Hall), Germany (Maria Laach, Regensburg, Lörrach), Italy (Cremona), Poland (Wrocław), the United States (Middlebury) and Belgium (Antwerp). Gallicantus returns to the Wigmore Hall in 2014, and takes up a residency at Princeton University in the USA.