The Collegium Musicum, Daniel Spratlan, conductor, presents music of two
great masters of the late Renaissance: Carlo Gesualdo and Orlande de
Friday, May 23, 2014, 8:30 PM at Christ Church, 5 Paterson Street, New Brunswick, NJ.
Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, is a unique figure in the history of
music. Notorious for the murder of his wife and her lover, yet capable
of the most beautiful and touching sacred music and madrigals, his style
was ahead of its time with striking harmonic changes and chromaticism.
The Collegium will be singing his Tenebrae Responsories for Holy
Saturday. These were intended for the candlelight service during the
week before Easter and bear all the dramatic shifts of chromatic harmony
and virtuosity that characterize his late works. The pieces are laden
with emotion and deep religious expression and were probably written
after Gesualdo isolated himself in his palace during the late years of
The program will also feature the antiphonal (two choirs set apart)
setting of Lassus's Osculetur Me from the biblical Song of Songs. This
will be followed by the monumental mass of the same title, also set
antiphonally. Lassus fashioned the mass from the musical material of the
motet, utilizing the text of the mass. Palestrina's setting of the same
motet text will also be performed for contrast.
Formerly the Rutgers University Collegium Musicum, this is the
22-voice Renaissance choir's first performance as an independent
ensemble. The program will feature two contrasting major works by
Lassus: The chromatic Prophetiae Sybillarum and Missa osculetur me for double choir. The program also features madrigals of Gesualdo and motets of Palestrina and Lassus.