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(BE) International Masterclass Wim Becu, Director - Polyhymnia Caduceatrix & Panegyrica by Michael Praetorius (Nov. 1-7, 2010)

Contributed by Musica on Jan 11, 2010

Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) is best known for his treatise Syntagma Musicum. Yet he was also an especially prolific composer. Praetorius’s repertoire deserves wider recognition, not only because of its polychoral writing and colourful instrumentation, but also for its expressive content.

Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) is best known for his treatise Syntagma Musicum. Yet he was also an especially prolific composer. In his lifetime Praetorius was not only Kapellmeister in Gröningen and Wolfenbüttel, but was also musical advisor to the Dresden court. Although he enjoyed great fame during his lifetime, his music is still not widely known. Praetorius’s repertoire deserves wider recognition, not only because of its polychoral writing and colourful instrumentation, but also for its expressive content.

The collection Polyhymnia Caduceatrix & Panegyrica (1618) was the first in a series planned to take up 15 volumes. Ultimately he was only able to complete three. This volume is a fascinating collection of 40 motets with German and Latin texts, in polychoral formations of up to 21 voices, supported by a strong basso continuo. As Monteverdi did in his Vespers of 1610, Praetorius combined old and new styles, Lutheran chorales going hand in hand with the new Italian style he had learned from Italian manuscripts. The most striking characteristics of his music are richly ornamented writing with concertato voices, accompanied by basso continuo; independent choirs which are often assigned preludes or intermezzi, and the frequent use of ritornelli. Praetorius combines exceptional technical skill with an unusual creativity (among other things in his use of chorales as Cantus Firmus).

The title of this volume, Polyhymnia Caduceatrix & Panegyrica or Solenninschen Friedt- und Freudens-concert is not coincidental. Many works were written for festive church occasions such as Advent and Christmas. However, a number of very expressive compositions (Hymns of Peace) are not connected to religious feasts, but reflect Praetorius’ hopes for peace on the even of the Thirty years’ War which had started in 1618.

During this masterclass you’ll get to know the most memorable pieces from the volume Polyhymnia Caduceatrix & Panegyrica. One special aspect of the masterclass is that we will work completely from original facsimiles, which enhances the experience of interpreting this music.

Coaches
Musical direction: Wim Becu; vocal coach: Dirk Snellings

Participants
Pre-professional and professional singers and instrumentalists.
Selection will be based on a CV, a recent recording and if requested, several references.

Forces needed
- A= 465 Hz (quarter-comma meantone)

- Vocal soloists: 2 sopranos, 1 alto, 3 tenors, 2 basses.
- Instrumentalists: 2 cornetti, 4 sackbuts, 2 violins, 2 gambas, 1 violone, 1 dulcian / recorder, 1 organ, 1 chitarrone, 1 harp, 1 cittern

Registration
Please register using the registration form. Deadline for registration is 15 May 2010.
Participants will be selected in June 2010. The selection will be announced in late June. If you have been selected you will receive a request for payment. Receipt of payment secures your place in the masterclass; you will receive all practical information and the score afterwards.

Concerts
Friday 5 November 2010, time TBA
Saturday 6 November 2010, Stichting Musica Antica da Camera, The Hague (NL), 9:00 p.m.
Sunday 7 November 2010, CC De Breughel, Bree, 3:00 p.m.

Course Fees
300 euro (includes lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner; single room supplement 10 euro/night).
Transportation to concerts will be provided.

Rehearsal location
Domein Dommelhof, Toekomstlaan 5B, 3910 Neerpelt (Belgium)

Visit Musica, Impulse Centre for Music website for more information.