Blue Heron: Divine Songs, Music of Johannes Ockeghem (c. 1420-1497)
Thursday, July 25, 2013 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
Pre-concert "Informance" at 7:15 pm, Earle Recital Hall
Flemish-born Johannes Ockeghem, court musician to several French kings, one of the greatest composers of all time, is completely unknown to many listeners today. His endlessly fascinating sacred music has been characterized as mystical: “a rapturous preview of that sung by angelic choruses.” His secular songs, each one a gem of invention, can be funny, heart wrenching, or profound. This program includes Ockeghem’s songs Ma maistresse, Fors seullement, and Presque transi; De plus en plus by Gilles Binchois; and movements from masses by Ockeghem based on those songs.
Founded in 1999 by current director Scott Metcalfe, Blue Heron is a critically-acclaimed, Boston-based professional vocal ensemble combining a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practice. In this concert, eight singers—including countertenor Martin Near and Amherst native, baritone David Lemly McFerrin—will be accompanied by medieval fiddles, harp and rebec, played by Laura Jeppesen and Scott Metcalfe. This marks Blue Heron’s first performance in the Pioneer Valley, sponsored by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, with assistance from the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies.