CAPUT Johannes Ockeghem
Graindelavoix Björn Schmelzer
Graindelavoix Björn Schmelzer, director
machicoti Yves van HandenhovePaul de TroyerBjörn SchmelzerLieven GouwyBart Meynckens
tenoristae Koen Meynckens Paul Beelaerts Thomas Vanlede Arnout Malfliet
Playing time: 58’52 Recorded at at Sint-Pauluskerk, Antwerpen (Belgium), in August 2004 Engineered by Jo Cops Produced by Graindelavoix & Björn Schmelzer Executive producer: Carlos Céster Editorial assistant: María Díaz Cover design & illustrations: oficina tresminutos 00:03:00 Booklet essay: Björn Schmelzer Booklet in English-Français-Nederlands-Español-Deutsch
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JOHANNES OCKEGHEM (c.1410-1497)
Missa Caput & Parisian machicotage from the Mandatum Ritual
1 mandatum novum 2 kyrie 3 diligamus nos invicem 4 gloria 5 in diebus illis 6 credo 7 maria ergo 8 sanctus 9 vos vocatis me 10 agnus dei11 venit ad petrum
About this CD
Graindelavoix, the new vocal adventure from Belgian ethnomusicologist Björn Schmelzer, makes its debut on Glossa with an exquisite and entrancing version of the Missa Caput by Johannes Ockeghem placed in a semi-liturgical setting, with Gregorian plainchant antiphons performed in the style of the Parisian machicots: the polyphonic passages and ornamentations anchored in the early performing traditions of Gallican origin, a recording made in the impressive Gothic acoustic of St Pauluskerk in Antwerp, and an intelligent combination of voices trained in classical and popular styles, help to locate this courageous musical design within a dense, organic aesthetic, offering no concessions to the nowadays-prevailing sterile uniformity that surrounds late medieval and renaissance polyphonic repertoire...
In words of Björn Schmelzer: ‘Machicotage is an anachronism, a living leftover which remains obliquely in its own time, a surviving element which one no longer knows what to do with. Machicotage is a practice, a savoir-faire of Parisian singers that worked until the 19th century but didn’t survive the Gregorian reform. Machicotage is above all a fold in the current of time of oral, operative practices: historical, musicological research can never be solely hermeneutic because the written source is only a (small) factor in the big picture of influences and practices: a similar research progresses via a comparative, interdisciplinary and historical-anthropological way. Machicotage is above all a symptom: of the infamy and complexities of the history of music, and of the diversity of execution practices.’
In what is set to be a career-defining opportunity for Graindelavoix, Glossa’s Antwerp-based ensemble, along with its director Björn Schmelzer, is joining forces with choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her company Rosas for a new music and dance production Cesena which will have its world première performance at this year’s Festival d’Avignon in France. On July 16 the medieval Cour d’honneur of the Palais des Papes – the meeting point of the Old and New Papal Palaces – will provide the setting at the time of 4.30am for an interpretation in sound and movement of the rhythmically and harmonically complex 14th century musical repertory known as the Ars subtilior (strongly associated with the Papal Court in Avignon). [read more...]
For the ensemble Graindelavoix’s fifth recording for Glossa, Cecus, Björn Schmelzer has gathered together musicians from Spain, Estonia, the UK, France and Belgium to complete a triptych of recordings presenting an alternative view of performance practice from across a century of Franco-Flemish polyphony. After Joye and La Magdalene, Cecus focuses on music by Alexander Agricola and his contemporaries and concerns itself with music associated with blind players (notably two fiddlers from Bruges) and memory and commemoration (laments on the deaths of Agricola and Johannes Ockeghem) coming from the chapel of Philippe le Beau and Juana of Castile. [read more...]
With only their third CD Björn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix have just secured two of the awards at this year’s Klara-Muziekprijzen ceremony, held at the start of November in the group’s native Belgium.
Poissance d’amours – released by Glossa – was selected by the awards jury of the classical music radio station Klara for the best Flemish production of the year and also by the station’s listeners for the Public prize for 2008.[read more...]
“Making these old, broken stones sing is a wonderful experience”
Following Caput and Joye you are now turning to another area of the medieval musical world. What has inspired you to consider 13th-century Brabant?
After trying to show two important 15th-century composers in a different musical light, I thought it would be interesting to do a programme which is more geographical yet at the same time more “virtual”: one based only on musical remnants, traces and ruins. In this way we might try and create the sound world of an entire region: rather than producing portraits one would be able to paint full landscapes of scenes hitherto lost and in need of being invented anew. [read more...]