Spotlight on the Netherlands–Springtime in Renaissance Prague

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Program: #08-06   Air Date: Jan 28, 2008

Paul Van Nevel directs the Netherlands Chamber Choir in a program of late 16th century music from Prague, with some familiar composers (Gallus, Kerle, Monte), and some rarely-heard works by Karel Luython (1557-1620) and Lambert de Sayve (1549-1614).

We continue our long and fruitful association with our partners at Radio Netherlands in presenting a series of concerts from the 2007 Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht.

We the web site provides more in-depth information about the music and performers we hear as well as more information about the festival (

NOTE: Paul van Nevel directs his Huelgas Ensemble in this remarkable concert.

As the Festival notes:

A production with Paul Van Nevel is always a thrilling experience. Because of the wonderful music with which he sends his audience into raptures. Because of the nuances he applies to choral singing, experienced as he is in the art of retouching. Because of the almost suffocating silence he manages to create in the churches and concert halls where he appears with the Nederlands Kamerkoor.

On February 7th in Leeuwarden was the first of the concert series – ‘a start was made’, as Van Nevel likes to remark. One reviewer wrote: “ The gentle driving force exerted by Van Nevel, the kaleidoscope of sound colours that was created, the hush, the long-drawn-out vowel sounds, the delicate harmonies and the discreet echo which daintily wended its way between the pillars and arches of the church: it was enough to render you speechless”.

With this programme Paul Van Nevel and the Nederlands Kamerkoor have undoubtedly made a unique contribution towards the discovery of many forgotten but oh so beautiful compositions from the Prague of Emperor Rudolf II.

Camillo Zanotti ca.1545-1591
1. Prologue
O di Progenitori

Karel Luython 1557-1620
2. Lectio Primo 3. Sacro Monte (from: De Lamentatione Hieremiae Prophetae)

Jacob Regnart ca.1540-1599
4. Ecce nun tempus

François Regnart flourished ca.1580
5. Las je me plains 6. Timor et tremor

Jacobus Gallus 1550-1591
7. Dulces exuviae 8. Mirabile Mysterium 9. Planxit David rex Absalon

Lambert de Sayve 1549-1614
11. Coeli enarrant

Alard du Gaucquier ca.1534-ca.1583
12. Magnificat quarti toni

Philippus de Monte 1521-1603
13. Fui preso fui ferito 14. Clamavi de tribulatone mea 15. Solingo in selve

Jacobus de Kerle 1531-1591
16. Agnus Dei (from: Missa ‘Da Pacem Domine’)

The Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands Chamber Choir), founded by Felix de Nobel in 1937, is a full-time and independent professional vocal ensemble which concentrates on a cappella repertoire from the early Middle Ages until the present day.

In recent seasons the Nederlands Kamerkoor has commissioned works from various leading composers, and the world premières of these compositions – by Sir John Tavener, James MacMillan, Edith Canat de Chizy, Gija Kancheli, Hans Kox, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Gerard Beljon, Mauricio Kagel and Jan Vriend – have been received enthusiastically by the press. On the books for the near future are commissions for works by Peter-Jan Wagemans, Karin Rehnqvist, Elmer Schönberger and Sir Harrison Birtwistle.

The Nederlands Kamerkoor works with conductors specialized in different periods of music. In 2005 Peter Dijkstra was named Principal Guest Conductor and the Flemish early music specialist Paul Van Nevel Honorary Guest Conductor. That same year saw the appointment of Klaas Stok as Choirmaster. The Nederlands Kamerkoor also works regularly with conductors Marcus Creed, Ed Spanjaard, Reinbert de Leeuw and Roland Hayrabedian.

Every year the Nederlands Kamerkoor presents its own series of concert programmes in Holland, and in addition performs both there and abroad with orchestras and ensembles such as the Schönberg Ensemble, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Orchestra of the 18th Century.

The Nederlands Kamerkoor has to date issued almost seventy CDs, of which several have received an Edison Award. The most recent to be released is a recording of a cappella choral works by Bohuslav Martinu, conducted by Stephen Layton and issued on the Globe label in September 2006.

Composer Info

Camillo Zanotti ca.1545-1591, Karel Luython 1557-1620, Jacob Regnart ca.1540-1599, François Regnart flourished ca.1580, Jacobus Gallus 1550-1591, Lambert de Sayve 1549-1614, Alard du Gaucquier ca.1534-ca.1583, Philippus de Monte 1521-1603, Jacobus de Kerle 1531-1591

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