Capella Romana Performs at Princeton and Yale

Returning from a Tour to Princeton and Yale

Cappella Romana will give two concerts of a new program at Princeton and Yale this April: "Hellenes and the Music of the Renaissance," a program of unaccompanied vocal works in Greek, Latin, and French born from meetings between East and West during the 15th and 16th centuries. Princeton, New Jersey: 8 p.m. Fri., Apr. 13, Nassau Presbyterian Church,; Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut: 8 p.m., Sat., Apr. 14, Christ Church Episcopal, New Haven Both concerts are free to the public.

The first part of the program addresses the continuation of the Byzantine musical tradition immediately before and after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 in Greek lands under Italian rule or influence, including music by Manuel Gazes (early 15 th c.) and ,John Plousiadenos (fl. mid 15th c.), with most of the music drawn from Cappella Romana's program "The Fall of Constantinople."

The second half of the program first considers Western musical responses to the Ottoman conquest, passing from the initial shock in Guillaume Dufay's profound Lamentio to secular and sacred uses of L'homme armé ("The Armed Man"), a song associated with the Burgundian court and its efforts to mount a rescue crusade in the East against the Turks. Also in this period, some musicians went to the West for more opportunities, including Franghiskos Leontaritis (1518?-1572?), the son of a Greek mother and Italian father who eventually sang in Venice under Willaert in San Marco and in Munich under Lassus. Leontaritis composed a significant body of polyphonic sacred and secular works, from which Cappella Romana will sing five Latin motets.

(Posting date 03 April 2007

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