2018-2019: Palestrina Revisited/Songs and their Offspring

Songs and their Offspring

From the earliest improvised harmonizations around Gregorian melodies, composers and performers have taken familiar tunes as points of departure in the creation of polyphonic music. This use of tunes, sacred and secular alike, is part of the broader tradition of the reuse and “improvement” of existing musical material, a practice that has sometimes seemed at odds with the more modern idealization of individuality in artistic expression. Convivium’s program features a broad array of songs and the musical offerings inspired by them.

Saturday, February 23, 2019  7 PM
Cambridge Friends Meeting House, Cambridge
Map/Directions:  Google Maps

Sunday, February 24, 2019  4 PM
St Paul’s Church, Brookline
Map/Directions:  Google Maps


Palestrina Revisited

At times venerated, at times dismissed, the music of Palestrina has held a special, complicated place in the history of music performance and theory, from the composer’s own time to the present day. Whatever one’s opinion, it is clear that Palestrina was among the most accomplished composers in adapting the traditions of Franco-Flemish polyphony to the Roman school of the late 16th century, a musical language where control of dissonance and musical pacing were of paramount concern. Convivium offers a program of works by Palestrina that demonstrates his talent in a variety of compositional practices and styles, from the venerable cantus firmus mass to the sensuous Song of Songs motet.

Saturday, November 17, 2018  8 PM
Harvard-Epworth Church, Cambridge
Map/Directions:  Google Maps

Sunday, November 18, 2018  4 PM
Christ Church, Andover

Map/Directions: Google Maps