Workshop Details

Renaissance BIG Band!

Susato and Praetorius


Saturday, 26 November 2011, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm

St Nicholas Church, Warwick

Tutor: Kathleen Berg


A day exploring the music of Susato and Praetorius - principally for renaissance instruments at A 440 but singers also welcome


In conjunction with the National Early Music Association AGM and the annual Margot Leigh Milner Lecture

Music: The day will start with a look at several pieces from the Danserye, published by Susato in 1551. Tielman Susato was working in Antwerp c1530 as a calligrapher and instrumentalist and a few years later as a music publisher – the first printing press in the Netherlands. He was also a composer of religious works and French-style chansons. But above all he collected together dance arrangements, mainly by himself and his Flemish contemporaries, although he was one of the first people to publish the music of Lassus. His most well-known collection is that of 1551. We will examine the dance forms, experiment with variable scoring, suitable articulation, addition of percussion and the creation of a group of dances which we will perform at the end of the day.

After lunch we will look at pieces from the end of the renaissance including In dulci jubilo in 8 parts by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621), a German organist and composer. He was also well-known as a theorist and published among other things instructions on playing various instruments and advice on scoring. In dulci jubilo comes from his collection Polyhymnia. The unrelated Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629) wrote in a similar style. These pieces are texted but of course can be and were played instrumentally. Some instrumentalists may therefore wish to sing this music especially those participants who are primarily singers.

Tutor: Kathleen Berg is well known in the Early Music world as musician and musicologist. She studied music at Reading, specialising in early music, particularly Palestrina, and subsequently Cambridge. Kathleen teaches, performs, and runs workshops especially in renaissance music. Her academic activities include editing music of restoration composers working at Lincoln, Tallis’s metrical psalms, and above all writing the definitive account of the life and music of Ludwig Sennfl.

Instruments: The day is suitable for all sorts of late medieval and renaissance instruments – including recorders, flutes, crumhorns, viols, violins, loud wind and percussion. Continuo (from unfigured bass part) is desirable for the Praetorius (keyboard, renaissance guitar, lute) – continuo players contact me. Singers will be welcome for the Praetorius but they should be prepared to play an instrument for the morning, or have a go at percussion. One or two drums will be available.

Pitch: A 440.

Venue: St Nicholas Church Warwick is a large, well lit church, decently heated (usually). There is some free parking and a large long-stay park next to the church. Warwick is blessed with many good pubs for lunch and the New Bowling Green is just a step away. Google or a SatNav will tell you where it is but if you are stuck email me. If you wish to come by train the station is a few minutes walk away.

Lifts: Please let the organiser (see leaflet) know if you would like a lift, or can offer one. Music stand: please bring a labelled stand. Insurance: Neither MEMF nor the Church can accept any responsibility for property lost or damaged.             

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