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Tour offer Concerto Palatino - Bruce Dickey for 2020/21

»Music of the stars«

A concert for the 550th anniversary of Johannes Kepler
picture KeplerJohannes Kepler (1571 - 1630), the great mathematician and astronomer, was very much concerned all of his life with the connection between practical music and cosmology. He felt strongly that music mirrors the cosmos, and used phrases such as »the Song of the Earth« and »Nature's secret whispering«.
In his view though, the »music of the spheres« was polyphonic music - in contrast to the opionions of the ancients, who had thought of it as a permanent chord. So Kepler broke from his contemporaries who agreed that the motions of the planets and other heavenly bodies actually made sound: Kepler believed that those motions and all of the geometry of the heavens were reflected in the most perfect polyphonic pieces of his time. He, in his famous work Harmonices Mundi, even invited composers to take up the challenge of writing a motet that would incorporate the harmonies he had discovered in planetary data.

Eventually he felt that Lasso had come closest and used the examples of the five-voice motets In me transierunt, Tristis est anima mea and Ubi est Abel, which he attempted to analyse in planetary terms. So the astronomer identified each particular vocal part with a planet: soprano (Mercury), alto (Earth and Venus), tenor (Mars), and bass (Saturn and Jupiter). And he noted that the motions of each planet suit its particular voice part, with Mercury as »the treble being most free«, Earth and Venus have »very narrow distances between their motions«, Mars as tenor »is free yet proceeds moderately«, while Saturn and Jupiter »as the bass, make harmonic leaps«. He also characterised rhetorical melodic leaps in terms of geometrical figures - translating the music in astronomic terms.

With Music of the stars Concerto Palatino is offering a programme centered on those ideas of Johannes Kepler and the music of his lifetime - a programme, in which an audience can listen to the cosmos, as Kepler would have put it.

Thus the musicians take the aforementioned Lasso-motets as a starting point and explore further polyphonic and polychoral music from here - including works by Andrea Gabrieli and Erasmus Widmann, whose music Kepler most likely knew, but also by Annibale Perini, Hans Leo Hassler and Lambert de Sayve, whom he even might have met personally.
Music of the stars also includes a work by the Greek-Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki, which she composed especially for Concerto Palatino on a text connected to Kepler's concept of spherical music.

Concerto Palatino:
Hana Blažíková, Barbora Kabátková - soprano
Alex Potter - countertenor
Jan van Elsacker, Benedict Hymas - tenor
Tomáš Král, Jaromir Nosek - baritone

Veronika Skuplik - violin
Charles Toet, Simen Van Mechelen, Joost Swinkels, Claire McIntyre - trombone
Kris Verhelst - organ

Bruce Dickey - cornetto and musical direction

Price: 13.500,- Euro, plus travels and hotel (for a single concert).

Please don't hesitate to contact us about the current state of planning for this project: several concerts in a row may reduce the price for a concert considerably. At this moment there's a tour in planning between 28th June and 10th July 2021.

Here you can enjoy a video of Concerto Palatino during the recording of this programme in November 2019 on our YouTube Channel.

Listen here to an audio sample from the programme, Lambert de Sayve's splendorous Regna triumphalem à 12:

Here you can get an impression of Calliope Tsoupaki's music, in her Melena imi:

Here you can find some more videos of Concerto Palatino on our YouTube Channel.

For more than three decades, Concerto Palatinopicture Concerto Palatino under the direction of Bruce Dickey and Charles Toet, has been leading the way in the revival of the cornetto and baroque trombone. Their highly acclaimed concerts and recordings have brought an appreciation of their important but little known music to modern audiences, and stimulated many young players to take up these instruments, practically unknown a generation ago.
The musicians take the name Concerto Palatino from a historical ensemble of cornettists and trombonists which existed in the city of Bologna for over 200 years under the name Il concerto palatino della Signoria di Bologna. Following in the footsteps of these former virtuosi, their aim is to restore these instruments to an active and respected place in concert life, and to cultivate a love of their music among audiences and players alike.
Concerto Palatino was enthousiastically welcomed on most of the prestigious festivals and stages all over the world. The group frequently collaborates with other leading ensembles, as Collegium Vocale Gent, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan and others. The ensemble places a high priority on unearthing neglected gems of music history and giving them a place in concert hall and record catalogs alongside the works of established masters.
Their numerous recordings for EMI Reflexe, Accent, and harmonia mundi France have received high acclaim.

Bruce Dickeypicture Bruce Dickey is one of a handful of musicians worldwide who have dedicated themselves to reviving the cornetto - once an instrument of great virtuosi, but which lamentably fell into disuse in the 19th century.

The revival began in the 1950s, but it was largely Bruce Dickey, who, from the late 1970s, created a new renaissance of the instrument, allowing the agility and expressive power of the cornetto to be heard once again. For his acheivements the Historic Brass Society awarded him in 2000 the prestigious Christopher Monk Award for his monumental work in cornetto performance, historical performance practice and musicological scholarship. In 2007 he was honored by British conductor and musicologist Andrew Parrott with a Taverner Award as one of 14 musicians whose significant contributions to musical understanding have been motivated by neither commerce nor ego.

Bruce Dickey can be heard on countless recordings. His solo CD ("Quel lascivissimo cornetto...") on Accent with the ensemble Tragicomedia was awarded the Diapason d’or. In addition to performing, Bruce Dickey is much in demand as a teacher, both of the cornetto and of seventeenth-century performance practice. In addition to his regular class at the Schola Cantorum he has taught at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, and the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, as well as master classes in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. He is also active in research on performance practice, and has published, together with Michael Collver, a catalog of the surviving cornetto repertoire, and, together with trumpeter Edward Tarr, a book on historical wind articulation. In 1997 he founded Artemisia Editions, a small publishing house which produces editions of music from 17th-century Italian convents.

In 1981, Bruce Dickey moved to Italy, partly to be closer to the origins and source materials for his instrument and its music. He currently lives in a country house, surrounded by vineyards, outside of Bologna, home of the original Concerto Palatino.