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15th century polyphonies

Concerts given at:

July 27, 2014 - Amboise Castle, (37)

July 25, 2014 - Medieval Music Meetings, Thoronet (83)

July 23, 2014 - Sacred Music in Avignon (84)


Première Leçon des LamentationsDiabolus in Musica
00:00 / 05:16

"The overwhelming beauty of the elegy, as well as the traditional arrangement of the text (each verse is preceded by a Hebrew letter also sung) are conducive to the expression of a specific, particularly intense emotion."

The biblical text of Lamentations, attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, is an integral part of the Jewish liturgy. The Christian Church integrates it from the High Middle Ages to the particular celebrations of Holy Week, including the tragic events which are described there as a prefiguration of the Passion of Christ.


The Lamentations in our program, which have not been sung since the 15th century, are among the first polyphonic examples of this genre which was to experience important developments in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Yet they already reach heights of musical expressiveness and emotional intensity.


Bernard Ycart was cantor of the chapel of Ferdinand I in Naples, while Alexandre Agricola was in the service of the Medici, Sforza and the Duke of Burgundy Philippe le Beau. Our interpretation respects the liturgical uses of the end of the 15th century for these Lamentations: voices of male soloists a cappella.

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