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Alexander Blachly, director

Flemish Musical Mastery in the Age of Hieronymus Bosch

Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 3 pm
Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch
552 West End AvenueEntrance on West 87th Street

$25 general admission
$10 seniors, students, and professional musicians
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Bosch_TheOwlsNestIn response to a request from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Pomerium has prepared a program of music to complement to the Gallery’s exhibition “Bosch to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam,” which will be on view from October 8, 2017, to January 7, 2018. (Pomerium will present its concert at the National Gallery of Art on Oct. 29, 2017, one week after the premiere of the new program in New York on Oct. 22.) Just as the Netherlandish visual artists enlisted symbolism to express a complex moral message, as in Hieronymus Bosch’s drawing “The Owl’s Nest” from ca. 1505, so too did Netherlandish polyphonic music—the type built up from multiple melodies interacting to create an intricate harmonic whole. Such music could, and often did, use a foundation melody borrowed either from Gregorian chant or from a popular secular song of the time to function as commentary and symbolism. More basically, however, Netherlandish artists’ focus on exquisite detail in the service “realism” paralleled the most characteristic aspect of the Netherlandish composers’ unique skill: the use of sophisticated counterpoint and voice-leading to create music that faithfully obeys musical “laws of nature.” Ingenious Netherlandish counterpoint initially existed simply as a jewel-like perfection of complex melodic interaction. Over time, however, its expressive potential came to the fore, beginning with the mature works of Josquin Desprez ca. 1500.

“Flemish Musical Mastery in the Age of Hieronymus Bosch” traces Netherlandish musical style from its first high point in the music of Guillaume Du Fay, an exact contemporary of Rogier van der Weyden, to its final flowering in the works of Orlande de Lassus and Giaches de Wert, just at the time when Abraham Bloemaert was beginning his long and distinguished career as a visual artist. The program includes music by eleven Netherlandish composers: Guillaume Du Fay, Johannes Ockeghem, Loyset Compère, Henricus Isaac, Jacob Obrecht, Josquin Desprez, Alexander Agricola, Nicolas Gombert, Cipriano de Rore, Orlande de Lassus, and Giaches de Wert.

Full program and notes

NYEMC logo smThis concert is part of the New York Early Music Celebration [2017]: Holland & Flanders. www.NYEMC.org

GEMS is a non-profit corporation that supports and promotes the artists and organizations in New York devoted to early music— the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical periods.