In 1776, a notable series of musical activities took place in the Elisabethan convent in Prague. These activities were initiated by one occasion: the 50th anniversary of Maria Deodata, the convent’s mother superior. Maria Deodata apparently had a very positive relationship to music, considering that under her direction, both convent organs were funded and built, and the large number of music compositions dedicated to her. On November 24 1776, a musical “Operetto” was performed in honor of the mother superior, most probably written by Maria Juliana (1719-c.1800), the convent’s “Chor-Regentin”.
Dante and music of the early Italian baroque : The great poet Dante Alighieri, in Il Purgatorio, referred to the famous troubadour Arnaut Daniel as “il miglior fabbro”, “the best maker/smith/craftsman”. Now Motus Harmonicus presents one take on “the best maker,” presenting Dante’s Commedia through music of the Italian seicento. Songs, arias and motets tell of Dante’s journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise in his own words, as well as his personal journey in poetic style.
Lucifer: “The infernal serpent”; fallen angel; antihero. In this programme, we present songs and duets from Harmonia Sacra and texts from Blake, Milton and the metaphysical poets, focusing on Lucifer’s fall, and themes of recklessness, betrayal, loss, hubris, penitence and redemption.
Dante Alighieri, a poet much influenced by the troubadours, uses the words “lingua materna” to signify not only his own Tuscan vernacular, but also of other Romance languages of his time, from French to Occitan to Spanish and Portuguese. The vernacular is the most natural language, he says, contrasting these mother tongues to the paternal, studied “Grammatica”— Latin (De Vulgari Eloquentia).
Samuel Capricornus (1628 – 1665) was born in Žerčice at Mladá Boleslav (East Bohemia). He was one of the few Czech composers in the 17th century who were a major influence on European contemporaneous music culture.
The white deer is a potent mythological symbol, deeply rooted in the human consciousness. It is the connection to the other world, the primal dance of hunter/hunted, fertility and death, the numinous and the mundane.
The contrast between light and shadow is considered a central principal of baroque art. The programme “Le Flambeau du Monde” – “The Torch of the World” will take us to France between the Thirty Years War and time of the glamour of the royal court at the end of the 17th century. Between candleflame and the shadow of a heavy curtain, the poetry of the time leads us on a reflective journey through contemplation of the world, life and love.