The Triumphs of Maximilian: Music from the time of Emperor Maximilian I
Courtiers of Grace
Clare Wilkinson course co-director &voice, Gawain Glenton course co-director & cornetto, Uri Smilansky viols & recorders, William Lyons flutes, recorders, reeds & pipes, and Marc Lewon lutes
At eighteen, Maximilian I (1459–1519) married Mary of Burgundy (‘Mary the Rich’), and at her court developed the profound love and knowledge of music and musicians which he later put to good use in the foundation of his own court. He inherited musicians from his father, father-in-law and cousin, and gathered about him an unparalleled musical establishment. This week will focus on music from Maximilian’s time, and particularly from his circle: court composers Heinrich Isaac and Ludwig Senfl and celebrated organist-composer Paul Hofhaimer will be central figures.
This residential week will be the perfect opportunity to make new friends through old music, and to develop your skills under the guidance of a world-class team of tutors. Open to viols, reeds, cornetts, sackbuts, recorders, lutes and confident singers of all voice types.
Our centrepiece will be Isaac’s Missa Wohlauf gut G’sell von hinnen; in smaller consorts we will explore, amongst other things, the domestic repertoire found in the intimate Liederbuch collections of the early 16th century German private home, such as the stunning Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen (a poem attributed to Maximilian himself).
The 2021 Renaissance Course will take place at Benslow Music, Hitchin. More information is available here.
A typical day's schedule might be:
09.30 vocal or instrumental consort groups 11.00 coffee 11.30 mixed vocal/instrumental groups 13.00 lunch break 13.30 free time / self-organised groups 16.00 tea 16.30 choice of masterclasses/workshops 18.30 dinner 19.30 tutti session for large-scale works
The tutors will offer coaching and workshops on various aspects of Renaissance performance. Music will be provided, but you are also encouraged to bring your own sets of parts and scores if you wish. Alternatively, feel free to join the growing number of people saving paper by using iPads and downloading music from the course Dropbox.
Participants should arrive in time for the welcome at 4pm on Sunday 1 August. The course ends with breakfast on Sunday 8 August.
Is the Renaissance course for me?
We welcome applications from confident singers, and from players of Renaissance instruments at A=440 including viols, lutes, Renaissance recorders and flutes, cornetts, sackbuts, crumhorns, shawms and curtals. Recorder players should be familiar with all instruments in the descant to bass range, unless offering another instrument or voice as well; viol players are encourage to bring Renaissance as well as Baroque instruments, but it might be possible to borrow Renaissance viols during the course.
All applicants should have a good standard of sight-reading and be able to hold a line confidently on their own. Singers may be encouraged to take solo parts as well as singing in ensembles. Those applying as instrumentalists will also have opportunities to sing if they wish. Non-singing/playing observers are welcome if we have space. Pre-formed vocal consorts are especially encouraged to apply.
1 August, 4pm: the course begins with a welcome given by the tutors. 4 August, 8pm:Courtiers of Grace will give an evening concert at St Mary's church, Hitchin. Pre-concert talk by Dr Grantley McDonald will start at 7pm. 6 August, 7.30pm:there will be a chance for students to perform their own choice of music to other participants in an informal setting. 7 August, 7.30pm: on the final evening, course members will participate in a public concert at Benslow Music, performing works studied during the week.
We make every effort to assist with bursaries where appropriate. Please see our Bursaries page for details.
Applications will be acknowledged but may not be accepted until April, by when we hope to have a workable balance of voices and instruments. You will then be informed if your application has succeeded, and your deposit will be returned if not.
For further information on fees & booking, please click here.
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