First part of a double concert about light and darkness, from the golden years of the city of Antwerp to its fall and, in parallel, from the glory years to the fateful end of two polyphonic composers in Antwerp, in poverty and without recognition: Hubert Waelrant (1517-1595) and Séverin Cornet (1530-1582).
Waelrant, a Franco-Flemish polyphonist who spent most of his life in Antwerp, started out as a printer in the early 1550s and also worked as a music teacher. Most of his music that is known to us was published in Antwerp. Towards the end of his life, he was plagued by financial troubles. Waelrant was buried in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp.
Cornet’s career took a similar turn for the worse: after his training in Italy, he was taken on as a singer in Antwerp. From 1572 onwards, he worked at the Cathedral of Our Lady as the Kapellmeister. He lost his job a year before his death.
The music in this first part, The Wonder Years, resounds with flamboyance. It covers the experimental 1550s and 1560s in Antwerp, when the influential Lassus was living in the city: the time of the Republic of Genoa, the influence of the Italian Academy, and the music salon of the rich merchant and politician Cornelis Pruenen, who was Waelrant’s and Cornet’s patron. Their Italian madrigals, Neapolitan songs, motets for the city and for special occasions are a glorious reflection of good times.
Teodora Tommasi, soprano | Florencia Menconi, mezzo-soprano | Andrew Hallock, Razek François Bitar, countertenor | Albert Riera, Gabriel Belkheiri, tenor | Noé Chapolard, baritone | Tomàs Maxé, Arnout Malfliet, bass | Lluis Coll i Trulls, cornett | Philippe Malfeyt, ceterone | Floris De Rycker, lute & guitar | Björn Schmelzer, artistic leader