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Voices of Passion Festival 2020

Every year in spring, the Alamire Foundation, under the curatorship of Bart Demuyt, joins forces with 30CC, the city of Leuven's cultural service, to produce the Voices of Passion festival. The program results from and at the same time contributes to the historically informed performance practice.


Saturday, 2 May, 2020 - 8.30 pm - Park Abbey church

Huelgas Ensemble
Artistic leader: Paul Van Nevel

Sublime Italian Polyphony

With Missa super voces musicales, the twelve singers of Huelgas Ensemble take us back to early 17th-century Rome. Francesco Soriano followed in the footsteps of Palestrina and even ventured an arrangement of the latter’s world-renowned 'Missa Papae Marcelli'. The resulting work for eight voices as well as his 'Ave Maris Stella' will also be performed during this opening concert.
The programme is garnished with masterly madrigals by Soriano’s contemporaries Giovanni de Macque and Scipione Lacorcia, both of whom worked in Naples and were inspirated by Gesualdo.


Sunday, May 3, 2020 - 3 pm - Park Abbey church

Currende Consort
Artistic leader: Erik Van Nevel


The atmospheric church of Park Abbey will be the setting of 'DeVespers', a series of concerts on Sunday afternoon with music written for the age-old evening prayer service. 

Currende Consort has opted for Franco-Flemish polyphony. From the rich repertoire, artistic leader Erik Van Nevel has selected some gems from the second half of the 16th century which will evoke the peacefulness and intensity of a Renaissance vesper service during the concert of approximately 45 minutes. Subsequently, carillon player Luc Rombouts will play a concert in open air.


Wednesday, 6 May, 2020 - 8.30 pm - Saint Peter's church

Oltremontano, Cappella Pratensis, Park Collegium
Artistic leaders: Wim Becu (Otremontano), Stratton Bull (Cappella Pratensis, Park Collegium)

Music in the days of Dirk Bouts

Saint Peter’s Church in Leuven boasts one of the masterpeices of the Flemish primitives: ‘The Last Supper’ by Dieric Bouts. On the occasion of the 545th anniversary of the painter’s death on 6 May 1475, music that was composed and performed by his contemporaries will ascend to heaven along the Gothic rib-vault ceiling of the restored church. 

Voices and instruments will fill the space with the complexity of polyphony and the simplicity of Gregorian chant. In this exceptional setting, sound and architecture will enter into a dialogue, creating a soundscape that takes us back to the time and place in which Dieric Bouts lived and worked.


Friday, 8 May, 2020 - 8.30 pm - Park Abbey church

Cappella Pratensis
Artistic leader: Stratton Bull

Jacob Obrecht's Missa Maria Zart

During his restless life, famous polyphonic composer Jacob Obrecht (1457/58-1505) crossed the Alps several times to reach the court of art-loving Ercole I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara. It is possible that Missa Maria zart was composed on one of these journeys between the Low Countries and Italy. This virtuoso composition is one of the longest polyphonic settings of the Mass Ordinary ever written. 

Cappella Pratensis distinguishes itself through singing on the basis of the original notation. Since this mass has only heen preserved in a set of printed partbooks, the ensemble and Alamire Foundation have created a new handwritten choirbook with which they are touring Flanders as well as the United States.


Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 8.30 pm - Saint Peter's Church

Tallis Scholars

An English mass in a manuscript of Petrus Alamire

Petrus Alamire’s English connections were not limited to espionage missions for Henry VIII, but also brought him into contact with the music played at court. One of the most productive court composers was Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521), who was connected to the Chapel Royal. The only continental manuscript containing work by Fayrfax was created at the Alamire workshop and is currently located at the Jena University Library. 

The Tallis Scholars demonstrate their many years of experience in polyphonic music by means of a programme in which parts of Missa O bone Jesu alternate with motets by Thomas Tallis, Robert White and William Byrd, who were very fashionable in 16th-century England during the reign of Henry VIII and Elisabeth I. 

This concert is part of the V-Day celebration.

Admission free, reservation mandatory.
Reservations start on March 31, 2020

Ensembles in residence

Park Collegium

Park Collegium is the house ensemble of the Alamire Foundation, in residence at the House of Polyphony. The aim of this vocal group is to explore 15th and 16th Century polyphony from the source. Park Collegium has a variable number of members, special attention is given to young, promising singers wishing to deepen their knowledge on and experience with this historic repertoire. In line with the mission of the House, Park Collegium essentially performs practice based research. It is a living laboratory on the intersection between artistic practice and scientific study. Park Collegium is led by Stratton Bull and Pieter Stas.

Cappella Pratensis

Cappella Pratensis, founded in 1987, mainly sings music from the period between 1450 and 1600. During that time, the polyphony of Franco-Flemish composers such as Josquin Desprez, Jean Mouton, Pierre de La Rue Jacob Clemens non Papa, Johannes Ockeghem and Guillaume Dufay world leader. Cappella presents ongoing special programs and original designs. Thus, the ensemble released in 2016 with the Dutch Chamber Choir eight concerts around the Missa Unitatis Antony Pitts and sang it in concert season "Christmas with Josquin 'in Amsterdam, Almere Westzaan, Utrecht and Den Bosch. The singers sing facsimiles of original choir books. Artistic director of the ensemble Stratton Bull.

Cappella Pratensis website