Czech soprano Hana Blažíková and Swiss countertenor Terry Wey are unable to perform for health reasons; the concert will instead feature tenors Tore Tom Denys (Belgium) and Julian Podger (Great Britain).
Together with the Swiss countertenor Terry Wey, the women’s vocal ensemble Tiburtina is presenting a programme subtitled Veneration of the Virgin Mary in the 14th Century. The main work on the programme will be the famed Messe de Nostre Dame by the great Medieval composer Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377), who is strongly associated with the Czech Lands. Beginning in 1323, Machaut served for a full 17 years as a secretary in the services of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia. Although we found practically none of his music in Czech sources, he was a great inspiration to his contemporaries especially in the field of monophonic vocal music. In the 14th century, these compositions in a genre known as the Leich or canticum had in common the veneration of the Virgin Mary as their subject matter. Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame is a true milestone of music history, being the oldest example of a complete polyphonic musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass by a single composer. It was written in the 1360s, while Machaut was serving as a Canon at the Reims Cathedral. In it, the composer employed all of the elements of the compositional style of the time known as the ars nova. Although the Mass was composed for male voices, the Tiburtina ensemble is performing it with the higher voices of females (altos and sopranos) – apart from that of Terry Wey. The music will be transposed ‘alla quarta alta’, which was permitted at the time. Together with the Mass, the concert will feature monophonic Marian songs from Bohemian sources of the period of Charles IV including the song of praise Magnificat anima mea Dominum, which will appear on the programme in the form of a reading – a lesson from the Office for the Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, and the great antiphon Salve Regina, which the public will have the opportunity of hearing in its most beautiful version from the Benedictine Rite.
The women’s vocal ensemble Tiburtina was founded in 2008, and during its short time of existence, it has found its way to the top in the field of authentic performing of early music. It selects its repertoire mainly from Medieval liturgical sources, seeking out not only purely vocal works, but also vocal-instrumental sacred and secular music. It has released two successful CD recordings (for the crossover project Apocalypsis, the ensemble was nominated for the 2013 Anděl Award).
The ensemble’s artistic director Barbora Kabátková has devoted herself to music since her childhood as, among other things, a member of the Kühn Children’s Choir, with which she gave more than 300 concerts. After secondary school, she studied choral conducting at the Faculty of Pedagogy, and musicology at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague (specializing in Gregorian chant). She took private voice lessons, and she devotes herself intensively to the performance of early music in the field of solo vocal music. She plays the Medieval harp and psaltery.
“…the countertenor Terry Wey possesses fantastically secure vocal technique and a scintillatingly beguiling tone…” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
A native of Bern, Switzerland, the countertenor Terry Wey began as a boy soprano soloist with the legendary Wiener Sängerknaben. He furthered his studies at the Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität, where he studied singing (Silvija Vojnic-Purchar, Kurt Equiluz, and Christine Schwartz) and also performed as a solo pianist. Almost immediately after completing his studies, he began to collaborate with leading early music ensembles (Les Arts Florissants, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble etc.) under the leadership of such conductors as William Christie, Marc Minkowski, and Thomas Hengelbrock. He has appeared on stage in such roles as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ruggiero in Vivaldi’s opera Orlando Furioso. In 2014 he sang under the baton of Nicolas Harnoncourt in Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen (Styriarte Festival).
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