On the Steps of the Sistine Chapel

On the Steps of the Sistine Chapel       auf Deutsch

“The perfectly balanced voices of the vocal ensemble ‘Les Canards Chantants’ merged from the duo and trio sections into a powerful whole, allowing the individually- flung melismatic passages to transparently emerge. The ensemble…brilliantly held the tension across the vast, sophisticated melodies in the music of the Early Renaissance.”
Peter Schmitz, Soester Anzeiger, 2013

DCF 1.0Today we remember Palestrina for his Latin masses rather than for his Italian madrigals, while the opposite is true for his contemporary Luca Marenzio.  Meanwhile, their esteemed predecessor Costanzo Festa is scarcely remembered for either.  Yet these three men all composed music for worship and for pleasure that was highly regarded during their lifetimes. This program transports the listener back to a time when the church was more closely integrated with daily life, juxtaposing expansive sacred polyphony from within the Sistine Chapel with the poignant and fiery love songs its congregation enjoyed without.


Various (1397-1757) Ave maris stella           
Costanzo Festa (ca. 1485/90-1545)  Per inhospiti boschi          
Festa Missa et in terra pax    
Luca Marenzio (1553/4-1599) Zefiro torna, e’l bel tempo rimena 
Marenzio Estote fortes in bello


Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) Missa quator vocum – Gloria
Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474) Ave regina caelorum a 4
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1525-1594) Gia fu chi m’ebbe cara
Palestrina Missa Già fu chi m’ebbe cara – Kyrie, Credo      
Josquin des Prez (1450/55-1521) Ave maria, virgo serena      

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