Wine, Women and Song

Wine, Women and Song

Joie de vivre in 16th-century Munich

Performers: four singers

As Leonhard Lechner wrote in the preface to his 1589 publication of sacred and secular lieder:

“Since the Lord God especially gave not only the beloved art of Music for the honour and praise of his Almighty name, but also for the honourable entertainment of mankind and especially his dear children, why would man himself not make use of secular songs and things?”

Even the greatest sacred renaissance composers couldn’t resist the temptation to write about the good things in life.  The desire to sell as many copies of one’s music as possible also surely played a role: Lechner, for instance, was careful to include the disclaimer that his endorsement of secular music did not extend to “shameful, barbaric, and frivolous songs,” to assure his patrons that his music, with its tasteful variety of sacred and secular themes and styles, would provide guilt-free pleasure!  Moral concerns aside, such variety certainly brings the music alive and opens the ear to how these songs might have been enjoyed in their time. This programme serves up a spread of music to satisfy the spirit and the flesh, with sacred masterpieces alongside sublime love songs, comic adventures, and even a few pieces in praise of wine.

Highlights of Wine, Women and Song include:

Orlande de Lassus (1530-1594)
‘Audite nova!

Leonhard Lechner (1553-1606)
Das Hohelied Salomonis

‘O vin en vigne’
‘Margot labourez les vignes’
‘La nuict froid et sombre’
‘Bon jour mon coeur’

Johannes Eccard (1553-1611)
‘Gut Singer und ein Organist’
‘Der Music Feind seind Ignoranten’

‘Tota pulchra es, amica mea’

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