Sounds of the Cathedrals
Take a musical tour around the great European cathedrals, whose structures stood central to the creative genius of renowned medieval and Renaissance composers.
Begin with a perilous journey by ship to England, where William Byrd and Talliss labored at the Chapel Royal, Lincoln Cathedral and Canterbury Cathedral for Queen Elizabeth. Yet Byrd secretly composed music aligning with his deep convictions as a Roman Catholic.
Voyage across the channel to Notre Dame Cathedral, where medieval composers planted the seeds for polyphonic chant and the development of modern musical notation. Additionally, encounter Notre Dame’s Mauchaut, who composed the first polyphonic mass conceived as a single work.
Travel on a Venetian Gondola to St. Marks Cathedral to hear music by Gabrieli, whose works were the first to exhibit dynamic marks and divided choirs. Then journey southward to Rome for Allegri’s haunting Miserere Dei, whose composition became so favored at the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel it could only be performed at certain services, with transcription of the score punishable by death. Then discover how Palestrina’s work at the Sistine Chapel saved polyphony from extinction by proving to the Counsel of Trent that the words of the mass could be understood clearly when sung.
Join us for these compositions, destinations and more, as you experience a remarkable aural journey through the Sounds of the Cathedrals.