The Linarol Consort's David Hatcher has been busily transcribing Ms. 18-810 – for 8 years! It’s a collection of German, Flemish and French pieces from the early 16th century. A new edition of the complete 86 piece collection is now fully published in four volumes, and there is some fantastic music in it – pieces by well–known composers including Josquin, Senfl and Pierre de la Rue, and lots of hidden gems.
"La la hö hö" - the recording of some of the instrumental pieces - is already out, and now we're going to feature the vocal pieces with tenor, James Gilchrist.
More about the manuscript
In 2011 David Hatcher came into possession of a facsimile reprint of a manuscript of German, Flemish and French consort pieces of the early 16th century, now held in the vast collection of the National Library of Austria, in Vienna and bearing the shelf mark Vienna Ms. 18-810. The reprint, containing all five part books (Discantus, Contratenor, Tenor, Bassus & Quinta Vox), is no longer available and the manuscript is not widely known by exponents of music of this period. David soon discovered, to his surprise, that there was no complete modern edition available of this important source, so he set to, transcribing and editing all 86 pieces in the collection.
The manuscript, although professionally copied, is plain in appearance, a fact which belies the value of the musical treasures contained within. Exactly for whom it was complied is not known, but shortly after its completion, in around 1535, it was in the large library of Jacob Fugger “The Rich”, the banker who’s funds maintained Maximilian’s court in all its glory and who is described as the richest man to have ever lived.
Of the 86 pieces in the collection, some 30 are found only in this source and 18 of those are by Maximilian I’s court composer, the undisputed master of German song writing in the early 16th century, Ludwig Senfl. Other composers represented include a number of the leading musical figures of the late 15th century, including Heinrich Isaac, Josquin des Prez, Pierre de la Rue and Antoine Brumel.
Our first CD, “La la hö hö”, released earlier this year, contained a representative selection of the instrumental pieces from the manuscript and it is our great pleasure to be able to work with James Gilchrist to bring alive the vocal works in this, the second volume.
More about the musicians
The Linarol Consort of Renaissance Viols draws together players who are leading exponents of the viol as both a consort and solo instrument, and focuses uniquely on their love of the instrument’s very earliest sound and repertoire.
The Consort takes its name from the maker of the original viol on which the instruments they play are modelled: all are copies of one surviving viol by the Venetian maker Francesco Linarol, who was active throughout the 16th century and currently displayed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. David has worked closely with viol maker Richard Jones, who will shortly complete his 100th copy of the Linarol viol, to recreate two sets of viols: a “high” consort of treble, two tenors and a bass, and a “low” consort, pitched a fourth lower, comprising a tenor, two basses and a “great” bass.
Recognised as ‘the finest Evangelist of his generation’, James Gilchrist is one of the UK’s leading tenors, whose extensive repertoire embraces works spanning many centuries. He is an enthusiastic and prolific exponent of lieder and enjoys nothing better than putting together interesting and challenging recital programmes.
His love of early repertoire has already seen the 20-21 season include Dowland songs with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, and he is delighted to be moving further back in time with the luscious sound of the renaissance viol consort. He has been particularly enjoying getting to grips with early German pronunciation with the help of Oxford University professor Henrike Lähnemann.
The recording and budget
Our engineer and producer is Adrian Hunter who did such an excellent job with volume 1, and we're delighted to be working with him again. The venue this time is the beautiful Sherborne church in Gloucestershire. So with a fabulous team, a lovely acoustic, and such good music it promises to be a real musical feast!
We have already secured some funding, but it's only a small start, and this is where you come in...
If you want to hear this music, we need your help to make it available!
We need this crowdfunder to reach its target, in combination with one or two other grants, in order to cover the costs of recording. Have a look at the rewards offered for your donations, and please do support the project if you can.
We are offering framed prints of this beautiful painting as one of our 'Rewards'.