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Concert Preview: EMG presents Renaissance Singers on First Tuesdays

March 1, 2010

The Renaissance Singers: Music for Double Choir

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 7:30 pm

Trinity Episcopal Church, Parish Hall
609 8th Ave, Seattle 98104

Tickets are available at the door, call (206) 325-7066, or click here to order online

Double your pleasure . . .

Since the middle ages, most a capella music has been written in four parts–the traditional SATB of church choirs and glee clubs everywhere. But during the Counter-reformation, when the Catholic church was striking back at the forces of Protestantism, a new, more expressive, more colorful texture was introduced: the “double choir.” Instead of simply multiplying the singers by two (SSAATTBB), Italian and Spanish composers of the latter half of the 16th century began using the dimension of space to diversify their textures: With the singers separated into two groups of four (SATB BTAS), called cori spezzati, they could enhance the clarity of the text,  contrasting soft and tender moments (using just one choir) with loud and big (both choirs full volume), and open another expressive mode by alternating choirs: what we call “call and response.”

The Renaissance Singers’ March program will open with an eight-part work by the Flemish traditionalist Thomas Crequillon, followed increasingly daring experiments in antiphonal textures by Palestrina and Victoria.

Palestrina (from both sides now)

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