This year Fretwork, the world’s leading consort of viols, celebrates 30 years of performing music old and new, and they’ll perform for us a program inspired by the exhibition Michelangelo: Mind of the Master. Michelangelo would have been very aware of the massive changes in music during his lifetime, including the arrival of printed music and the emergence of the newly developed violas da gamba. While there had been some attempts at printing music in Germany in the wake of Gutenberg’s technological breakthrough, it was one man in Venice who mastered the art. In 1501 Ottaviano Petrucci published the Harmonice Musices Odehecaton, or One Hundred Harmonic Pieces of Music (in fact, there are only 97), and achieved results that were ahead of their time by more than a century. This outstanding book contained works by all the major composers of the time, mostly vocal pieces, but without text. Each ranging from three to six parts, they offered a smorgasbord of contemporary music.
Another major development in Michelangelo’s time was the emerging trend for homogeneous ensembles, and there was nothing more fashionable in 1501 than the violas da gamba. Don’t miss this illuminating concert featuring works by Marbriano de Orto, Johannes de Piñarol, Josquin Desprez, and more.
$33–45, CMA members $30–40.