Repertoire

We have built up a surprising amount of repertoire over the years, only some of which is included below. Our material spans a period of some 700 years, from the very beginning of western harmony to the early years of the renaissance. The programmes are based on a number of different themes individual composers, politics, geography, and religious festivals. Some deal with a specific period of years, while others trace the development of musical form through the centuries. The majority of programmes are of sacred music and often include one of the masses listed at the bottom of this page. In addition, the Orlando Consort has a considerable repertoire of secular material and is always delighted to prepare new repertoire to suit the needs and themes of particular festivals.

One of the defining characteristics of the group is the fact that we always collaborate with expert musicologists on the preparation of editions, the application of performance practice and also on drawing from them an understanding of the context of the music. All the recordings also benefit from this approach, and you'll see the names of some of the people who have advised us on recent projects.

 Newest Programmes:

Additional Programmes in our Repertoire:

Ockeghem

[Musicological Advisors: David Fallows/Chansons, University of Manchester; Jaap Van Benthem/Missa de Plus en plus, University of Utrecht]

Johannes Ockeghem (c.1420-1497) was one of the most important composers of the C.15th, writing masses, motets and chansons and 1997 marked the 500th anniversary of his death. For our first record with Deutsche Grammophon we chose to dedicate a whole record to rescuing him from a somewhat arid reputation as a writer of theoretical masses. Hence, the inclusion of several of his chansons and the 'Missa De Plus en Plus', probably the most soloistic and virtuosic of his masses. We are familiar with much of the repertoire of the C.15th through concerts and through recordings (most notably that of Loyset Compere and Passion) and we endeavour to underscore the links between contemporary singers and their original counterparts. One of the ways of doing this is through underlining those pieces which refer to other singers and composers: the other is through sketching in the social context where Ockeghem's primary role would have been that of a singer rather than a composer.

Dust and Ashes

This programme combines medieval and modern to present a Requiem for the centuries. Works by Dufay, Josquin and Brumel contrast with modern works by Gabriel Jackson and Elizabeth Liddle, but the eras are united by a common lament for war and death. This began as a project for the BBC in which we would create mix of medieval and contemporary music interspersed with readings to create a distinctive and idiosyncratic Requiem. Robert Hardy, the renowned actor, has lent his services to both the original recording (broadcast on Radio 3 February 1997) and to concerts. Works which are performed include the Brumel Requiem and Dufay's Lamentatio, along with new works by Jackson and Liddle.

Philippe de Vitry and the Ars Nova

 Renowned in the fourteenth century as a poet and mathematician, it is for his crucial role in the development of musical form and notation that the Frenchman Philippe de Vitry is best remembered. This programme explores his highly complex and volatile motets, contrasting them with works by his famous successor, Machaut.

The Good, the Fearless, and the Bold: Songs from the Court of Burgundy

During the fifteenth century the court of Burgundy was the most powerful and rich political domain on the continent of Europe. This was reflected bya magnificent cultural opulence, here demonstrated by the works of Vide, Grenon, Binchois and Ockeghem.

Alleluia Nativitas: A Medieval Christmas

A devotional celebration of medieval Christmas music spanning four centuries that also illustrate the development of rhythmic and harmonic structure. Included in the programme is Perotin's Viderunt Omnes, the first known four-part piece, and some of the earliest English carols.

Venecie Mundi Splendor

Venice is most famous musically for the Gabrielis Venetian Ceremonial Music, 1320-1420 and Monteverdi, but this programme shows the rich heritage from which their compositions derived. The sparkling, virtuosic music of Ciconia, Romano and others reflects the material wealth and political successes of the Venetian doges.

The English Countenance: English Polyphony, 1050-1450

From the Winchester Troper (1050) through to the works of John Dunstable, this programme charts the development of English music to its position as the most influential force in European composition. The works of the Worcester Fragments (1240-1330) and the Old Hall Manuscript (early fifteenth century) are particularly featured for their striking harmonies and matchless rhythmic complexities.

Omnium Bonorum Plena: The Life and Times of Loyset Compère

The sacred and secular works of Compère and those of composers honoured in his famous motet, including Caron, Ockeghem, Dufay, and Molinet. Of particular interest is the contrast between the devotion of the sacred pieces and the hugely bawdy nature of the secular songs!

Popes and Antipopes: Music for the Courts of Avignon and Rome

During the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries the church was torn apart by the political in-fighting that led to the establishment of two Popes in Avignon and Rome. Both courts attracted leading composers, and this programme reflects the intricate beauty of the Italian Ars Subtilior school and the mastery of Ciconia and Dufay.

Aquitaine and Paris

Music from the earliest years of polyphony (12th century) explored in the context of improvisation.

The following Masses are also in the repertoire of the Orlando Consort:

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What am I listening to?

You are listening to Ave mundi rosa, a piece from the fourteenth-century, typically English in its use of sweet parallel harmonies. It is the latest in our ongoing series of recordings for Hyperion, a survey of English choral music from the late thirteenth to the early fourteenth centuries. You can hear more on the Hyperion website, read the engaging liner notes, and order or download tracks or the entire album in a number of formats.