Renaissance Music Festival in Copenhagen

Copenhagen Renaissance Music FestivalMusic is just unstoppable in Denmark. For most part of the year, music festivals are being held in the different areas of this Scandinavian country.

Last week saw the World Music Expo or WOMEX in the capital of Copenhagen for the first time.  Then the Music Harvest or the contemporary music festival in Odense followed. This week, it’s the turn of the Renaissance Music Festival 2009 still in the Danish capital.

The Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival is the brainchild of curator Bjorn Ross. Early Neopolitan music was the highlight of the 2008 festival. It also focused on the music’s Spanish influence.

For this year, manager and producer Ross wants to showcase the works of the late Ascanio Mayone, an organist, harpist and composer. During the peak of his career, Mayone was considered as an outstanding performer both on the organ and the double harp. By 1614 at the age of 49, he became the first organist by appointment at the royal chapel of the Spanish Viceroys.

Mayone is known for his madrigals featuring five voices. A madrigal is a so-called secular musical composition popular during the Renaissance and early Baroque periods that is not accompanied by any instrument similar to the modern day acapella. It normally features from three to six different voices. But other than the madrigals, Mayone is most famous for his two libri di diversi capricci pieces.

Fans of classical music should not miss this weeklong event honoring the musical masterpieces of Ascanio Mayone. This is the perfect time to hear his unique music in a live musical performance. On Wednesday, for instance, Musica Ficta will perform its own rendition of Mayone’s madrigals of five varying voices – soprano, mezzosoprano, countertenor, tenor and bass.

A conference and masterclass will occur on Thursday. This will involve reading and interpreting of Italian music during the early Baroque period. During the weekend, three concerts will also take place. 

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