Johannes Kepler (1571 - 1630), the great mathmetician and anstronomer, was very much concerned all of his life with the connection between practical music and cosmology. He felt strongly that music mirrors the cosmos, and used phrases such as “the Song of the Earth” and “Nature's secret whispering”. In his view, in contrast to the opionions of the ancients, the "music of the spheres” was polyphonic music. He broke from his contemporaries who thought that the motions of the planets and other heavenly bodies actually made sound, but thought that those motions and all of the geometry of the heavens were reflected in the most perfect polyphonic pieces of his time. Kepler actually invited composers to take up the challenge of writing a motet that would incorporate the harmonies he had discovered in planetary data. He felt that Lasso had come closest and used an example of a five-voice motet (In me transient), which he attempted to analyze in planetary terms. He identified each particular vocal part with a planet: soprano (Mercury), alto (Earth and Venus), tenor (Mars), and bass (Saturn and Jupiter). He noted that the motions of each planet suit its particular voice part, with Mercury as “the treble being most free”, Earth and Venus have “very narrow distances between their motions”, Mars as tenor “is free yet proceeds moderately", while Saturn and Jupiter “as the bass, make harmonic leaps.” He also characterized rhetorical melodic leaps in terms of geometrical figures.

Concerto Palatino is offering a program centered on the ideas of Johannes Kepler and the music of his lifetime. This program is at the same time a continuation and expansion of the project “Breathtaking” of Bruce Dickey and Hana Blažíková, which aims to demonstrate the imitation of the human voice by the cornetto and the cornetto-like quality of the soprano voice. In this program we expand that idea to include trombones and male voices. We will take the Lasso motet mentioned above as a point of departure and then explore other polyphonic and polychoral music of Lasso and his contemporaries (Andrea Gabrieli, Hans Leo Hassler, etc.). In addition, we will premiere two new works by Calliope Tsoupaki on texts related to Kepler.

Concerto Palatino

Hana Blažíková, soprano
Alex Potter, countertenor
Jan van Elsacker, tenor
Tomáš Král, baritone

Veronika Skuplik - violin
Catherine Aglibut - violin
Bruce Dickey - cornetto
Doron David Sherwin - cornetto

Charles Toet - trombone
Simen van Mechelen - trombone
Claire McIntyre - trombone
Wim Becu - trombone

Mieneke van der Velden - viola da gamba
Jakob Lindberg - theorbo
Kris Verhelst - organ