Mini-masterclass Psallamus led by Hendrik Vanden Abeele and Psallentes

Sat 24 Jun 2017 -
14:00 to 20:30
Landcommanderij Alden Biesen, Kasteelstraat 6, 3740 Bilzen

Psallamus, or in English: let us sing psalms. Psalms have been sung in Christian liturgy for many centuries. The hundred and fifty songs from the Bible book of the same name form the core of choir prayers, sung eight times a day. The 6th century saint, Benedict of Nursia, was one of the first to set this down in his monastery rules. Latin has always been the standard language for reciting psalms, but from the 16th century onwards, as the Reformation took hold, people also began to use the vernacular. For example, a book was published in 1540 by Symon Cock in Antwerp that contained psalms translated into Dutch, in metric rhyme. They were named the ‘Souterliedekens’: ‘souter’ is a corruption of ‘psalter’ and ‘liederkens’ means ‘songs’. Cock added a melody to each song, often taken from secular songs - the interaction between secular and spiritual music was common at the time. A few years later, another Antwerp publisher, Tielman Susato, published the same Souterliedekens in three-part settings by Jacob Clemens non Papa. These are the polyphonic Souterliedekens at the heart of Psallentes’ project ‘Psallamus’, part of which will be presented at AlbaNova in 2017.

On Saturday 24 June, the day before AlbaNova, a group of enthusiasts of all ages, both beginners and experienced singers, will tackle the psalms in a mini-masterclass led by Hendrik Vanden Abeele, the artistic director of Psallentes. They will take a creative approach to this repertoire, working by ear rather than from scores. They will join Psallentes at AlbaNova, singing in the opening concert at the church in Alden Biesen.

Would you like to join in? Register here!