“Chez Schedel” project première!

Saturday, 30 May and Sunday, 31 May (University of Aberdeen May Festival) saw the first performances of the Aberdeen Early Music Collective’s new project Chez Schedel, in which we reconstruct a musical entertainment as it might have been performed in Nuremberg in the 1460s. Many modern performers and audiences are still insidiously influenced by the desire to determine a composer’s intention or authority, even for musics where such a notion may be problematic. We depart from this by collecting pieces from a wide geographical and temporal origin, and trying to crystallise what these pieces might have sounded like, in one place and time. For our first performances, regulars Frauke, Ralph Stelzenmüller (organ) and Caroline Ritchie (viola d’arco) welcomed esteemed guest Uri Smilansky (viola d’arco). The programme included a mix of German songs (performed with texted superius), Latin contrafacta of songs of diverse origin (including some of Frye and Du Fay’s biggest hits), keyboard intabulations, and a few chansons with their original French texts. On Sunday, we added a basse danse, and Uri and Caroline improvised while I taught the basic steps to an enthusiastic little girl from our audience! Stay tuned for the next installment in December, when Marc Lewon will join the lineup, and we will explore some more homegrown, German genres! Wine is no use until you’ve had at least three drinks (claims the Buxheim Organ Book), so find out what happens after drinks four through ten!

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