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copenhagen renaissance

music festival 7 - 20 november 2011

From Sch端tz to Geist

Photo: Karsten Movang

Early German Baroque Music 1600-1700 In commemoration of Christian Geist (c.1650-1711)

Holmens Church

Christian IV

Theatre of Voices

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Copenhagen 1660

Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival - 7-20 November 2011

A fresh outlook on...

POST BOX President and Publisher: Ejvind Sandal

Renaissance Music

Chief Executive: Jesper Nymark Editor: Jane Graham

The organiser of Copenhagen’s Renaissance Music Festival, Björn Ross, promises a rich and varied programme of music that may be old – but its approach as well as its performers, are fresh and contemporary. By Jane Graham

Sales Director Supplements: Hans Hermansen

Björn Ross is a busy man. In addition to his involvement in the European Early Music Network and local church singing groups, If you would like to contact us he recently staged a Danish veris dedicated to Early German Baroque Music - in commemoration or leave a comment: sion of the Monteverdi opera info@cphpost.dk of the German composer and organist Christian Geist. “The Coronation of Poppea” at Københavns Musikteater: last This supplement is published by The Christian Geist was born in Güstrow in northern Germany but definitely not least, he is Copenhagen Post in co-operation with the organiser of the Copenhaaround 1650 and moved to Copenhagen in 1669 where he joined The Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festigen Renaissance Festival, held val, please refer to our disclaimer on page the Danish Court Chapel as a bass singer. In May 1670 he moved 2 of the newspaper. annually since 2006. Sales and Advertising: Jeanne Thames, Mark Millen, Lyndsay Jensen


to Sweden to join the Swedish Court Chapel in Stockholm under of Gustaf Düben. Here he composed most Inspired of his by the Early Music FesL IVA ST FE tival MUSICsacred cantatas which are now part of the Düben Collection inatBruges, Belgium that he first attended in 2005, it was a the University Library at Uppsala. “lucky coincidence” that the folIn 1679 he left Stockholm rather hastily, after what seems lowingtoyear was named as Nationalas Renaissance Year in Denhave been a conflict with Gustav Düben. He got a position mark, leading to a focus on Renaissance music in the country’s museums and organist in the Germanpublic Church in Gothenburg and held this institutions. The nationwide initiative was just the prompt Ross needed to until November 1684 when heown returned tofirst Copenhagen. Here launch his festival, held in 2006 as part of the year-long cultural event and ever since as an independent entity. he worked as organist in the churches of The Trinity and The question of how exactly to define Renaissance music is a pertinent one, Holy Spirit. In 1689 he The succeeded Johann Lorentz as organist of as the Renaissance period varies depending on where you are; a little confusThe Holmen Church. Heingly died Copenhagen with than in other European forin lovers of Italian art, it1711, is muchtogether later in Denmark countries. his third wife and all their children, of the bubonic plague.



Photo: Karsten Movang

Early German Baroque Music 1600-1700 In commemoration of Christian Geist (c.1650-1711)






Renaissance music is thus much more specific than the term “early music”,

Copenhagen Renaissance is one oftimes ScandinawhichMusic comprisesFestival all music from earliest onwards. Another term is “Medivia’s leading festivals for specialised in repertoire evalearly music,”music, which is classified as pre-1400s. from the late medieval to the early baroque period. In Denmark it bears a special relation to the church and is conThe festival was established in 2006 in connection with the nected heavily with the reformation,” explains Ross. “Personally, Danish National Renaissance Year.

I tend to classify it as all music from the 14th-century up to and

The festival's aim is to introduce leading musiincluding the 1600s,international while others narrow it down still further. cians to the Danish audience; to connect local and international in focus musicians; to provide Geist meeting points between students and Each edition of the Copenhagen Renaissance Music festival has its own special professionals; to generate knowledge and for inspiration through theme; last year’s festival, example, focused on sacred music and drama. This year, the theme is Christian Geist, a little-known, conferences and masterclasses; to mediate new research on earlyGerman-born composer organist who Copenhagenand 300 years ago of the bubonic plague. Jumusic and its historicaland context, anddied toinpromote stimulate bilee year aside, are there any other reasons to choose him as the focus of the the interest in early music in general. festival?

Music ...

Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival is a member of: “The thing about Geist is that he really connects Scandinavian music culture REMA - The European with Early Music Network what was happening musically in Italy and Germany at that time,” explains Ross. “His music really is very good, which makes discovering this also almost NORDEM - The Nordic Early Music Federation unknown composer so much more exciting. It’s a great opportunity to hear his as it is so rarely I hadn’t even heard and of him myself until last sumfestival ismusic, planned for 20played. Oct-18 Nov 2012 mer! music from app. 800 to 1500, with special focus

Next years will present on medieval and early renaissance repertoire. The festival will I was working on a German concert project when one of the performers host an international conference on Early Music in collaboration suggested making Geist the focus of the festival, and I confess to saying, with REMA. This will be held in“This connection oneprompted of REMA's “Who?” not knowingwith naturally me to find out more about annual meetings in Copenhagen in November him. And I’m glad I did ...2012. He’s one of the best examples of early

German baroque music I can think of.

Art ...


old web music keepsfor it fresh and contemporary renaissancemusik.dkPlaying is a Danish portal early music. It may be hard for Renaissance music to compete Here one finds a complete and updated overview of all relevantwith the multitude of styles and movements that exist within today’s music scenes, but Ross is confident concerts in the whole of Denmark as well as links to ensembles, that early music has a place in modern society outside of the museums. musicians, courses, publishers and instrument builders, both in Denmark and in the other The “I thinkNordic it’s very countries. important that this website music doesalso not become a museum piece, contains a complete listand of that courses and festivals in Europe. it continues to be performed,” he argues. “It’s only the composers that

are old - the expression, as well as the contents, is often fresh and exciting. They’re very complicated pieces! “Music is always contemporary. Only when you stop playing is there no more music; then it’s gone – it’s happened.”


One crucial approach to making Renaissance music fresh and contemporary is in the way it is performed. Gone are the days when early music groups performed solely in museums in period dress.

We doArtistic it differently now”, says Ross. “The new generation director & producer: Björn Ross mix it with modern music, and find different ways to perform email: festival@renaissancemusik.dk it in new and interesting contexts. And they dress normally!

tel: +45-26 28 04 15


Production & Layout: Lyndsay Jensen

“Classical music is more conservative, actually, than the early music movement. With classical music, you tend to think of old men in black suits in big symphony orchestras, and it’s very stiff and formal.

SPONSORS Statensnow... Kunstråds “But even this is changing Perhaps Musikudvalg the classical musicians have learned A.P. Møllers Fond from the early music performers.” Augustinus Fonden Over the past decade, interest in Renaissance music movement has increased Wilhelm Hansen Fonden to the extent that even high-profile singers and Sonning Fondenmusicians have jumped on the early music bandwagon; in 2006, rock star Sting recorded “Songs from the LabOticon Fonden yrinth,” an interpretation of songs by the English renaissance composer John Toyota Dowland, a recording much discussed inFonden the early music community. Københavns Musikudvalg When asked what he’s most looking forward to in the festival, Ross is unable Frederiksberg Kommunes Musikudvalg to pinpoint one single concert. “I’m very happy with Dansk Musiker Forbundthe programme,” he says. “It’s big, with a wide variety of music and a lot of fairly unknown composers. The level is very high, but apart from our Swedish guests (Göteborg Baroque PARTNERS and Ensemble Mare Balticum-ed.) the festival is generally very local. We haven’t concentrated on one superstar – more in making Danmarks Radio a good, varied programme of esteemed ensembles.” Det Kgl. Danske Musikkonservatorium It’s clear that the early music movement is enjoying a renaissance in CopenGarnisons Kirke hagen. Leave your preconceptions at the museum and check out a concert Holmens Kirke from ensembles like Musica Ficta, Concerto Copenhagen, Theatre of Voices and Frederiksberg Kirke Swedish Göteborg Baroque. The full programme can be viewed at www.renaisTrinitatis Kirke sancemusik.dk/festival

Sankt Johannes Kirke Sankt Petri Kirke Reformert Kirke Literaturhaus Musica Ficta Prima la musica! Edition Musica Poetica Early Monday RICC NETWORKS REMA - www.rema-eemn.net NORDEM - www.nordem.org EARLY SOUND - www.earlysound.dk ASSOCIAZIONE MAYONE - www.ascaniomayone.org

Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival - 7-20 November 2011

Copenhagen and its Music in the Seventeenth Century By Bjarke Moe

When imagining what seventeenth century Copenhagen was like, one first of all thinks of the architecture that still four hundred years later dominates the ‘skyline’ of the city – Børsen, Rundetårn, Kastellet. But how about the musical life: Where did performances of music by professional musicians take place, and where did the ordinary citizen of Copenhagen encounter such performances?


he large public musical scenes of the city were the churches. Here, music performed by professional and semi-professional musicians was a part of the citizen’s religious everyday life. Music was used to frame religious ceremonies such as services, funerals and weddings. To the ordinary citizens, the churches were integral parts of their lives, and in that way the musical performances there were public events. Music was also performed independent of liturgical rituals, and during the seventeenth century the Copenhagen churches became venues of public concerts: The famous organist Johann Lorentz the younger was known to play the organ one hour every other day in St. Nicolai. At least the merchants that had their market stalls in and around the church must have been used to having this kind of background music. Lorentz was just one of several German organists that worked in the city during the seventeenth century. The brothers Christopher and Antonius Schuler from Braunschweig served at the cathedral for three decades before their cousin David Bernhard Meder took over the post for the next forty years. This year’s jubilee Christian Geist was employed at the parish church Helligsåndskirken for 25 years and in addition served at the church of the royal navy, Holmens Kirke, and at the church of the university, Trinitatiskirken.

Danish subjects, his musical establishment was showing off the magnificence of his power. Like other rulers of his time, Christian IV was focused on displaying his glory: when making parades, his musicians played on shiny silver trumpets and noise-making kettledrums. Despite its almost hidden existence on an everyday basis, the musical activity at the Danish court supersedes our wildest imagination. Christian IV spent thousands of dollars every year to keep his musical staff up-to-date.

making it part of the musical repertoire at court. From the cover of one of the Danish madrigal publications, it is easy to imagine how the court musicians back home in Copenhagen played polychoral music by Giovanni Gabrieli in the royal palace. Also music by famous composers such as Claudio Monteverdi and Luca Marenzio became part of the repertoire. The Danish royal parade in Hamburg 1603 – notice the trumpeters and drummers in the upper left corner

The Copenhagen grammar school was an important musical institution in association with the cathedral. The students were trained to sing hymns under the supervision of music teachers in order to participate at services in the parish churches, Vor Frue Kirke, Helligåndskirken and St. Nicolai Kirke. The students had several hours of music lessons every week, and they rehearsed large vocal pieces so that they could perform grandiose music together with civic musicians in the churches at the high feasts, such as Christmas and Easter. One gets a glimpse of how extensive the schools musical activities were from some of the rector’s preserved documents; when bridal pairs celebrated weddings in the churches, they could choose from a list what kind of music they would like the choir to sing. If they were wealthy and willing to spend 16 Rigsdaler (an amount comparable with the monthly wages of the choir leader), the choir would sing “large and complete music” throughout the entire wedding ceremony to celebrate their love. The musical repertoire of the school was dominated by German music by protestant composers such as Michael Praetorius, Johann Hermann Schein and Andreas Hammerschmidt.

The court in Copenhagen was highly influenced by currents coming from Germany. The Danish royal family was related to members of several German courts, and as duke of Schleswig-Holstein, the king of Denmark naturally united his kingdom with the neighbour to the south. In these days the Danish and the German courts shared a common fascination of Italian music. Music by Italian composers impressed musicians and art-lovers throughout Europe. Italy was regarded as the motherland of music – the source of musical creativity. The fascination was a phenomenon that had an impact on musical life in the North on several different levels, socially as well as musically. The status of Italian music was showed by the fact that the most powerful leaders of Europe put an extraordinary effort in associating with it. Music and musicians from Italy became a means of representing the ruler’s good taste, his sense of quality and his ability to be fashionable. Since Italian musicians were desired, they were expensive to hire and to keep. As a result, the rulers profited from having them at their courts – they became a symbol of power.

King Christian IV (1577-1648) not only initiated a visual renovation of his capital that we witness today; he was also concerned about the musical life of the city. Professional musicians were employed at his court that resided at the Copenhagen castle. These musicians had several tasks: they performed music during the services in the king’s chapel; they played during dinner and dancing; and they entertained the king in his chamber. We know of many famous musicians and composers that were employed in Copenhagen during the seventeenth century, such as John Dowland, Heinrich Schütz and Kaspar Förster, and their music is often played at concerts and in the radio today. Contrary to what we often imagine of the king’s music, the performances at the Copenhagen castle was mostly heard by a small number of people, namely the servants and other courtiers, visiting guests and sometimes the royal family, if they (at all) were present at the castle. Like we today not usually get the opportunity of witnessing what kind of music is played at the queen’s palaces, the seventeenth century Copenhagen citizens did not pay attention to the king’s music. Only when the king met his

The German Emperors that lived in Prague and later Vienna employed several Italian musicians, and they even aimed at letting a musician from Italy lead the chapel. From the late sixteenth century onwards, the Polish king established his music at court based on a group of Italians. They were picked up directly from the musical circles around the pope in Rome. Christian IV and his staff too intermingled with Italians. Around 1600 the king sent off the first wave of Danish musicians heading towards Italy. Here they studied with the famous organist Giovanni Gabrieli. Their stories are well known and have been told numerous times: Danes such as Mogens Pedersøn travelled to Venice and learned how to compose madrigals; a vocal genre at that time that came to represent their ventures into Italian music. Pedersøn and his colleagues were cultural diplomats travelling on behalf of the Danish king, and during their southward journeys across Europe, they collected all kinds of musical experience and material in order to bring it back home to the court. Beyond making contacts with musicians abroad, they also brought sheet music along for the purpose of

From the madrigal anthology Giardino Novo, published in Copenhagen 1606 Italian singers and instrumentalists were employed at the Copenhagen court during the seventeenth century. It was not sufficient to the kings to let Danish musicians visit Italy. Christian IV kept contacts with the Emperor’s court and sent off courtiers to Poland in order to arrange for virtuoso Italians to come to Denmark. By hiring the German composer Heinrich Schütz as Kapelmester in 1633, Christian managed to place one of Europe’s most talented Italianate composers in the middle of his court. But he was not satisfied yet. Shortly before his death, he convinced a talented Italian singer, Agostino Fontana, to become the first Italian leader of the courtly music.


Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival - 7-20 November 2011



Individual, distinctive and daring – German composer Geist has been overlooked for too long.


n 1674, the young Mecklenburg musician Christian Geist applied for the prestigious position as cantor of the Hamburg Johanneum, a post that had become vacant when Christoph Bernhard decided to leave Hamburg to return to Dresden. At that time, Geist was active as a court musician in Stockholm, and had been recommended for the position by the Hamburg envoy there. It seems that Geist handed in two compositions with his application, now housed in the Bokemeyer Collection in Berlin; it is not known if he also went to Hamburg himself for the occasion. Nevertheless, he never got the position, which went instead to Joachim Gerstenbüttel. In his biography of Bernhard in Grundlage einre Ehren-Pforte, (published in 1740 and one of the most important sources of in-


and the delicate Italian style

formation about Baroque music of that time), Johann Matthesson quotes Bernhard’s assessment of Geist’s music from that occasion, which he especially commended for its ”delicate style”, that demonstrated he had been directly influenced by Italian musicians. This kind of contemporary criticism of music is not very common

Regarding the association with Italians referred to in Mattheson’s quote, however, some reservations must be made. It is unlikely that Geist actually met many Italian musicians, never visiting Italy; instead, his Italian connection was restricted to the studying and imitation of musical compositions and scores.

By Lars Berglund

in 17th-century sources, and when it does appear is not always easy to interpret. In this particular case however, the notion of a “delicate” Italianised style in connection with Geist’s music is not at all hard to comprehend. On the contrary, it pretty much hits the mark: adherence to Italian models, a refined, delicate taste and strong sentiment are traits typical of his works – not least in one of the two trial pieces for Hamburg, his Vide pater mi dolores from 1674. One of his early pieces for the Swedish Royal Court, the Easter concerto Alleluia. De funere ad vitam from 1672, demonstrates how this association could have come about. The composition is what is often called a parody, i.e. an imitation of an older composition that is independent enough to be regarded as an individual work, but still close enough for the connection to be unmistakable. The model that Geist imitated was a solo motet by the Roman composer Bonifazio Graziani, who between 1646 and his death in 1664 was

the maestro di cappella of the main church of the Jesuit Society in Rome, Il Gesù. Geist’s parody is a very good example of how an attractive new style from Italy could be imitated and emulated by a musician in the perifery of the North. Geist clearly studied Graziani’s piece measure by measure, but has at the same time chosen compositional solutions of his own that are individual, although close to the original. What then, was it that Geist imitated? Where was this delicate Italian style that the contemporary judges in Hamburg discerned in his music? We can point to three traits: a regular, periodical phrase organisation, a musical texture that is to a large extent pre-structured by harmonic schemes, and a slightly excessive use of very strong expressive means such as chromaticism and a bold harmonic language. In all these cases he could find his models among Roman composers from the mid-17thcentury. The daring harmonic tricks he had arguably learned from composers such as Giacomo Carissimi and Luigi Rossi, but the periodicity and the schematic harmony is more typical of the more modern style of someone like Bonifazio Graziani. Trained as a boy singer at the court of Mecklenburg-Güstrow under the Flemish musical director Daniel Danielis, Geist came in contact with modern Italian music at an early age. During his brief stay in Copenhagen (1669–70), and his ten year sejour in Stockholm (1670–79), his acquaintance with that repertoire deepened. The court ensembles of both Copenhagen and Stockholm at that time were strongholds for Italian, and especially Roman music. In Denmark this was thanks to Kaspar Förster’s period as musical director – Förster trained in Rome under Carissimi. In Sweden, the foundations of this strong connection with Roman music were laid during Queen Christina’s regency in the 1650s, when an extremely talented Italian ensemble was active in court, a tradition cultivated by musical director Gustav Düben. Still, the most exciting thing about Christian Geist’s music is not his use of Roman models per se, but the individual and distinctive way in which he applied these models in his own music – a style that the older generation of scholars critcised for being too mannered and precious. We must also remember that Geist’s preserved oevre is the work of a young man who was also quite ambitious, stubborn and self-assured. The majority of his approx. 60 preserved pieces, most of them in the Düben Collection in Uppsala, were composed when he was in his early twenties. From his last 27 years in Copenhagen - from 1684 until his death in the plague on 27 September 1711 - no music appears to have remained.

Some of the delightful scenes from past Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festivals

Léonie Sonning MuSic Prize 2012

Jordi Savall is a unique figure in the musical life of our times. Since 1970, he has been one of the most important forces in the rebirth of medieval-, renaissance- and baroque music. Savall has devoted his life to rediscovering forgotten musical treasures, to studying, performing and conducting – and to creating and staging musical tales of an unheard size – physically and mentally – among others the musical saga of “Jerusalem” with instruments and musicians from several continents and cultures. Savall will receive the Music Prize as musician and pioneer for the so called ”early music”, the music from the medieval, renaissance and baroque time.

Concert Date: Thursday 31 May 2012 Time: 20:00 Place: The Church of the Trinity by The Round Tower, Copenhagen Tickets: www.billetnet.dk Pris: 200Dkk

Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival - 7-20 November 2011




2 011

From Schütz to Geist E A R LY G E R M A N B A R O Q U E M U S I C 16 0 0 -17 0 0 i n co m m e mo rat i on o f C h r i st i an G e i st ( c. 165 0 - 1711 )

EARLY MONDAY: Seminar - Christian Geist & Early German Baroque Music MONDAY 7 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Literaturhaus, Møllegade 7, Kbh N

THEATRE OF VOICES & Paul Hillier (uk/dk): Buxtehude and his circle TUESDAY 8 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Garnisons Kirke

MUSICA FICTA & Bo Holten (dk): The Northern Madrigal WEDNESDAY 9 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Koncertkirken, Blågårds Plads, Kbh N

TRINITATIS BAROQUE ENSEMBLE (dk): Geist Cantatas FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER 16.30 · Trinitatis Kirke

MUSICA FICTA & Bo Holten (dk): The Northern Madrigal FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER 17.00 · Frederiksberg Kirke

ENSEMBLE MARE BALTICUM (se): Two Orpheus - Geist & Hammerschmidt FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Skt Petri Kirke

GÖTEBORG BAROQUE (se): Geist, Buxtehude, Tunder, Albrici SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Holmens Kirke

TRINITATIS CHOIR & BAROQUE ENSEMBLE (dk): Cantata mass: Geist & Bruhns SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER 10.30 · Trinitatis Kirke

MUSICA FICTA & Bo Holten (dk): The Northern Madrigal SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER 15.00 · Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

MUSICA FICTA & Bo Holten (dk): The Northern Madrigal TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Reformert Kirke

CONCERTO COPENHAGEN (dk) & Anna Jobrant (se): Buxtehude, Biber, Pfleger a.o. WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Garnisons Kirke

HOLMENS VOCAL & BAROQUE ENSEMBLE (dk): Geist, Buxtehude, Schütz a.o. THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER 20.00 · Holmens Kirke

MADS DAMLUND (dk): The Secret Buxtehude - music for clavicord


FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER 17.00 · Frederiksberg Kirke

ANDERS DANMAN (se) & YUZURU HIRANAKA (jp): Music for organ & harpsichord SATURDAY 19 NOVEMBER 16.00 · Skt Johannes Kirke, Kbh N

DKDM BAROQUE ENSEMBLE (dk) & Andreas Arend (de): Musik zum Ewigkeitssontag SUNDAY 20 NOVEMBER 15.00 · Kastelskirken

www.renaissancemusik.dk Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival is supported by: Statens Kunstråds Musikudvalg, A.P. Møller og hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond, Augustinus Fonden, Wilhelm Hansen Fonden, Sonning Fonden, Oticon Fonden, Toyota Fonden, Københavns Musikudvalg, Frederiksberg Kommunes Musikudvalg, Dansk Musiker Forbund. Partners: Danmarks Radio, Det Kgl. Danske Musikkonservatorium, Trinitatis Kirke, Garnisons Kirke, Holmens Kirke, Frederiksberg Kirke, Sankt Petri Kirke, Reformerte Kirke, Skt Johannes Kirke, Musica Ficta, La prima musica!, Edition Musica Poetica, Literaturhaus, RICC. Networks: REMA - European Early Music Network, NORDEM - Nordic Early Music Federation.


Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival - 7-20 November 2011

this year’s festival musicians...

in brief

When you’re not performing, what kind of music do you prefer to listen to?


Mostly Bach cantatas or music that I hope to perform one day- early Italian keyboard music is also a favourite. I wish I had more time to listen to music just for fun or relaxation. My two-and –a-half year-old son also adds a lot of children’s songs to the repertoire!

Mads Damlund, organist

Please introduce yourself - tell us who you are and what you will be playing in the festival.


My name is Mads Damlund and I play the church organ, piano and clavichord, which is the forefather of the piano and known as the most expressive of the keyboard instruments. It used to be just as common as the upright piano is today.

Bo Holten – Musica Ficta

Please introduce yourself - tell us who you are and what you will be playing in the festival.


I am a conductor and a composer, mostly known for my choir-music and my operas. In the festival we shall be singing Italian Madrigals by North European composers, all of them taught by the great Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice between 1600 and 1610.

Why have you chosen to play Renaissance music and not something a little more modern? What makes the genre so special?


If you asked an artist why they concentrated on Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo or Botticelli, would you find that strange? We are just concentrating on the music of that very period - one of the very greatest in music history; in all the arts, in fact.

Are you familiar with the festival’s highlighted composer, Christian Geist? What do you particularly like about his work?


Geist is an unknown name from a great period of music-making. It is odd, but true, that even lesser names make great art in times of immense artistic expression. In weak periods, even the great names often make trashy art. Look at our own time!!

What are you most looking forward to in the festival?

Why have you chosen to play Renaissance music and not something a little more modern? What makes the genre so special?


Music transcends time, and when I play or listen to “early music,” it is contemporary for me. Or am I being taken back in time? Who knows...

Are you familiar with the festival’s highlighted composer, Christian Geist? What do you particularly like about his work?


For this festival I will play a programme by one of Geist’s idols, Buxtehude, a Danish/German musician who was so innovative that he went to Germany and became the leading star of North European baroque music. For the concert I will play his music as he would have done in his home, on the clavichord. It’s like an invitation to a private, backstage party, hence the title of the concert: “The Secret Buxtehude”.

What are you most looking forward to in the festival?


The opening event, with its broad palette of musicians and ensembles.

When you’re not performing, what kind of music do you prefer to listen to?


Other performers, my children’s favourite TV shows, or best of all: silence.


To concentrate only on a specific period and really get to grips with that - to understand its levels of expression, its artistic ethics, its mode of thought. Unfortunately, I have to conduct my own most recent opera at the Opera House here in the same period, and that is an entirely different matter.

When you’re not performing, what kind of music do you prefer to listen to?


I listen to Renaissance Polyphony, late Baroque, middle and late Romantic, some jazz, some minimal music...no rock, no pop.

THE CHRISTMAS STORY - PAUL HILLIER Theatre of Voices, Ars Nova Copenhagen

Magnus Kjellson – Göteborg Baroque

Please introduce yourself - tell us who you are and what you will be playing in the festival.


I am the artistic director of Göteborg Baroque, an ensemble with both singers and musicians. For the festival we have chosen to perform a programme with music from the so-called ‘Düben Collection’, a vast collection of scores by different composers from the 17th-century. It’s Northern German / Southern Swedish music that has hardly been performed for the last 300 years.

Why have you chosen to play Renaissance music and not something a little more modern? What makes the genre so special?


Göteborg Baroque is an ensemble that focuses on music from around 1600-1750, and we play on period instruments. The text/lyrics are central and the musicians and singers play and sing together with the same articulation. Often in this music, singers and musicians are equally important and could actually swap parts!

Are you familiar with the festival’s highlighted composer, Christian Geist? What do you particularly like about his work?


Christian Geist has a very special place in my heart since the first time we ‘met’, 15 years ago. I also happen to work as an organist in the Christinae church in Göteborg, where Christian Geist held a position around 1680.

What are you most looking forward to in the festival?


Presenting this wonderful music for a big audience in Holmens Kirke (hopefully!) We have a concert in Helsingfors the night before, so unfortunately we will not be able to join the Festival ourselves other than by giving our own concert.

Buy in record sto re bookshop s, s o r at www.nax os



Inspired by the much-loved service of Nine Lessons and Carols given every Christmas Eve. This recording presents the Nativity story told through plainchant, motets, 17th Century and traditional folk carols. Culled and arranged from Italian, German, Danish, English and American sources.

Naxos Denmark - for more: info@naxos.dk


Definition of Exquisite 1

: carefully selected : choice


: archaic : accurate

3 a : marked by flawless craftsmanship or by beautiful, ingenious, delicate, or elaborate execution <an exquisite vase> b : marked by nice discrimination, deep sensitivity, or subtle understanding <exquisite taste> c : accomplished, perfected <an exquisite gentleman> 4 a : pleasing through beauty, fitness, or perfection <an exquisite white blossom> b : acute, intense <exquisite pain> c : having uncommon or esoteric appeal

Definition of Baroque 1

: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a style of artistic expression prevalent especially in the 17th century that is marked generally by use of complex forms, bold ornamentation, and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements often conveying a sense of drama, movement, and tension


: characterized by grotesqueness, extravagance, complexity, or flamboyance


: irregularly shaped â&#x20AC;&#x201C; used of gems <a baroque pearl>

Definition of a wonderful experience www.coco.dk

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The Renaissance Music Festival Supplement  

The Renaissance Music Festival supplement for The Copenhagen Post

The Renaissance Music Festival Supplement  

The Renaissance Music Festival supplement for The Copenhagen Post

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