ReRenaissance Festival 2023 — Going to Mass With Maximilian
The triumphal procession of Emperor Maximilian is an art-historical monument of superlatives—with the huge picture frieze, Maximilian commissioned a project around 1510 that eclipsed all previous ones. ReRenaissance takes this pictorial document as the theme for their first Biennale Festival. On three consecutive days, from September 22 to 24, more than 50 musicians will bring to life the musical splendor of the imperial court under Maximilian I.
The centerpiece of Maximilian’s court orchestra was the “Canterey”—the group of singers who provided the bulk of the court music: they not only entertained the innermost court privately with new songs, but also participated in official occasions. They provided the musical arrangement of the services and contributed to the solemn atmosphere with the choral singing and especially with the complex polyphony. Many of the singers were themselves composers and thus supported the courtly song production. From 1497, however, Heinrich Isaac, an official court composer, joined the chapel and his work outshone all others—in the Triumphal Procession chariot of the “Musica Canterey” he stands in front of the singers in a venerable place and crowned with laurels. Thirty-six mass compositions have come down to us from him, some of them about well-known songs already heard in ReRenaissance concerts, such as “J’ay pris amours,” “Comme Femme,” and “La Spagna,” as well as several hundred settings of the mass liturgy.
For the “Festival Mass” on Sunday morning, the singers of ReRenaissance will gather in the “Canterey” and celebrate a polyphonic mass by Heinrich Isaac, enriched with motets from his “Choralis Constantinus,” which he founded in Constance in 1508. The organist David Blunden will musically enrich the singing at the famous golden “Apfelregal.”
Tickets are CHF 25-40, half price for youths under age 26, and free for kids under age 16. Festival passes for all concerts are CHF 130-200.