Orlando Consort
Event 12
Sunday 22nd October, 3:00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Medieval and renaissance choral masterpieces
Guillaume de Machaut
Songs from ‘Le Voir Dit’
John Dunstaple
Quam pulchra es
Guillaume Dufay
Nuper almos rose flores
Victimae paschali
Missa Sancti Jacobi (extracts)
Lamentatio sanctae matris ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae
Ave regina coelorum
Missa Ave Regina Coelorum – Kyrie

This is an archived event from the 2017 Programme.

Mark Dobell tenor  Angus Smith tenor  Matthew Venner countertenor  Donald Greig baritone





For our final concert, we welcome back our old friends, The Orlando Consort. Their programme focuses on the beguiling, sophisticated and virtuosic music produced by two of western classical music’s most influential composers.

Written in the fourteenth century, Machaut's songs are remarkable for their enchanting melodies and ever-surprising harmonies. Some make the case that the Voir Dit (‘Tale of Truth’) is the world’s first song-cycle, pre-dating Schubert by 450 years. The Tale is a collection of letters, lyrics and song-texts, all in praise of an adored woman - ‘courtly love’ in all its aspects. That Machaut wrote his own stunning poetry only further enhances this outstanding work. The Consort will interleave his words with the songs as the performance progresses.

A century later, Dufay’s career spanned the medieval and the renaissance. Not simply the supreme master of the old, he was a founding member of the Flemish polyphonic school and his work dictated the course of composition for many future generations. He’s mainly known today for his church music, particularly his masses, and we’ll be hearing extracts from several of these.

Standing half-way between these two giants - both chronologically and in this concert - is John Dunstaple, an English composer, astrologer and mathematician. Renowned both at home and abroad, he was a major influence on the Burgundian School. The text he uses here from The Song of Songs provided a familiar excuse for medieval composers to express their sensuous side. 

Superb vocal skills, imagination, scholarly insight and originality in programming, mark out The Orlando Consort as leaders in their chosen repertoire, music from 1050 to 1550. Their work provides captivating entertainment which has been described as ‘simultaneously ravishing and reverential’ (Los Angeles Times). Of one particular concert The Evening Standard remarked, ‘The calibre of the singing and the lucidity of the spoken introductions made this an enthralling evening, illuminating for many of us what had hitherto been rather esoteric history book entries.’


The Orlando Consort talk about their Guillaume de Machaut Project

Listen to countertenor Matthew Venner's solo in Machaut's Ne que on porroit