Unique concerts dedicated to the exhibition project 'Saint Louis and Relics of the Saint-Chapelle' will take place on the 4th and 21st of April 2017 at the Patriarch's Palace and the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin. 

4th April 2017, 19.00
Patriarch's Palace

Kings and Troubadours

 Early music ensemble Ensenhas (St. Petersburg)
Hanna Marti, harp (Switzerland)

Authentic music pieces will be a beautiful addition to the Medieval Art of France represented at the exhibition. The music culture of the Middle Ages had two essential components. The spiritual aspect was connected with church and religious songs, the secular one – with the culture of knights.

The first concert is dedicated to the courtly culture of France. The auditory will enjoy the authentic music pieces created by professional poets and singers — troubadours (French, from Provençal (or Occitan) troubadour, trobar ‘find, invent, compose in verse’). This culture was born in Occitania (Provance) and became very popular at the courts of noble seigneurs. The most famous are – Bertran de Ventadorn and Bernar de Born, as well as women – Azalais de Porcayragues and Alamanda de Castelnau. They sang of the romantic love, adoration of the Fair Lady, sang about war battles, death and royal service. As time passed, the cult of Fair Lady has reborn in veneration of the Virgin Mary.

Authentic music pieces will be performed by the Ensenhas ensemble playing the most popular instruments of the epoch  — vielle (guitar fiddle), as well as citole and harp, string instruments that are mentioned in troubadour’s songs and depicted on the manuscripts’ miniatures. The first performances of the ensemble took place in 2013 in Sе. Petersburg, but its participants are already masters well known to Russian amateurs of the early music played by such ensembles asLabyrinthus, Laterna Magica, Universalia in Re, Catherine the Great Orchestra, etc. Ensenhas musicians worked experience at master classes of famous European performers and took part in prestigious festivals. They dedicated themselves to the 12th-14th centuries’ music of Southern France and Iberian Peninsula countries, which is not common in Russia. Ensenhas means 'signs' in Occitan. At that time Occitan was a general language for Mediterranean culture, which has survived only in the written form, i.e. notes, iconography, letters, and numbers.

A soloist of the medieval music ensemble Sequentia – Hanna Marti also participates in the concert. Hanna Marti is a musician from Basel (Switzerland); she studied harp and flute playing, as well as vocalism at Basel Schola Cantorum. She played the role of Anima in the drama “Ordo virtutum” (order of virtues) by Hildegard von Bingen, the medieval nun and composer. Currently, Hanna Marti is working both at the musical reconstruction of Old Iceland poems and at her solo project of reconstruction and recitation of stories from Ovidius’ “Metamorphoses”, accompanied by harp.

21st April 2017, 19.00
Armoury Chamber

Easter music. From Notre Dame School to Byzantium chanting tradition.

Labyrinthus and Cronos ensembles

The concert program combines the music of both European and Byzantium traditions, written in Latin and Greek and dedicated to the principal Christian feast – Easter or Resurrection of Christ.

Medieval France art treasures and relics represented at the exhibition wholly harmonize with spiritual musical creations of that epoch too. European music of the Middle Ages originally derives from cathedrals and monasteries. Notre-Dame musical school, the first composer’s and singing school in France, is connected with Notre-Dame Cathedral, the construction of which had been finished during the reign of Saint Louis. Thanks to the composers of that school, the polyphony had been consolidated in European music. Names of great composers and poets – Leoninus, Perotinus, Chancelier Philippe, and Walter von Chatillon are connected with Notre-Dame school.

Byzantium musical chants which will be performed at the concert are accessible thanks to manuscripts with the late Byzantine notation of the 15th–19th centuries and open quite a new world talking about the same events and using the same Bible texts and Gospel images. In Byzantium, which assimilated Greek and Roman cultures, church music had many similar features with the secular one. The Ancient Rus’ accepted the Orthodoxy wholly – faith, rites, sacred objects, art, etc. It also took Byzantine musical culture and musical aesthetics. It played an important role in the development of Russian church choir music of all the subsequent epochs.

The name Labyrinthus derives from the tradition of playing music by processions passing by medieval labyrinths of European countries. Danil Ryabchikov, Ensenhas and Labyrinthus director, is one of the leading Russian musicians specializing in medieval music studies. The vocal ensemble Cronos (artistic director Eugene Skurat) is known for the artistry of performing Byzantine, Georgian and Old Russian chants. Byzantine chants will be performed a capella.

The performance is fully booked up.