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Ecstatic Ensemble sings Early music

Through the European Renaissance with Ecstatic Ensemble. Beautiful and artful singing with up to six a cappella voices, accompanied by lute and viola da gamba – and by Isaac Grünewald’s lovely paintings in the hall where the concert was filmed.

Ecstatic Ensemble’s programme spans from Gregorian chants to Medieval Hildegard of Bingen, and the exquisitely interwoven parts of Orlando di Lasso or Thomas Tallis of the sixteenth century. This vocal ensemble consists of sopranos Jeanette Köhn and Sofia Niklasson, mezzo/alto Malena Ernman, tenor Leif Aruhn-Solén, baritone Hans-Peter Nee and bass Gustav Nordlander. We also hear Jonas Nordberg on lutes and Daniel Holst on viola da gamba.

The music takes us through various parts of Europe’s past, with an emphasis on the Renaissance: the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This music can be experienced in different ways: one listener may find the meditative aspect to be the primary focus, while another may be fascinated by the ornate artistry of the multi-part singing. 

Musical playfulness is also present here, for example with Spanish Juan del Encina or French Pierre Passerau. Something similar could be said of Swiss Ludwig Senfl, who was considered in the early sixteenth century to be perhaps the best composer of the German-speaking world – which is evident as the voices masterfully bounce off one another. 

Listeners also encounter the infinite beauty and faith of Gregorio Allegri of early-seventeenth century Italy: his Miserere mei, Deus has essentially become symbolic of Renaissance church music. In Italy, the seeds of musical drama begin to take shape: in Claudio Monteverdi, the birth of opera can be heard.

  • The music

  • Anonymous Gaudeamus omnes – antiphone for the Solemnity of All Saints
  • Guillaume de Machaut Kyrie from Messe de Nostre Dame
  • Hildegard of Bingen O quam mirabilis est
  • Jacques Arcadelt Il bianco e dolce cigno
  • Pierre Passereau Il est bel et bon
  • Heinrich Isaac Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen
  • Juan del Encina Cucú! Cucú!
  • Claudio Monteverdi / Libretto: Alessandro Striggio Jr. Rosa del ciel from Orfeo
  • Ludwig Senfl Das Gläut zu Speyer
  • Orlando di Lasso Vide homo quae pro te patior
  • Claudio Monteverdi / Libretto: Giovanni Francesco Busenello Pur ti miro from The Coronation of Poppea
  • Gregorio Allegri Miserere mei, Deus ’’Psalm 51’’
  • Traditional British Ballad Scarborough Fair
  • Thomas Tallis If ye love me
  • Participants

  • Ecstatic Ensemble: Jeanette Köhn soprano, Sofia Niklasson soprano, Malena Ernman alto, Leif Aruhn-Solén tenor, Hans-Peter Nee baritone and Gustav Nordlander bass
  • Jonas Nordberg lute and theorbo
  • Daniel Holst viola da gamba
  • Published online 28 November 2021. 
  • Filmed 9 and 10 June 2021.
  • The video is approximately 35 minutes.