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Renaissance Moderns

Britten Sinfonia and the Marian Consort

Images of the composers in the concert arranged in six rows on the right side of the frame, with a black and white paintbrush stroke design on the left side.

The radical spirit of 16th-century composer Carlo Gesualdo is the point of departure for this programme of ancient and modern music.

In the madrigals and motets of the notorious aristocrat, murderer and composer, we hear extremes of expression and harmonies that even today sound fresh and surprising. Brett Dean’s gripping Carlo for string orchestra and electronics paints a dark psychological portrait of the composer, and a pre-concert screening explores his life through the idiosyncratic documentary Death for five voices by cult filmmaker Werner Herzog. Hear the motets of Gesualdo’s African-Portuguese predecessor, Vicente Lusitano, whose music is even further away from the classic Renaissance sound.

The first half delves back further still to 15th-century Flemish and English music, culminating in the newest piece in the programme, a European premiere by composer Lisa Illean, whose haunting new work offers fleeting glimpses of transparent tapestries of sound.

The end time for this performance will be added closer to the performance date

Promoted by Britten Sinfonia

Pre-concert screening

5.45pm, Milton Court

Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices, directed by Werner Herzog.

Free and unticketed

Maker of cult films including Aguirre, Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo starring, Werner Herzog also has a fascination with music, winning acclaim for his opera productions over several decades at the Bayreuth Festival, the Opera Bastille in Paris and La Scala, Milan. His 1995 documentary about the life of composer Carlo Gesualdo is typically idiosyncratic.

Please note that the film Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices contains references to murder and sexual violence.

Digital programme

Milton Court Concert Hall