MUSICA FICTA and Bo Holten


Around 1600 Copenhagen was one of Europe’s most lively musical metropolises. Christian IV’s great interest in music and love of spending money on art attracted all the best musicians to the capital. Danish music became what it has never been, before or since: a common European enterprise, – a true centre.

But it was not only the most famous names which shone. The local talents, Truid Ågesen, Hans Nielsen and Mogens Pedersøn were sent to Venice to study with the great Giovanni Gabrieli, who was famous throughout the civilized world. Their two North German fellow composers Heinrich Schütz and Johann Grabbe, both also attached to the Danish court during this period, had likewise been trained in Venice and all of them crowned the many years of apprenticeship by writing a whole book of Italian madrigals: indeed, they even had them printed by a celebrated Italian publishing house.

Our project "The Northern Madrigal" seeks to set forth an image in words and music of this milieu where the leading men of the realm dared to invest in culture, - and thus we are still harvesting the fruits of this investment by Christian IV. We shall hear examples of what kind of Italian music was favoured at court, we will focus most particularly on ”our own” great Renaissance composers who still today are not accorded the respect they so rightfully deserve, - perhaps because until now it has not really been possible to present their music in  such a way as to do them artistic justice.
We shall hear what it was like to be Danish students in Italy, and, not least, what dazzling results they could produce from their 5 years of study.

Artists taking part
Vocal ensemble MUSICA FICTA:
Ann-Christine Wesser Ingels - soprano
Amy Vestbø - soprano
Eva Wöllinger – mezzo-soprano
Amanda Flodin - alto
Josef Hamber - tenor
Henrik Lund Petersen - bass
Fredrik Bock – theorbo
Bo Holten – conductor and narrator