The animal kingdom was a source of amazement and entertainment during the Medieval and Renaissance eras. From every-day cats and dogs to fantastical dragons and griffins, the time period was ripe with imaginative depictions in literature, art, and music. The 2017/18 season opening concert features crickets, fleas, flying fish, apes, monkeys, baboons, and oysters, as well as enough birds to fill an aviary. Le chant des Oyseaulx by Janequin is featured alongside Arcadelt’s Il bianco e dolce cigno, Gibbons’ Dainty fine bird, Lassus’ Laudate Dominum quondam bonus, and the anonymous Sumer is icumen in.
Helios is honored to commemorate and celebrate Veterans Day with this very special performance. The heroic stories of brave warriors have been memorialized in song for nearly as long as music has existed. Great epic tales of sprawling battlefields, regal monarchs, and faithful knights were a common topic of courtly song. These sentiments also made their way into religious life as pleas of peace would emerge from the conflicts, filling the cathedrals with their passionate music. Join Helios in honoring all members of the armed forces, past and present, with masterpieces including the Sanctus from Misa de la batalla escoutez by Francisco Guerrero, John Dowland’s His golden locks, Christopher Tye’s In pace, and Pax ergo vestras by Michael Praetorius.
It is no secret that Orlando di Lassus is one of the finest most expressive composers in the pantheon of western composers. His enormous output, spanning most of his life, displays a craft not equalled by many composers of any time. This performance features a section of his masterpiece Lagrime di San Pietro which explores the thoughts, regrets, and faith of Saint Peter as he looks back during his last years on his life of devotion and evangelism. Perhaps Lassus was doing the same as he poured his remaining creative soul into his greatest masterpiece.
Helios closes its 2017/18 Season with a journey through mythical lands. Meet the legendary characters of stories shared for millennia like Aminta, Diana, Orpheus, Venus, Mars, Penelope, and Vesta. This performance includes performances of pieces by the well-known composers Gesualdo, Tomkins, Machaut, and Vasquez, as well as lesser known composers Steffens, Marenzio, Malvezzi, and Senleches. Don't miss the chance to hear Helios' exciting version of Thomas Weelkes' "As Vesta was"!