Ars Nova present ‘Hidden Masterpieces’

Program includes the first performance in 400 years of a 16th-century motet

By Peter Alexander Feb. 22 at 11 p.m.


Ars Nova Singers and director Thomas Edward Morgan

The young composer Orlando di Lasso wanted to impress Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria.

The year was approximately 1555, Lasso was in his 20s and Albrecht was one of the most important and powerful patrons of music in Europe. Lasso decided to write a set of choral pieces — motets — on the mystical Christian texts known as the Prophetiae Sibyllarum (Sybylline Prophecies) and write in the most advanced musical techniques of the time: harmonically complex and highly chromatic. It was a way of saying, “Look what I can do!”

Because the pieces are difficult, they have not been performed often. This makes them perfect for a concert called “Hidden Masterpieces of the Renaissance,” to be presented by conductor Thomas Edward Morgan and the Ars Nova singers, with the male quintet Solis as guests.

The concert will be sung a capella, with no instrumental accompaniment. In addition to music by Lasso, the “hidden masterpieces” will include pieces by John Taverner, Johannes Ockeghem, Orazio Vecchi, William Byrd and other 16th-century composers.

Read more in Boulder Weekly.

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Hidden Masterpieces of the Renaissance
Ars Nova Singers, Thomas Edward Morgan director, with Solis

7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, Heart of Longmont United Methodist Church, 350 11th Ave
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, St. John Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine St., Boulder
4 p.m. Sunday, Feb 25, St. Paul’s Community of Faith, 1600 Grant St., Denver


Violinist Harumi Rhodes will join Takács Quartet; founding second violinist retires

Karoly Schranz, one of the original Takacs members, will retire May 1

By Peter Alexander Feb. 22 at 9:20 pm.

The Takács Quartet and the CU College of Music today announced the retirement of Karoly Schranz, the founding second violinist of the group. His position will be taken by current CU faculty member Harumi Rhodes, effective May 1.


As of May 1, Takács Quartet members will be (l to r) Geraldin Walther, András Fejér, Edward Dusinberre, and Harumi Rhodes.

The other members of the quartet are Edward Dusinberre, first violin; Geraldine Walther, viola; and András Fejér, the sole remaining original member of the quartet, cello.

Takacs Quartet Publicity Photo

Karoly Schranz

The original Takács Quartet, comprising Gábor Takács Nagy, Gábor Ormai, Schranz and Fejér, first came to Boulder in 1986 as artists-in-residence at the CU College of Music. In addition to maintaining a high profile international career, the quartet presents an annual concert series on the CU campus that sells out two performances of each program, and frequently collaborate with their faculty colleagues.

In an e-mail message, Dusinberre commented, “[Schranz] has sustained his career so wonderfully over 43 years, and we’re very happy to welcome Harumi in a couple of months.” He also was quoted in at CU news release: “Individually, I have learned a huge amount from Károly and will always be profoundly grateful for the support he gave me after I joined the quartet.”


Harumi Rhodes

Members of the quartet declined further interviews, saying they prefer to let the CU news release stand on its own. In the release, the quartet was quoted collectively saying “We are thrilled that Harumi has accepted our invitation to join the quartet. She is a wonderfully versatile violinist and chamber musician, and we greatly look forward to working with her.”

The Takács Quartet’s remaining programs for the 2017–18 season will be March 11–12 with guitarist Nicolò Spera; and April 29–30 with violist Erika Eckert and cellist David Requiro. (Follow the links for more information and tickets.)

The April concerts will feature both the final campus performances by Schranz as a member of the quartet, and Rhodes’ first performances. Schranz will play the second violin part for the first half of the program, featuring string quartets by Ernö Dohnányi and Shostakovich. Rhodes will then join with the other members of the Takács as second violin, along with guest artists Eckert and Requiro, to perform Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet, “Souvenir de Florence.”

Schranz plans to continue his career playing chamber music and teaching. You may read the full news release announcing the change in personnel here.
Edited Feb. 22 to clarify the personnel of the April concerts.