Renaissance Summer School - Florence & Ferrara around 1600

Lirone by Marco Ternovec - Photo: André Wagenzik

22-29 July 2017

This years Summer School will take place in Oldenburg, Northern Germany, and work on Music from Florence and  Ferrara around1600. Madrigals and monodic songs are taking center stage. The singers will perfom pieces from the old school but also look into Monteverdi and Gesualdo. Those with soloistic ambitions can work on the pieces by Caccini, Peri and Luzzaschi. The accompagment on lirone, harp or harpsichord can come from the other participants.

Viol players and wind players (recorders, flutes, cornetts & sackbuts are welcome) will also work on vocal music but also on consort music that fits their instruments best and on diminutions.

Lirone week !!!

Lirone players and viol players who'd like give it a try it are most welcome this year. Rika Murata has developed a unique stile of Madrigal intavolation and plays mostly music for three parts on her instrument. Michael Dollendorf plays more in a later full voice (4-5 parts) setting.

The lirone or lira da gamba was a singers favorite for self-accompagnement. It was used as a fully capable and only continuo instrument and not just as a source of sound clouds, as one often can hear it today. Viol players can have a go and learn a lot about harmonizing a bass line. And you can jump right in and do it with the singers.


It all began with Duke Niccolò III d'Este around 1400 who employed Dufay. Ercole I d'Este was a patron to Josquin, Obrecht and  Martini around 1500 and in the late 16th century it was Alfonso II who brought Wert, Marenzio and Luzzaschi to his court, lifting the art of the madrigal to it's highest peak. And there was always the 'musica segreta', the secret music in the chambers of the duchess, composed to try out the most daring innovations. The stars were the singing ladies, the 'Concerto delle Donne'. It reaches back into the 1540s and has to do with accompanied solo singing. The instruments involved were the viola d'arco,  lira da braccio and lira da gamba or lirone und viols, lutes and harps.

We are quite lucky to have a wealth of secular music, most important the Chansonier Casanatense, a collection of Chansons intended for instrumental performance. A modern edition is privided by Clemens Goldberg. You can download it here from the Goldberg-Stiftung website.

The teachers this year will be:

  • Randall K. Wong - voice & harp continuo
  • Rika Murata - Renaissance viol and lirone
  • Michael Dollendorf - Renaissance recorders, traversos, sackbut &  lirone

String players can play on Renaissance viols, lira da braccios and lirones by Marco Ternovec and Josef Huber.

Registration is possible until 20 June 2017 only. Please send in your registration form and transfer the fee before this date.


Further reading:

Lewis Lockwood
Music in Renaissance Ferrara 1400-1505
Harvard University Press 1984

Anthony Newcomb
The Madrigal in Ferrara 1579-1597
Princeton University Press 1980


Kirchengemeinde in Oldenburg

-daily 10 am - 5 pm with an hours lunch break
-fee includes the tuition, music and tea, coffee, cookies
-everybody arranges for a place to stay and meals individually

We are trying for a workshop concert on Friday evening.
Please bring some informal black.