Posted by Mindy

THE RENAISSANCE OR ‘REBIRTH.”   What a period of tremendous creativity!  As if the Middle Ages was not impressive enough, we see continued explosive creativity.  How can I even begin to communicate the full scope of it?  Consider this page to be your journey’s launch point.  Make a point of getting to know one of these luminaries all the more personally.  You have arrived at at Renaissance social and are simply making the acquaintance of a number of folks.  Follow up!
Europe is experiencing a season of peace, allowing for energy and resources to be used more richly for artistic endeavors.  Schools of painters, singers, musicians produced students who were in demand for the many churches and cathedrals, as well as for royalty, both high and low status.  A middle class had arisen, as well as educated amateurs, allowing for further participation in the arts.
Gutenberg’s printing press allowed not only for the dissemination of the written word, but also for printed music.  (We’ll see more of this impact of music/ideas with the Reformation.)  The lives of the composers of the Renaissance and Reformation overlapped.  Tallis, Palestrina, and Louis Bourgeois were all born within a relatively short period of time.  Their musical output was entirely different, though, due to the different world views of the two philosophies.

Here are three musical selections to whet your appetite:

Thomas Tallis 1505-1585, Loquebantur variis linguis

Josquin des Pres, 1450-1521:  Pater Noster/Ave Maria, performed by The King’s Singers

Palestrina 1525-1594, Missa Brevis–Kyrie, performed by The Tallis Scholars and directed by Peter Phillips


Michaelangelo’s “Pieta”



Michaelangelo’s “Creation of Adam”