At the dawn of the Renaissance the southern Dutch city of ’s-Hertogenbosch, with its abundance of churches and monasteries, was also referred to as “Little Rome”. Central to this religious scene was the Brotherhood of Our Illustrious Lady (Illustre Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap), founded in 1318. This devotional organization, which counted among its members the famous painter Hieronymus Bosch, invested considerably in recruiting and employing the best singers and organists for its chapel, which performed a wide variety of polyphonic music. No fewer than nine choirbooks with this repertoire are still preserved by the confraternity, including three manuscripts from the Alamire workshop, which was renowned for creating luxurious music manuscripts for courts all over Europe. These books of polyphony are complemented by a variety plainchant sources, often reflecting local practices.
After centuries of silence, this magnificent collection is finally sounding once again. With the five-year project The Den Bosch Choirbooks (2020-24), Cappella Pratensis, itself based in ’s-Hertogenbosch, is giving these manuscripts the attention they deserve. The project includes numerous concerts, workshops, publications, lectures and a series of five CDs. It also aims to bring these precious sources to a wider audience through digitization and the production of hand- crafted facsimiles, in close collaboration with the Alamire Foundation, International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries (University of Leuven).
Stratton Bull and Peter de Laurentiis
PLAINCHANT  Introitus Gaudeamus omnes
NICOLAS CHAMPION (c. 1475-1533) Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena