Géry de Ghersem, a native of Tournai, is a great unknown one in the world of music. Although the library of the Portuguese king João IV at the beginning of the 17th century held more than 280 manuscripts by de Ghersem, today only one single complete composition of his is known: the Missa Ave Virgo Sanctissima. This seven-part mass was dedicated in 1598 to king Philip III and printed by Johannes Flandrum, a Fleming who was working at the Spanish court. De Ghersem’s mass will be completed in this attractive Christmas concert with works by Francesco Guerrero, Pieter Cornet, Philippe Rogier and Peter Philips, all of them contemporaries of de Ghersem. Interestingly, you will hear a five-part motet Ave Virgo Sanctissima by Francesco Guerrero that provided the point of departure for de Ghersem’s mass.
Erik Van Nevel, artistic direction