In the first millennium of our calendar five Christian Churches with their own singing traditions existed. The Beneventan tradition – extending from southern Italy to the Dalmatian coast – was one of them. For years already Marcel Pérès has been carrying on pioneering research about liturgical singing practices since the early stages of Christianity, thus qualifying today as the perfect guide for this age-old repertory.
From 1058 on Beneventan liturgy was forbidden by Pope Stephen IX, resulting in the loss of nearly all sources of this tradition. One single Mass for Easter survived and evidently gets pride of place on the programme of this unique concert. Thus Ensemble Organum makes resound a long gone past: chants rooted in late Antiquity, echoes of the very first liturgies that spread from Jerusalem to the West.
Marcel Pérès, artistic direction