Our 2011/12 season begins in medieval Paris. The cathedral of Notre Dame is not only one of the most beautiful and famous churches in the world, but has been the heart and soul of sacred music in Europe since it was built. Pérotin – considered the patriarch of polyphonic choral music – was in the cathedral’s employ in the 12th century, and he laid the musical groundwork for the Franco-Flemish composers Machaut, Binchois, and Dufay who followed him. This school spawned the early Renaissance masters Ockeghem and Josquin, and, later still and further afield, the graceful High Renaissance perfection of Victoria and Palestrina. To this day, composers (including Arvo Pärt in the present day) continue to attribute inspiration to the early days of Notre Dame, and to the beatified Virgin of its name. Ethereal polyphony and harmonies spanning nearly a thousand years evoke the splendor of the Gothic age.
Click the triangle ‘play’ button to the left of each song title to play or download the song.
Note: Some browsers and operating systems show our song player differently, so if you’re having trouble, try clicking on the song title to link directly to the mp3 file, or try right-clicking (control-click for Mac users) to get download options. We regret that, while we are happy to provide these free recordings for your enjoyment, we are unable to provide tech support.