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Harmonia Early Music

Harmonia Time Capsule: 1535

Let’s take a quick look back in time...to the year 1535, when explorers "discovered" Montreal, Canada, Lima, Peru, and the Galapegos Islands.

galapagos

Photo: by Stolz Gary M, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Crown of Thorns reef, Galapagos Islands.

Composer Giaches de Wert was born in 1535 in Flanders, near the city of Antwerp.  In early childhood, de Wert traveled to Italy, where he trained at the chapel of the Marchesa of Padulla.  Later associations with Italy’s most powerful families—the Gonzagas and d’Estes—promoted de Wert’s musical work in Mantua and Ferrara.  Between cities, he became a seminal figure in the development of late renaissance secular music.  His ebullient musical style encouraged similar innovations in the madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi and exerted influence on the music of the baroque.

Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua: Volume 1 (Cambridge Studies in Music)
Iain Fenlon
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album cover

Giaches de Wert: Musica Religiosa
Currende / Concerto Palatino
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In 1535 England, Thomas Knyght worked as an organist for Salisbury Cathedral and put forth polyphonic settings that would appear in the Peterhouse and Gyffard partbooks.  The unique preservations reflect a widespread shift from large choirbooks to that of smaller partbooks.  Such a shift likely occurred in order to reduce expense and promote greater ease in reading.

Salisbury Cathedral - 1000 Piece Jigsaw Deluxe Puzzle
John Constable
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The same year that saw twelve Anabaptists run nude through the streets of Amsterdam also marks the discovery of Montreal.  French explorer Jacques Cartier set off on his second voyage for the Northwest Passage in 1535.  The sea route would be a vital path from the Atlantic to the Pacific, enabling Cartier and his men access to Asia.  Cartier’s course up the St. Lawrence River led him to the Iroquoian village of Hochelaga, now called Montreal.  There, he scaled a “mountain,” which he named Mount Royal in honor of King Francis I.

The Voyages of Jacques Cartier
Ramsay Cook
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Hochelaga Depicta: Or, a New Picture of Montreal, Embracing the Early History and Present State of the City and Island of Montreal
Newton Bosworth
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William Fenton: Selected Writings (The Iroquoians and Their World)
William A. Starna / Jack Campisi
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In 1535, another explorer, Francisco Pizarro, began a settlement in Peru’s Rímac valley that would later be known as the city of Lima.  The Spanish crown issued an edict granting Pizarro governance over all lands conquered.  After the defeat of the Incan emperor Atahualpa, Pizarro at last established his capital and called it Ciudad de los Reyes (or “City of the Kings”).

The Last Days of the Incas
Kim MacQuarrie
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Meanwhile, off the west coast of South America, Bishop Tomas de Berlanga‘s ship sailed through uncharted waters.  Berlanga had set a course for Peru in order to help settle a dispute between Pizarro and his lieutenants.  Unexpectedly, his vessel was blown off course and found its way toward an archipelago of undiscovered volcanic islands.  A diversity of flora and fauna astonished the travelers and prompted continued exploration in years to come.  Later in 1570, the archipelago was named Insulae de los Galopegos (or “Islands of the Tortoises”) in honor of its mammoth inhabitants.

Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of the World's Most Famous Tortoise
Henry Nicholls
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Music heard in the time capsule:

Giaches de Wert: Tr. 9: Udite, lagrimosi spirit d’Averno
Cantus Colln/Schola Cantorum Basiliensis et al. — Century Classics: 1500-1600 (BMG Classics , 1997)
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album cover

Giaches de Wert: Tr. 9: Udite, lagrimosi spirit d’Averno
Cantus Colln/Schola Cantorum Basiliensis et al. — Century Classics: 1500-1600 (BMG Classics , 1997)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Music and Patronage in Sixteenth-Century Mantua: Volume 1 (Cambridge Studies in Music)
Iain Fenlon
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Giaches de Wert: Musica Religiosa
Currende / Concerto Palatino
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Salisbury Cathedral - 1000 Piece Jigsaw Deluxe Puzzle
John Constable
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Voyages of Jacques Cartier
Ramsay Cook
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Hochelaga Depicta: Or, a New Picture of Montreal, Embracing the Early History and Present State of the City and Island of Montreal
Newton Bosworth
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
William Fenton: Selected Writings (The Iroquoians and Their World)
William A. Starna / Jack Campisi
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
The Last Days of the Incas
Kim MacQuarrie
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Lonesome George: The Life and Loves of the World's Most Famous Tortoise
Henry Nicholls
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Laura Osterlund

Laura Osterlund is a scriptwriter for Harmonia, recorder player, and student at McGill Univeristy in Montreal, Canada. In 2007, she moved from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois to Montreal in pursuit of a B.Mus. with major concentrations in Early Music Performance and Music History. Laura is an active musician throughout Montreal and Chicago and an avid memberof the movement to promote Early Music performance, pedagogy, research, and appreciation throughout North America.

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