The Miracles of Sinterklaas
Capella Groningen will perform in concert on Saturday 25 november at the Der Aa Church. The theme of the concert is ‘The miracles of Sinterklaas’.
Music about Saint Nicholas
Under the baton of conductor Merlijn Wackers the Capella Groningen will perform some of the oldest surviving polyphonic music inspired by Sint Nicholas: from the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance, with works by Dufay, Lassus and Taverner. In Sospitati dedit eagros Taverner combines Gregorian chant with cantus firmus and gives an impressive summary of Nicholas’ good deeds. Also on the programme is a motet by Dutch composer Jan Tollius: a hymn found in a manuscript in Utrecht dating from 1500.
Other contributors to this concert are Santiago Casalta Ripollès and Fabio De Cataldo, renaissance trombone. Storyteller Kay van der Plas will explain a few of the ancient legends about St. Nicholas.
The Dutch Sinterklaas tradition has its roots in the 19th century but the history of the good saint is much older. The earliest manuscripts about Nicholas, the bishop of Myra, who was born circa 280 and died 6 December 342 or 352, are full of tales recounting his good deeds. They tell of how he rescued sailors in peril, staved off a famine and prevented destitute young girls from being forced into prostitution.
Saint Nicholas Liturgy
These legends resulted in a Saint Nicholas Liturgy which gradually spread from the Byzantine Empire to the rest of Europe. The readings and Gregorian chant eventually formed the basis of polyphonic compositions. And because it commemorates the same miracles this music bears a resemblance to an epic poem about Nicholas and his heroic deeds.
At the door: € 18 / pre-sales & reservations: € 16 / up to 18 years and students (student ID card): € 5 / under 12 years: free