This is the performing and recording arm of Southampton University's Cantum Pulcriorem Invenire research project: 13th Century Music & Poetry, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, begun in October 2010.
The outcomes of the project include a series of three CDs, released by Hyperion from July 2012 onwards, sung by John Potter, Christopher O'Gorman and Rogers Covey-Crump. The live version of the project, initially for two tenors (John Potter & Christopher O'Gorman) with a specially commissioned video by Michael Lynch, was launched at the York Early Music Festival in July 2012.
The project aims to find a greater understanding of 12/13th century music and poetry, and involves musicologists and scholars led by Mark Everist at the University of Southampton. There will be a monograph for Cambridge University Press in due course, and each of the CDs presents the results of experimental sessions shedding new light on ancient performance practice. More information is available on the University of Southampton website.
Much of the polyphonic repertory is for two tenors (John Potter & Christopher O'Gorman) but on each CD the singers are joined for a number of pieces by the Hilliard Ensemble's Rogers Covey-Crump. Since 2011 the singers have met regularly, experimenting with material provided by the Southampton musicologists, but reading as far as possible from facsimiles of the original manuscripts. The first recording was launched at the 2012 York Early Music Festival under the auspices of the National Centre for Early Music (where the recordings also take place), and had some stunning press reviews which can be seen on the Hyperion site. http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/al.asp?al=CDA67949 The second album will be released in the autumn.
The Concert version
The live version is now available in two and three voice versions. The two voice programme is just under an hour and is accompanied by Mick Lynch's film; the three voice version with Rogers Covey-Crump can also be done as a one-hour programme with film, and also as a full length concert with interval (without film). The programme content will continue to evolve over the next eighteen months or so, as we complete the project and have the entire recorded corpus to call on.
photos: Paul Arthur