Secret History is a radically new programme that puts together versions of a mass by Victoria and motets by Josquin Desprez as they might have appeared in an early 17th century manuscript, intabulated for voices and vihuelas. The album, released by ECM the Spring of 2017, was the catalyst that brought together the ensemble of Anna Maria Friman, John Potter, Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman for the first time. The group made its live debut in Avila, Victoria's birthplace, in 2014.
...'Secret' history because the early music obsession with the true source has blinded us to the real performance history of renaissance polyphony, which was often a random mix of voices and lutes or vihuelas. The so-called secondary sources (which means most of the sources in Josquin's case) represent the real life of the music as it was enjoyed by singers and players long after the composers who wrote the original pieces were dead. The process of intabulating is still alive and well, and there is a version of this programme available with music by Arvo Pärt.
photo Maria Silvera