Praga Rosa Bohemiae / Cappella Mariana
Two centuries after the prosperous era of Charles IV, Prague enjoyed its second Golden Age, under the reign of the art-loving Emperor and King Rudolf II, as it became a busy cultural centre, attracting artists from all over Europe. Like in a melting pot, a variety of musical styles mingled together in the city: the Franco-Flemish polyphony, represented by the world’s most accomplished composer at the time, as well as the vigorous tradition of literary brotherhoods with the archaic polyphonic repertoire of the previous generations. The focal point of the album is the recently rediscovered Prague manuscript of polyphonic masses, with the fabulously survived Missa Presulem ephebeatum by Heinrich Isaac, one of the most significant masters of the Franco-Flemish polyphonic style. Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudencz’s Presulem ephebeatum, whose thematic material inspired Isaac, attests to his mass being connected with Bohemia and Prague. The album contains a number of other extraordinary pieces, including Josquin Des Prez’s celebrated Stabat Mater, with the added sixth voice, which has been uniquely preserved in this form in Bohemia. Cappella Mariana, made up of stellar early music singers (Hana Blažíková, Barbora Kabátková, etc.), have performed Renaissance polyphony to great acclaim at Europe’s most prestigious concert venues and festivals. Vocal polyphony of Renaissance Prague in the perfect harmony of the Cappella Mariana voices.