Jacobus Clemens non Papa (c.1515-1555)

Although one of the most widely published and prolific composers of the sixteenth century, little is known about the life of Jacobus Clemens non Papa and the first records of his activity come from the church of St Donation in Bruges, for which he wrote the exquisite Missa Gaude Lux Donatione along with several of his many motets. St Donation had a distinguished pedigree as an important musical centre, with the renowned Dutch composer Jacob Obrecht (himself the author of a Missa de Sancto Donatiano) holding a position there in the late fifteenth century. This lineage stretches back even further to the mid fifteenth-century English musician Walter Frye, whose Ave regina caelorum was performed at the church´s evening Marian Salve´ services and also formed the basis for several compositions by Obrecht.

One of the enduring mysteries surrounding Clemens is his unusual epithet, and theories abound as to its origins. First used by the music publisher Tilman Susato in a chanson collection of 1545 and later appearing more emphatically as "nono Papa" and "haud Papa" ("absolutely not the Pope"), it may well be a serious attempt to distinguish Clemens from the contemporary poet Jacobus Papa of Ypres or a statement of religious dissent, although it seems most likely to be related to his notably un-priestly personal conduct!

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The Marian Consort is a vocal ensemble that presents bold and thrilling performances for audiences across the UK, Europe and North America. Led by founder and director, Rory McCleery, the group is composed of the very best singers in a flexible, intimate ensemble, allowing clarity of texture and subtlety of interpretation that illuminates the music for audience and performer alike. TMC features regularly on BBC Radio 3, and has released twelve recordings to critical acclaim, praised for precision and pellucid textures.

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Enjoy a delicious preconcert dinner in the Tyrvään Pappila prior to the evening concert at St Mary's Church!

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