Friday, Apr 12, 2024 7:30p -
Sunday, Apr 14, 2024 8:00p

First Church in Cambridge
11 Garden St
Cambridge, MA 02138

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History, Music, Shows

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Blue Heron presents Okeghem Weekend, a three-day celebration April 12-14 of the great Franco-Flemish composer Johannes Okeghem. In 2015, Blue Heron inaugurated Okeghem@600, a multi-season project to commemorate the circa-600th birthday of the composer by performing his complete works, finishing up in 2024 with their second disc of his songs.

Johannes Okeghem (c. 1420-1497) is one of the most celebrated musicians of the fifteenth century and one of the greatest composers of all time, every bit the equal of J.S. Bach in contrapuntal technique and profound expressivity, and like Bach able to combine the most rigorous intellectual structure with a beguiling sensuality. His two dozen songs set French lyric poetry to exquisitely crafted polyphony in which all voices are granted equally beautiful and compelling melodies.

Blue Heron’s project to record all of Okeghem’s songs bore its first fruits in 2019 with the release of Johannes Ockeghem: Complete Songs, Volume I, which was named to the Bestenliste of the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and selected as a Notable Recording of 2019 by The New Yorker. The New York Times hailed Blue Heron as an “outstanding early-music ensemble,” while Gramophone complimented the performances of “absolute clarity, beautifully in tune, beautifully balanced and beautifully recorded.” The release of the recording of Volume 2 will follow this April.

Building on this unique expertise, the ensemble presents a selection of the master’s very best in the context of music by his contemporaries and colleagues in a weekend filled with music and merriment. The Saturday afternoon concert emerges as the jewel in the crown of this weekend-long festivities, which feature enlightening public talks, immersive master classes, and a lively pub concert where Belgian beers and cuisine set the stage for an unforgettable blend of tunes and tastes.

“A dream that formed itself in my mind in the middle of a concert nearly a decade ago has now been realized: Blue Heron is now almost certainly the only ensemble in the world to have sung every piece written by Johannes Okeghem—one of the greatest composers of all time,” said Blue Heron’s artistic director, Scott Metcalfe. ”Blue Heron’s Okeghem Weekend not only celebrates that accomplishment, but also offers an opportunity to learn more about this most complex music. And we will welcome all to sing some Okeghem with us at the end of the Saturday evening masterclass—not to be missed!”

Okeghem Weekend Opening Festivities

Friday, April 12, 7:30 pm

Margaret Jewett Hall, First Church in Cambridge (11 Garden Street, Cambridge)

Tickets: $10-$50


Keynote address by Sean Gallagher from the New England Conservatory, with performances by Blue Heron, and an opening reception.                                       

Okeghem Talks & Conversation

Saturday, April 13, 11:00 am

Margaret Jewett Hall, First Church in Cambridge (11 Garden Street, Cambridge)

Tickets: Free with RSVP


Expert speakers join Blue Heron for the weekend festivities: Jane Alden (Wesleyan University): “A Vault for the Treasurer’s Gems: Okeghem’s Place in the Loire Valley Chansonniers” and Fabrice Fitch (Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow, Scotland): “Three Endings from Okeghem: Mort tu as navré, Intemerata dei mater, and Alma redemptoris mater.”

Concert: The World of Johannes Okeghem

Saturday, April 13, 3:00 pm

Sanctuary, First Church in Cambridge (11 Garden Street, Cambridge)

Tickets $10-$87


Having sung every piece written by the great Johannes Okeghem, Blue Heron presents a selection of the master’s very best in the context of music by his contemporaries & colleagues.

Okeghem Masterclass & Sing-In

Saturday, April 13, 7:30 pm

Margaret Jewett Hall, First Church in Cambridge (11 Garden Street, Cambridge)

Tickets: Free with RSVP


Featuring the UMass Lowell Chamber Singers (dir. Jonathan Richter), Carduus (dir. Holly Druckman), Blue Heron, and YOU!


Okeghem Talks & Lecture-Demonstrations

Sunday, April 14, 4:00 pm

Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave, Somerville)

Tickets: Free with RSVP


Talks and lecture-demonstrations by Blue Heron Artistic Director, Scott Metcalfe & Sean Gallagher from New England Conservatory.

Pub Concert

Sunday, April 14, 6:00 pm

Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave, Somerville)

Tickets: $10-$50


Pub Concert by Blue Heron, featuring songs by Okeghem, Busnoys, Du Fay, Binchois & others. Food and beer with a Belgian theme available for purchase.

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04/12/2024 19:30:00 04/14/2024 20:00:00 America/New_York Blue Heron Okeghem Weekend <p><a href="https://www.blueheron.org/concerts/season25/okeghem-weekend/" target="_blank"><strong><u>Blue Heron</u></strong><u> </u><strong><u>presents </u><em><u>Okeghem Weekend</u></em></strong><... First Church in Cambridge, Cambridge, MA 02138 false MM/DD/YYYY