Voices of Passion

• Sint-Jan-de-Evangelistkerk | Abdij van Park, 3001 Leuven
• Sint-Pieterskerk | Grote Markt, 3000 Leuven

Enjoy the dulcet tones of this superior polyphonic festival. Voices of Passion brings the age-old polyphonic music form to life in Leuven. During the festival, scores will be reinterpreted and enchanting polyphonic music pieces will be performed by top ensembles from home and abroad.

Leuven’s Alamire Foundation ensures the revaluation of polyphonic music and consequently the preservation of an important piece of intangible heritage. Every spring, they organise Voices of Passion in collaboration with the 30CC Cultural Centre. The setting for this unique event is the Park Abbey Baroque church, a green oasis of tranquillity just outside the city with music to quiet the soul. Concerts also take place in the Gothic Saint Peter’s Church, right in the centre of Leuven.

Flemish music masters

Just like the Flemish Primitives in the art world, Flemish composers took the world by storm during the Renaissance. They made names for themselves composing music made up of multiple voices, i.e. polyphonies.

The style was based on monophonic Gregorian music, adding another voice each time. This music expanded to become extraordinary, complex sound structures, whereby each vocalist must be able to link multiple parts. The meaning of the texts also increased in importance. As from the 15th century, composers from the Lage Landen (‘flaminghi’) served as the ultimate reference for this style of music.

Perfect polyphony

In polyphonic music, multiple voices sing their own melodies simultaneously. This gives the music a complex structure, as well as an extraordinarily harmonious unity. This style of music evolved from a point where there was initially a single, overpowering voice into a style where all the voices were equally important. The composers utilise an incredible amount of technical control, which creates balanced musical lines and a gorgeous composition of the voices.

@Hans Morren
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