Early Music Ensemble
Our ensemble was founded in 2000. Our objective is to present and make known in concerts, shows and other cultural events medieval, renaissance and early baroque music and other genres of music in connection with Hungarians, ever played in the territory of the historical Hungary. In our concerts we especially deal with the musical memories of our national traditions and historical past, therefore, we most of all play historical instruments and according to faithful contemporary instrumentation. It is especially interesting with early Hungarian music as in that case the archaic elements of today's Hungarian folk music also occur during performances.
Early music is a very manifold, very widely interpretable notion. In fact, there are much more differences between the works of a late renaissance English lute virtuoso and a Hungarian verse chronicle-teller
than it could be looking at the decades and geographical distance between them. Therefore the often incomplete musico-historical data that relate to the music of the age leave a lot to the performer.
This is what makes the style of an early music group individual and original, this is what makes the genre diverse. Along with the basic instruments, we have had to play some more interesting, special folk instruments,
which also adds to the atmosphere of concerts and the credibility of the performance.
We regularly introduce instruments to the audience at our performances.
The ensemble's club has been in Budapest since 2004 where, drinking a nice cup of tea, everybody can get familiar with the music of past ages on a Monday every month.
Our ensemble has permanent members and, depending on the individual features of our programmes, several regular participants.
The members are:
Huber Henriett: recorders, hurdy-gurdy, percussion, voice
Rossa Levente, ens. leader: rebec, quinton viol, fiddle, baroque violin, voice
Bencze Balázs, art leader: lutes, koboz, penorcon, theorbed cister, baroque guitar, classical guitar, lyre, voice
Lénárd Kata: voice (baroque and renaissance, harpsichord
Richter Dorka: bass-rebec, viola da gamba, baroque violoncello
Szabolcs Ákos: percussion
Other singers are: Szabó Eniko (folk and archaic), Pálmai Árpád (gregorian and renaissance).
Historical wind instruments are played by:
Pászti György, Lévai Péter, Molnár Péter (cromorne, bagpipes, shawm, renaissance and medieval recorders, curtal and turkish pipe) as fellow performers.
Instruments and historical music:
In the period preceding the Baroque musical notation did not always prescribe the instruments playing the various parts, ensembles have always instrumented the pieces according to their current instrumental possibilities. The copies and historical instruments are organic parts of the early music performance today and the contemporary sounding can be best achieved by using them. The making of historical instruments today struggles to create something that is similar to the original in every aspect so on stage we may be able to produce something like it could be 400 or 500 years ago. The use of these instruments is much more frequent that that of the original ones since they, being so rare, are hardly available and can almost exclusively be found in museums, often in a terrible condition.
Based on to this practice, our ensemble sounds early music on the following instruments:
Fiddle and rebec, baroque and classical violin, quinton viol, hurdy-gurdy, baroque and renaissance recorders, lutes, baroque and medieval, koboz (eastern origined short neck lute type), classical and baroque guitar, vocals and chanting
Sounding may occasionally be diversified with the Celtic harp, gamba, cello, shepherds' flute and contemporary brasses.
Performances of the ensemble:
Renaissance age Italian, French, Flemish, Spanish and English songs and dances
Hungarian History: Songs and dances of old Hungarian codices and verse chronicles and songs of the Hungarian vagantes
The memory of Balassi Bálint (famous hungarian poet from the 16. c.)
Songs and dances from the fighting times of the Turkish and "kuruc" ages
Wine and Bride - old Hungarian balls
The Christmas music of old times (available on CD since 2004)
Buda Castle - music of Buda from 1200-1700 (available on CD since 2005)
"Verbum caro factum est" - A Commemoration of King Sigismundus (available on CD since 2007)
Medieval and renaissance music: an introduction to instruments and style
On the name of the ensemble
The "tablature" was a way of putting down music preceding today's notation. Lute and organ tablatures were still in use in the 18th century. This sort of notation was made for certain instrument types, therefore it could be hardly read for instruments with different tuning and did not note the absolute relations of tones like modern notation but the ways of touching in order to sound instruments of the given tuning, and, in case of the organ, chords. Its certain element live on in the so called "continuo accompaniment and the "basso continuo" notation in Baroque music. In the historical Hungary several tablature collections have remained with church and lay melodies. many of these are in the repertoire of the ensemble, and also provide for most of the frequently performed old Hungarian tunes.
Translated by: Mártonffy András