Dutch Group Embraces Renaissance

Early Music America

By Kyle MacMillan

Cappella Pratensis likes to buck convention. Or at least modern convention.

Instead of standing in a semi-circle with the singers holding their own songbooks like many choral groups do, the Dutch-based early-music ensemble’s eight members group themselves around one oversized book on an ornate music stand.

As unusual as this approach might seem to contemporary audiences, it is no gimmick. It recreates choral performance practices of the 15th and 16th centuries. “We’re not making up some trick here,” artistic director Stratton Bull said. “This is the way they sang it. This is the way they saw and experienced it.”

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