The virtues of musical plagiarism

Hyde Park Herald

Classical Music Critic

Lyric Opera’s new production of “Siegfried,” the third opera in Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle, opened to a full house Saturday night. The singing ranged from very good to marvelous while the staging lurched from distractingly odd and idiosyncratic to revealingly dramatic.

University of Chicago Presents (UCP) opened their new season of the Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music Series Sunday afternoon at the Logan Center with a concert by Cappella Pratensis. The early music series, founded in 1981, features medieval, Renaissance and Baroque concerts by artists at the forefront of historically researched musical practices.

Cappella Pratensis first appeared with UCP in 1998, and UCP’s programs this year, as they celebrate its 75th anniversary season, are full of artists who have previously been big hits with audiences in the past.

The male vocal ensemble, based in the Netherlands, specializes in the music of Josquin Desprez and the polyphonists of the 15th and 16th centuries. Their Logan concert was entitled “The Imitation Game: Emulation, Competition and Homage at the Time of Josquin.” It sounds a little nerdy, but this group celebrates the nerdiness of early music study and the results are captivating and exciting.

Read the full review here.