Praga Magna – Music in Prague During the Reign of Rudolph II

When Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia, moved his court from Vienna to Prague in 1583, he made it an unparalleled showcase for arts and intellectual activity. Rudolph  patronized artists such as Dürer and Brueghel, amassed a collection of exotic animals, historical curiosities, and employed some of the best musicians in Eastern Europe.

The early music ensemble Cappella Mariana add veracity to that last part of that statement with their latest release. It includes works by court musicians Alessandro Orolgio, Phillippe de Monte, and Jacob Regnart. All three wrote in a similar high renaissance style, with flowing counterpoint effortlessly weaving melodic lines in and out of one another.

Almost all the works on this release are sacred, giving the program an expansive, yet serene overall sound. The Cappella Mariana performs these pieces with precision, maintaining a transparent ensemble sound that is almost sensual in nature.

The program includes works by Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso, composers who were also performed in the imperial court. The music of Rudolph’s own composers compares favorably to these acknowledged masterworks.

Rudolph II was a contemporary of Elizabeth I, and like the Virgin Queen, was indirectly responsible for a flourishing of musical creativity. In my opinion, Praga Magna is a beautiful recording of some unjustly neglected music. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Praga Magna: The Music in Prague During he Reign of Rudolf II
Alessandro Orologio; Orlando di Lasso; Philippe de Monte; Liberale Zanchi; Giovanni de Palestrina; Jacob Regnart
Cappella Mariana
Artevisio AV 0001-2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Become a Sponsor

Underwriting WTJU is a way to broadly share information about your business. It’s also a way for your business or organization to gain community-wide recognition for your support of WTJU’s community mission.

Underwrite a Program


Your gift nourishes our community and helps bring people together through music.

Underwrite a Program