Lassus Grand Cru - extra show

Good news for those who were to late to buy a ticket for Lassus Grand Cru on August 22nd at Laus Polyphoniae: this 'tasty' performance with Stefaan Degand will be heard, seen and tasted a second time that same evening. Don't want to miss that? Buy your ticket for the show at 10:15 pm.


On tour with Lassus Grand Cru

Even in the 16th century, people already knew that masterful Renaissance composer Orlandus Lassus's music leaves no one untouched. The fact that his sweet tones created a perfect concordance with great wine, was an open secret.

Zefiro Torna now combines both elements - Lassus's popular repertoire on the one hand, and a selection of exclusive wines on the other – into the sensuous production Lassus Grand Cru. During this musical wine tasting, countertenor and skilled wine expert Steve Dugardin, along with a professional actor, will entertain the audience with exquisite faits divers about Lassus's life.

Zefiro Torna will be touring in Belgium and abroad with this tasteful production.


Spring 2018

"Raise the glass! Start the song! Come, let’s cheer, let’s drink, As long as the bright stars shine, as long as the fine bottle bestows on us its content, and the full glass beckons us to enjoyment. Come, my friends, let’s make a toast! Let us all drink!" (Anon., 16thC)

We would like to raise our glass with you on the dawn of this new year in a literal way: during the performance of Lassus Grand Cru, wine flows abundantly to the sounds of Lassus' sweet and danceable songs. In our performance of Slumber, soprano Lore Binon, cellist Benjamin Glorieux and lutenist Jurgen De bruyn will submerge you in nightly atmospheres. Furthermore, 2018 brings many foreign adventures. Coming spring, Zefiro Torna will tour the Netherlands (Slumber and Lassus Grand Cru), France (Scattered Rhymes), Italy (De Fragilitate), Germany and the Czech Republic (Lassus Grand Cru).

We wish you a creative, lovely and exquisit 2018!


Warm and festive sounds

Sunday 29 October is the end of daylight saving time. No better medicine to enter the cold winter days than the warm, healing sounds of the Balsam production. After a sold-out Belgian premiere in Leuven, we will bring this program to Bierbeek on 29 October.

A day earlier we will make some Brugse cafés unsafe, together with vocal ensemble Viermaliks, with drinking songs of Orlandus Lassus during Klara's event 'Iedereen Klassiek'. The grand finale of this Lassus Café Chantant will take place in the Concertgebouw Brugge.


Les Tisserands

— Cross-over between folk, jazz and early music in the spirit of the Cathars (2006)

Zefiro Torna - Amorroma - Traces

  1. Jowan Merckx - arr. R. Schlesinger - La cara originala
  2. Peirol, Els Van Laethem - arr. Les Tisserands - tekst Peirol (c1188-c1222) - si be'm sui luènh
  3. Jowan Merckx - arr. Vincent Noiret - L'uelh del vesent
  4. Els Van Laethem - arr. Les Tisserands - tekst Bernard de Ventadorn (c1145-c1180) - Tant ai mon còr
  5. Jowan Merckx - sander
  6. Jowan Merckx - arr. M. De Cat - Lo present etèrn
  7. Jowan Merckx - arr. R. Schlesinger - L'illusion demascada
  8. Els Van Laethem - arr. Les Tisserands - tekst Peirol (c1188-c1222) - En jòi que'm demòra
  9. Els Van Laethem - tekst Raimon de Miraval (c1190-c1220)/Jowan Merckx - Entre dos volers/scoone figure
  10. Jowan Merckx - arr. R. Schlesinger - pur amor
  11. Jowan Merckx - arr. R. Schlesinger, B. Van Reeth - fama publica
  12. Jowan Merckx - arr. B. Van Reeth - Arbor vitae
  13. Giraut Riquier - arr. Els Van Laethem, Jurgen De bruyn - tekst Riquier (c1230-c1300) - No'm sai d'amor
  14. Jowan Merckx - arr. B. Van Reeth, Vincent Noiret / Jowan Merckx - colèra ò pietat / l'indivisible

The traditional music group Amorroma, the historical music ensemble Zefiro Torna and jazz saxophone player and flute player Philippe Laloy (Traces, Tricycle) meet in a programme imbued by the spirit of Catharism. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Cathars formed an important spiritual movement. Averse to all dogmas, they aimed at elevated human values such as austerity, immaterialism and noblesse de coeur. In Flanders, they were sometimes called phiphles (flute players?) in France parfaits, bonhommes or tisserands (weavers). They were persecuted by the Inquisition for heresy, and finally brought down in Montségur, a town in the French Pyrenees.

Occitania was the region where the Cathar phenomenon flourished, and where at the same time the troubadour repertoire developed. Several poetic texts by individuals such as Marcabrun, Bernard de Ventadour and Raymond de Miraval lean towards the ideas and the actions of the Cathars, and give expression to a strong sense of liberty. The medieval texts and melodies serve as a source of inspiration for this programme, just like the melodies composed by Jowan Merckx – contrafacts that evoke reminiscences of earlier times and various European and Eastern cultures. The ensemble’s arrangements of these melodies stand out for their variety of textures and their colourfulness.

The duality of the Cathar doctrine, based on the contrast between good and evil, Yin and Yang, manifests itself in a multitude of contrasts. Complex polyphony is opposed to the simplicity of a unison melody; elating dance music to epic ballads; the strong, dark and piercing tones of the bagpipes, the bass, the viola da gamba and the bouzouki to soft instruments like the lute, the harp, the viol and flutes. The soprano sax improvisations, the female voice and the poetry of the troubadours enter into a compelling dialogue.

Jowan Merckx flute, bagpipes, gaita, compositions
Bert Van Reeth bouzouki
Rheidun Schlesinger celtic harp

Philippe Laloy soprano saxophone
Vincent Noiret double bass

Zefiro Torna
Els Van Laethem vocals, compositions
Jurgen De bruyn lutes, artistic direction
Liam Fennelly fiddle, viola da gamba

Michel Van Achter recording, mixing, mastering, producing

Els Sallets artwork & Stefaan Algoet photography

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