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.


Tears of Joy

— A wonderful musical blend from 17th century England (2009)

Zefiro Torna

  1. Anon. - Shall I weep or shall I sing
  2. Thomas Brewer (1611-c1660) - Mistake me not, I am as cold as hot
  3. Robert Ramsey (fl. 1616-1644) - Go perjur’d man! And if you e’er return
  4. Matthew Locke (1621-1677) - Pavane
  5. Thomas Morley (1557-1602) - Thyrsis and Milla (The First part)/She straight her light green silken coats (The Second part)
  6. Anon. - Have I caught my heav’nly jewel
  7. Thomas Campion (1567-1620) - It fell on a sommers day
  8. John Bartlet (fl.1610) - Of all the birds that I do know
  9. Anon. - Drewries accordes
  10. Anon. - La Rossignol
  11. Francis Pilkington (c1570-1638) - Rest, sweet nymphs
  12. Henry Lawes (1596-1662) - Slide soft you silver floods
  13. Anon. - My ladies careys dump
  14. William Webb (fl.1620-1656) - Pow’rful Morpheus, let thy charms
  15. Robert Johnson (c1583-1633) - With endless tears
  16. Robert Johnson (c1583-1633) - The Flat Pavan - Galliard
  17. Thomas Robinson (1588-1610) - A Song to the Cittern “Now Cupid, look about thee”
  18. Tobias Hume (c1569-1645) - Tobacco
  19. Broadside Ballad - Tobacco
  20. Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582-c1635) - Martin said to his man
  21. Thomas Ravenscroft (c1582-c1635) - A Round of three country dances in one
  22. Trad. - Butterfly (Jig)
  23. Robert Johnson (c1583-1633) - Have you seen the bright Lily grow
  24. John Dowland (1563-1626) - Time stands still

A ‘good song’ and dancing music were never far away in the early 17th century England of Elisabeth I and the Stuarts. Traditional grounds, allemandes, pavanes and galliards, country dances, jigs and catches could be heard right next to a folk song, a melancholy lute song, an Italian madrigal or three-voiced ‘canzonettes’. It was a time when music was threaded with references to exuberant court plays or masques and to the tragedies or comedies of the Shakespearian theatre. Which seems plausible considering the number of composers that were affiliated to the renowned theatre company of The King’s Men.

Master John ‘semper dolans’ Dowland and his contemporary Robert Johnson salute the beginning of a new century with their exquisite songs and superb lute music. When thinking about vocal instrumental consort music the names of amongst others Thomas Morley, Philip Rosseter and Richard Allison need to be noted. Composers such as Henry Lawes and William Webb, known before most for their high quality songbooks succeeded them. And finally, somewhere around 1650, we end up with the successful publisher of the manual for English dancing music, entitled “The Dancing Master”, John Playford.

The ensemble Zefiro Torna unites the best of the Belgian historical and traditional music scene and provides a delicious musical blend of sumptuous strings of lutes, cittern, guitar, theorbo and nyckelharpa, entwined with the crystal clear voice of soprano Cécile Kempenaers.

How does one reconcile the past to the present? How does one mediate a language, and an idiom, that seems so remote and so alien? (…) This band’s answer, largely, is to warp drive back to the future; to energise, Star Trek style, onto a distant time and planet armed with the impedimenta of post-1960s folk music. They have boldly gone where few, if any, have gone before. Lute songs, Jim, but not as we know them. Jonathan Woolf, Musicweb International

Tears of Joy offer you a delicate balance between pure beauty, tragedy, introspectiveness and cheerfulness, piquancies and a groovy feel.

Cécile Kempenaers soprano
Didier François Nyckelharpa
Jurgen De bruyn renaissance lute, archlute, baroque guitar, chant
Philippe Malfeyt renaissance lute, cittern, theorbo, baroque guitar, percussion