uadrivium is an ensemble specializing in late-medieval music, particularly the Franco-Flemish repertoire of the 14th- and 15th centuries. This refined and complex repertoire is brought to life via a specialized medieval instrumentarium. The ensemble brings a deep level of understaning and intuitive emotional interpretation to the music, while ensuring historical correctness under the watchful eye of musicologist/lutenist Willem Mook.
In medieval times, the Quadrivium represented the four ‘higher’ arts (arithmetica, geometrica, astronomia and musica.) The ensemble Quadrivium unites four colors of the medieval musical palette: voice, (Ellen Delahanty), recorder, (Geert Van Gele), harp, (Bill Taylor), and lute, (Willem Mook). With their unique historical instrumentarium, Quadrivium charms the audience with a wide array of delicate instrumental colors, typical for the early polyphony of the middle ages and early renaissance.
The ensemble’s first CD appeared in 2009, presenting their succesful concert program ‘La Cause est Amer’. In this program, medieval love poems from Japan, composed for Quadrivium by Belgian composer Janpieter Biesemans, are paired with medieval art songs from the Low Countries. Building on this success formula, Quadrivium is planning its next program with music from Spain, coupled with music set to a poem of Jorge Manrique, also by Biesemans. For this program, the ensemble will be expanded to feature tenor Jan Van Elsacker as well as Maaike Boekholt on vielle.
Learn more about Quadrivium (www.quadrivium.net), or the members, by following the links to their personal websites: Ellen Delahanty, (www.ellendelahanty.com), Bill Taylor (www.billtaylor.eu), Willem Mook (www.willemmook.com), Geert Van Gele (www.geertvangele.com).
uadrivium makes a point of using replicas of instruments that we know with certainty were actually in use during the late Medieval period: small types of medieval recorders with cylindrical bores; small medieval lutes, played with plectrum as well as with fingers; gothic harps utilizing the unconventional, but very well- documented bray pins; organetto (small lap organ), vielle and psalterium. All string instruments are fitted with gut strings, except for the psalterium which is brass-strung. The tuning used in the ensemble is a modified Pythagorean tuning, as described in multiple sources in the 15th century.