Stanford Singers to Honor Isaac’s Quincentenary

The Stanford Early Music Singers will present a concert in observance of the five hundredth anniversary of the death of Heinrich Isaac (ca. 1450–1517), on Wednesday evening, May 24, 7:30 p.m. at the Stanford Memorial Church. Admission is free. The performance will be directed by Prof. William Mahrt, whose doctoral dissertation was on works of Isaac.

Heinrich Isaac was among the most prominent composers of his generation; he served first Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence and then the Emperor Maximilian in Vienna. For Lorenzo, he composed settings of Lorenzo’s poetry for carnival songs as well as Mass music and his famous lament on the death of Lorenzo. For the court of Maximilian, he composed German Lieder, political motets, and an extensive cycle of the Propers of the Mass, ultimately named Choralis Constantinus, and numerous Mass Ordinaries.

The May 24 concert will feature Florentine carnival songs and motets as well as the Lament on the Death of Lorenzo de’ Medici. From the Maximilian era it will include a political motet, German Lieder, and motets for the Reichstag in Constance in 1507, as well as pieces from the Choralis Constantinus. A brief narrative of Isaac’s biography and his works will be given as introduction to the pieces.