Photo Renessanssimusiikkia Paavalinkirkossa ry (c) Kalle Järvenpää

Aurore: Mischievous visionaries

Sammatintie 5, 00550 Helsinki
St. Paul's church

Aurore: Mischievous visionaries – Nicolà Vicentino and the ancient modern harmonies

Mischievous visionaries – Nicolà Vicentino and the ancient modern harmonies

In 1551, composers and theoreticians Nicolà Vicentino and Vicente Lusitano were having a heated argument about ”modern” music. Vicentino divided the octave into as many as 31 notes, and his madrigals heard in this concert are probably the earliest microtonal compositions in western music since ancient Greece. The composer himself characterized these as ”cosa nuova et molto difficile” – something new and very challenging. The program also includes keyboard and vocal music by contemporaries of Lusitano and Vicentino, who were also exploring the possibilities and limits of diatonic and chromatic music.

This concert, designed by singer David Hackston, will include a vocal ensemble, St. Paul’s Church’s renaissance organ and a special harpsichord where the octave has been divided into 14 keys instead of the traditional 12 keys, which enables the use of microtonality also in keyboard music. 


Before the concert, a sound installation by the Canadian composer Paolo Griffin will be heard in the church. The installation is based on Vicentino’s musical language and leads the listener into the harmonious world of the upcoming concert.


Meet the artists and coffee serving at 18.15, sound installation at 18.30 and concert at 19.00.



Linnéa Sundfær-Casserly, soprano
Sirkku Rintamäki, mezzo
David Hackston, alto
Martti Anttila, tenor
Riku Laurikka, bass
Matias Häkkinen, harpsichord
Ilpo Laspas, organ
Joel Ward, live electronics



Nicolà Vicentino
Vicente Lusitano
Carlo Gesualdo
Luca Marenzio
Michelangelo Rossi


St. Paul's Church

26.1.2023 at 19.00


Tickets 25/20€ from Holvi Shop, duration 1 h 15 min

Aurore Renaissance Music Festival 26.-29.1.2023 in St. Paul's Church