Laura Dümpelmann – shawm

Hanna Geisel – shawms, bagpipes

Nathaniel Wood – slide trumpets, trombone


Guillaume Dufay (1397 - 1474) - Ave Maris Stella
Johannes de Limburgia (15. stol.) - O Maria maris stella
Guillaume Dufay - Ave regina celorum

Anonym (from Zorzi's notebook) - Souvent mes pas
Chanson - Intabulation - Basse Danse

Anonym (from Zorzi's notebook) - Una ballatina franzese
Basse Danse "En ce printemps"

Antoine Busnois (ca. 1435 - 1492) - Bel Accueil
Anonym (from Zorzi's notebook) - Tenor Gie se far danser le dames
Anonym (from Zorzi's notebook) - Jour à jour la vie

Guillaume Dufay - C'est bien raison

John Dunstable (ca. 1390 - 1453) - Puisque m'amour

Anonym (from Zorzi's notebook) - Qu'en puis je mais
Brussels Basse Danse Manuscript - Basse Danse Venise

Gilles Binchois (from Zorzi's notebook) - Je me recommande
Anonym (from Zorzi's notebook) - Une fois avant que mourir

Gilles Binchois (1400 - 1460) - De plus en plus
Pierre Fontaine (ca. 1390 - ca. 1450) - J'aime bien celui qui s'en va

Jacob Obrecht (1457/58 - 1505) - Tandernaken

A love of the wild sound of ALTA CAPELLA, combined with the heady feeling of a perfectly in tune fifth, drew the international ensemble ALTA BELLEZZA together.

After extensive study of early wind techniques and ensemble playing at the internationally renowned SCHOLA CANTORUM BASILIENSIS, ALTA BELLEZZA is raising the Alta Capella to new heights of brilliance. Where ever possible concert programmes are learnt from the original manuscripts themselves and performed from memory.

The ensemble maintains an active concert schedule and has performed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Romania, Slovenia, Latvia, Finland, Italy and France.
Their debut cd "L'alta bellezza: Wind music from 15th-century Italian courts" was released by Arcana in 2021.

The ensemble ALTA BELLEZZA takes its name from a chanson by Guillaume Dufay which can be found in the Canonici Misc. 213 manuscript, now housed in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This is one of the most important sources of 15th century music we have today and is a great provider of repertoire for concerts.

Now days the name ALTA CAPELLA is used to denote a loud wind band from the middles ages and renaissance featuring shawms, slide trumpets and later dulcians, cornettos and sackbutts. In this period musicians were divided between ALTA and BASSA, the former consisting of the loud instruments mentioned above and the later referring to more intimate combinations of voices, lutes, fiddles, and harps.The ALTA CAPPELLA played a very important role in the fabric of society, with every monarch, noble and city employing such a group. It was the perfect way to provide music and entertainment at outdoor civic occasions or for dancing in grand halls.

It emerged from Turkish ensembles of shawms, trumpets and drums used for war in the early middle ages but by the 14th century had become well established in western Europe as well. The small Turkish shawms developed into two different sized instruments which took on the CANTUS and TENOR parts of the typical 14th and early 15th century three part repertoire and long straight military trumpets evolved into the slide trumpet (later the trombone) filling in the harmonies on the CONTRATENOR line.

Although this classic three part ensemble was primarily used in the middles ages, the concept of a loud wind ensemble carried on being popular well into the 17th century, with shawms and trombones still playing together in four or five part groups throughout Europe.


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