Grand Désir offers several programmes, searching in each one of them for a uniqueness to offer their audiences. Listed below are some suggested programmes with their descriptions. Should you want to ?order? an altered programme, or create a new programme altogether, please contact us for inquiries.

Dance et Chanson

A programme with fifteenth century Basse-Dance tunes showing resemblance to Burgundian chansons from the same period. A unique programme, in that these resemblances are often speculated about within the academic world of musicology, but are rarely performed on stage. The combination, however, creates a very exciting programme, varying intsrumental music with vocal music. The chansons and the basse dances combined with numerous intabulations made after several 15th century chansons, form a concert programme linking some of the most important genres of the 15th century. More?

Medieval England

As the title suggests, this programme is dedicated to a repertoire rarely heard: English medieval music. This programme, however, goes one step further than that: it solely concentrates on English medieval music with texts written in the English language. A rarity in medieval times, as most sacred music was written in Latin and most secular music in French. The programme develops with vocal and instrumental music from the early 13th century to the 15th century with some more famous composers such as Dunstable and Frye. More?

Advance and romance in England and France 1300-1500

This programme is a fusion of the two programmes described above. Starting in 13th century England, it moves across the channel with the 15th century Burgundian Chanson, a genre also well represented in England. Combining English and French culture creates a divers programme showing exciting developments in music history.

Contemporary music for medieval ensemble

This is a programme special both within early music performance practice as well as within the world of contemporary music. The ensemble members? broad interests have resulted in a very fruitful collaboration between the musicians and contemporary composers such as Hugo Vogel, Aspasia Naspoulou, Cynhtie van Eijden and Martijn Voorvelt. Some composers have used medieval texts for their compositions, for example poetry of Pretracra or Chrsitine de Pizan. Others have concentrated on compositional ideals of medieval music. In whatever form, these are unique compositions only performed by Grand Désir. In this programme, where both medieval and contemporary music will be performed, Grand Désir brings two extremes of music history a lot closer to each other than many would consider possible.

Her Lady’s Devotion

In this programme, the unique position of the female musician in the 15th century is shown against the backdrop of the so-called Devotia Moderna. With the ideals of Christian Humanism, the Devotia Moderna recommended a more individual attitude towards belief and religion and was especially prominent in cities in the Low Countries during the 14th and 15th centuries. The origins of the movement are bound up with the career of Geert Groote of Deventer (Netherlands) and the musical repertoire connected to the movement is represented in sources of several convents and monasteries such as the monestaries in the erea of Windesheim near Zwolle.

The musical repertoire of the Devotia Moderna used in this programme, highlights a female aspect of musicianship: it is taken from the ‘Songbook of Anna of Cologne’ (who probably lived in a German nunnery south of the Rhine) and from the sources of the nunneries of St. Margaretha and St. Agnieten in Amsterdam and Utrecht respectively. A recurrent theme in these sources is the longing for the ‘heavenly groom’ and the style of the repertoire is defined by an introvert female expression, searching for the meaning of life through their love for the Heavenly Lord. The repertoire, mostly set to vernacular texts, gives an interesting insight into the political and religious developments during the pre-reformation days in the Netherlands and Germany. Most of all however, it shows the unique position of the cloistered musician in the 15th century: for she too sung the devine service, an underestimated position to which this programme is dedicated to give new life.