Cappella Pratensis specialises in the music of Josquin Desprez (= Pratensis) and other polyphonists from the 15th and 16th centuries. The ensemble carries out continuous performances with its own programmes and original interpretations, which are based on scientific research. As usual in the Renaissance, the singers of Cappella Pratensis often stand around a central music standard. They sing from facsimile-editions of original choir books. This also creates a unique perspective on the repertoire. The ensemble was founded in 1987 and it is now under the artistic direction of singer and conductor Stratton Bull.
In addition to regular concerts in the Netherlands and Belgium, Cappella Pratensis is to be heard at leading international festivals and venues in France, Portugal, Germany and the United States. The ensemble also realised and realises CD recordings, awarded with Rave Press reviews and awards (including the Diapason d’Or and the Prix Choc). From 2005 to 2007, Cappella Pratensis was ensemble-in-residence at the Fondation Royaumont (France), where it gave courses and concerts and worked with prominent musicians. In 2009, it released a DVD/CD production with the Missa de Sancto Donatiano by Jacob Obrecht, a reconstruction of the first execution of the Mass, filmed on location in Bruges, supplemented with extensive documentation material. This production was awarded with a Diapason découverte and the highest rating in the professional magazine Classica.
The CD Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope appeared in October 2010 and was awarded a Diapason d’Or. Guest Conductor was musicologist Joshua Rifkin. The very successful series of concerts with the Requiem of Pierre de la Rue was led by guest conductor Bo Holten. A DVD of one of these concerts was released in 2010 under the title Bosch Requiem. It took place in the framework of the multiannual event Jheronimus Bosch 500. In January 2012 a new CD with the earliest surviving polyphonic deaths appeared missing from the music history, namely Requiems of Johannes Ockeghem and Pierre de la Rue.
The most recent CD saw the light of life in February 2014. It is about music, written for the feast of Mary’s message and comes from Vatican choir books including Josquin Desprez ‘ masterpiece Missa Ave maris Stella. End 2015 is the Missa’s Iocunditate of Pierre de la Rue to be recorded on CD.
In 2016, the Cappella together with the Nederlands Kamerkoor in eight concerts brought the world premiere of the double pole performance of Missa Unitatis, composed in 2008 by Anthony Pitts (* 1969) in a unique partnership with choirs in Antwerp, Breda, ‘ S-Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Tilburg and Helmond. It also performed during the Festival old music in Utrecht and gave it five concerts “Christmas with Josquin’ in the season old music.
Cappella Pratensis shares her vision and approach to vocal polyphony with professionals and amateurs in masterclasses, with multimedia presentations, and also in a week-long Summer school that annually in the context of Laus Polyphoniae in Antwerp takes place. In a structural collaboration with the universities of Leuven and Oxford, all the music manuscripts of the atelier of Petrus Alamire are opened and made suitable for other musicians as well as for musicologists.