Alternative History

Friday 2 March

For European Early Music Month Alternative History present a specially devised programme called Secret History: renaissance polyphony for voices & vihuelas which drawn from the recently released album for ECM Secret History.

The concert features Anna Maria Friman and John Potter (voices) as well as Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman (vihuelas) and will be broadcast in full on RTÉ Lyric fm to mark European Early Music Day, Wednesday 21 March.

Come join us for this beautiful concert marking Triskel’s 40th Birthday, European early Music Month and the 300th Anniversary of Christchurch. This event is part of the Triskel | 40 programme, tickets are free (max. two tickets per person) and will be released 11am on the morning of the concert.


Nesciens mater Mouton 3.00
Kyrie Missa Surge Propera Tomás Luis de Victoria 3.00
Gloria Missa Surge Propera 6.00
Inviolata Gregorian chant 1.00
Inviolata (lute duet) Josquin Desprez 3.00
Salve Regina 6.30
Credo Missa Surge Propera Victoria 10.30
Benedicta es Gregorian chant 1.00
Benedicta es Josquin Desprez 6.00
O magnum mysterium (lute duet) Victoria 3.00
Sanctus & Benedictus surge propera Victoria 4.00
Absalon fili mi Josquin Desprez 3.30
Ut Phoebi radiis Josquin Desprez 4.00
Agnus Dei surge propera Victoria 3.30
Nymphes des Bois Josquin 4.30

Alternative History  brings together singers Anna Maria Friman and John Potter with lutenists Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman in a project which creates unique new repertoires from historical performance practice.

Their album Secret History (ECM New Series 2119), follows the 16th century practice of arranging choral music for voices and lutes, and features sacred music by Josquin Desprez and Victoria as it might have been performed in 17th century England.

Amores Pasados (ECM New Series 2441) takes the concept into a parallel universe where the early music movement happened in the 1920s, when songs and choral music by Peter Warlock, E J Moeran and their contemporaries are re-imagined as the lute songs these composers never actually wrote but might have heard in their heads. What results is a journey into the imagination, a sound picture of an alternative history.

The third strand to the project is new music by rock musicians John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Tony Banks (Genesis) and Sting, songwriters who more than hold their own with their renaissance predecessors Dowland and Campion.

The musicians also work together as duos and trios, bringing a new historical perspective to key areas of early music.  Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman have just released Cifras Imaginarias (outhere A428), 16th century music for 2 vihuelas, and John Potter performs the jazz-like early 17th century ‘division school’ madrigals with both players as well as old and new music with each of them.

The musicians’ live performances are unique one-off events and sometimes include spontaneous performances with guest musicians. At a recent performance of Gavin Bryars’ Shakespeare sonnet the composer himself emerged from the audience to play the postlude on piano. At the Swaledale Festival in the UK, festival director and jazz bassist Malcolm Creese joined the line-up, with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones on mandolin. This is an early music project like no other…

Season At A Glance