Ockeghem@600 is Blue Heron’s multi-year project to perform the complete works of Johannes Ockeghem, one of the very greatest composers of the Western tradition, in thirteen programs over the course of seven seasons. Inaugurated in the spring of 2015, Ockeghem@600 will wind up more or less commemorating the 600th anniversary of Ockeghem’s birth in circa 1420.
Besides concerts, the project demands and includes a significant component of research into the many questions of fifteenth-century performance practice which remain unsolved puzzles – questions as basic as pitch level, voice types, and scoring. By the end we expect to have a better understanding of such issues. We will also have created a new complete edition of the music of Ockeghem, scrupulously based on the original sources and rigorously tested in practice.
Along the way we will also explore music of Ockeghem’s predecessors, contemporaries, and followers, developing and sharing with our audiences a sense of the entire fifteenth-century repertoire. Succeeding our series of recordings of Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, the fifth and final volume of which was released in March 2017, a new series of CDs is underway, including a 2-CD set of all of Ockeghem’s songs: Volume I was released in November 2019. (Click here to contribute to the Ockeghem CD Recording Fund.)
Joining Blue Heron as adviser for Ockeghem@600 is Professor Sean Gallagher of the New England Conservatory, one of the world’s leading experts on Ockeghem and his contemporaries.