[This page is under construction; some missing explanatory notes on presented programmes will be supplied as soon as possible. See the Dutch version of this page.]

Over the years, Psallentes has presented more than 180 (sic) different programmes, almost always centered around late medieval plainchant and related polyphony — with quite a few notable exceptions. Below, and as a selection from our huge back catalogue, some 24 available programmes are being presented. If you would be interested in booking us with any of these programmes, please contact us (via the contact form or directly to artistic director Hendrik Vanden Abeele at hendrik.vda[at] 

Existing programmes are always ‘for sale’, although Psallentes is known for lending an ear when it comes to developing new and tailor-made projects. Those can be built around particular themes (such as a saint, or an office, for example), or you may have access to an interesting source (e.g. in a local archive) that could be explored musically.

We are a vocal ensemble, with flexible cast. These last few years, we have presented ourselves mainly as an ensemble of female singers (6 à 8 singers). But a male version of Psallentes is still active and available, and Psallentes operates at mixed strength as well, specifically in a more polyphonic context. We are currently considering a fourth version of the ensemble, with children, although that idea is — so to speak — scarcely out of the egg…

So here follow 24 available programmes — but again: lots of new ideas can be developed, and we do like to work by order.

Next to the programme’s title, the €-symbol is being used to indicate three price categories:

: Lowest price, for productions that come with a relatively small cast and/or belong to our core repertoire.

€€: Intermediate price, for productions that may need more rehearsal, or come with a larger cast. Programmes produced by order will usually require (at least) this price level.

€€€: Highest price, for productions that need technical equipment (e.g. in the case of film projection), or require large amounts of rehearsals, or are being presented together with other ensembles.

If more than one presentation of the same production is possible within a limited time slot, the price may drop.

Some programmes are available on CD. Please contact us if you (as an organizer) would like a copy to be sent to you. Do check out our ‘Video’ page as well.



AB INITIO (8 female singers) [€€€]

Historians dismissed the image of the dark Middle Ages a long time ago. We are, however, stil in the dark when it comes to music culture, as there is no sheet music of the earliest Middle Ages. Music wasn’t noted down until the ninth century on the basis of neumen, which unfortunately confront performers with many challenges. These were mere prompts, as descriptions indicate that there was a flourishing musical practice.

The KBR (Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België; The Royal Library of Belgium) is the proud owner of several sources from this early period, which Psallentes’ artistic director Hendrik Vanden Abeele uses as a guide for this concert: Antiphonary of the Ghent Blandijnberg (8th century, Ms 10127-44); Psalter by bishop Wolbodo of Liège (around 1000, Ms 9188-89); Cluniac Graduale from the Auvergne (12th century, Ms II 3823); Missal from the Abbey of Saint-Hubert (12th century, Ms II 3822); Tonarius of Regino of Prüm in a miscellany of the Abbey of Stavelot (10th-13th century, Ms 2750-65); Liège legend collection with the office for the celebration of the Lambert of Maastricht (10th century, Ms 14650-59); Excerpts of a missal from the Abbey of Stavelot (12th century, Ms IV 476); Works of Saint Isidore of Seville (9th century, Ms 9311-19); and a Gradual in a collection of liturgical texts from the Abbey of Stavelot (11th century, with additions from the 11th, 12th and 13th century, Ms 2031-32).

Reciting and singing psalms was the basis of each prayer service, and this had to happen with the necessary respect, unhurried, but slow and precise. To this extent, the singing of psalms was the centre of the liturgy that was all expected to be sung by heart. In general, the songs were extended and embellished, for instance through the addition of melodies or lyrics and forms of harmony, which was called ‘triumphing’ in some contexts. They were turned into ‘triumphationes’. This is an etymologically interesting word, as it refers to the importantance of treble when you start to embellish: tres/trium-fari. These oldest traditions of embellishing and multiplying the liturgy are artistically evoked in Ab Initio by the singers of Psallentes.

For this concert, the concert location is shrouded in darkness. 

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele


Beghinae II Psallentes

BEGHINAE (6 à 8 female singers) [€] [CD]

Beguinages are a unique phenomenon in the Low Countries. The first communities of these devout women (‘beguines’) were founded in the thirteenth century, and spread rapidly over a region that comprised parts of the Netherlands, Northern France, Germany and Switzerland. A typical beguinage from the Southern Netherlands consists of a courtyard surrounded by small houses. It is often encircled by a wall and secluded from the town proper by one or two gates.

In the every day life at these communities, music played an important role. Singing and music making was first of all important in church or chapel, and during processions in which the beguines took part. Outside of church, beguines were allowed to perform devout songs on certain occasions. Music was also present in the education of and by beguines.

This programme’s vocal music originates (as a composition or/and as a source) from beguinages in Amsterdam, Bruges, Mechelen and Turnhout. The choice of music reflects the most important themes in the beguines’ musical life.

Particularly important were those songs sung by women, but mostly for holy women. A few beguinages had Maria as patron (e.g. Brussels, Hoogstraten), but other female saints were venerated as well (Maria Magdalena, Ursula and the 11.000 virgins). The most popular of these was undoubtably Catherine of Alexandria (patron of the beguinages in Diest, Hasselt, Mechelen…). From the seventeenth century onwards, a relatively unknown saint, Begga, was actively promoted as patron of the beguines (on account of the name-resemblance), for whom songs in Latin and in the vernacular were composed and sung. Amongst the scholars of the time, by the way,  a strong polemic occurred on the question whether Begga was really to be considered the foundress of the beguinages.

Apart from all the hagiolatry, the beguines also had a special veneration for the liturgy of Corpus Christi. In line with this, a veneration of the Sacrament flourished from the thirteenth century onwards. The beguines played a major role in the spread of this mystic adoration. In this context, beguines from Mechelen sang simple three-voice polyphony. In Bruges, the beguines formed an appreciated group in the big procession of the Holy Blood – two important manuscripts testify to this.

With their music and their singing, these devout women were at the forefront of evolutions in mysticism and devotion. In that way, the beguines contributed to the richness of our musical heritage.

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele



L’ABBÉ LISZT (8 à 11 female singers, and with JORIS VERDIN, organ and/or harmonium, can be extended with soprano solo, violin and harp) [€€€] [CD]

Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was a child of his time – in other words, a true 19th-century man – in more ways than one. He was a devout believer, who since his teens exhibited an extraordinary interest in the Catholic faith. In 1865 he received the four ‘minor orders’ of the Church: porter, lector, acolyte and exorcist. This made him a member of the clergy and it was as a cleric that he wanted to be portrayed. He went through the rest of his life known as ‘L’abbé Liszt’ (‘Fr Liszt’) – even though he was never ordained a priest. 

Liszt worked his strong religious convictions explicitly into many of his compositions. He did this with a generous dose of pathos, always with virtuosity, covering the range between intimacy and grandeur, between tenderness and heroism – the typical contrasts of the passionate nineteenth century. To that end, he often used instruments that played a key role in the life of the Church, in particular the organ and one of the most romantic instruments one can imagine: the harmonium.

Liszt always sought out fine and unusual sonorities, including on the instruments he used. The inventiveness of nineteenth-century instrument builders helped him significantly in doing so. Subtle timbres in soft sound colours were a substantial and innovative element in the organ sounds of the mid-nineteenth century. This album thus offers the twofold approach of the French and German sound quality, the space between which Liszt continually oscillated. His pianos, organs, and harmoniums supplemented each other in surprising ways. It goes without saying that the monumental sound production of the symphonic orchestra exerted a major influence on the organ building of that period. Both of the organs played on this CD illustrate the way in which Ibach and Dalstein-Haerpfer respectively went about their work. (For the stop lists of these instruments, see below in this booklet.)

The harmonium was an instrument that was still very new in Liszt’s day, and one which – thanks to the expressive, singing tone – enchanted music lovers. It was developed towards the end of the first half of the nineteenth century, and would evolve in ways that, unlike the piano, did not result in one standardized instrument. The harmonium exists in many forms and formats, from a small, intimate wooden console with a single keyboard and a few registers, to expansive mastodons with several manuals and dozens of registers. Around 1900, the popularity of the harmonium grew significantly. Churches, chapels and monasteries as well as community spaces, drinking establishments and homes all began to make room for this welcome guest. And so, too, it won the favour of Liszt and his audience.

With his preference for deeply religious texts, well balanced melodies and delicate harmonies, and contrasts between the intimate and the grandiose, and between the human voice and instruments to support all of the above, Liszt emerged as an extremely passionate musician who enthusiastically applied his talents to raise his audiences to a something higher than the self.

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele




It is fascinating that we can listen to Lassus’ Lagrime di San Pietro or one of Beethoven’s symphonies for an hour, whereas we sometimes only spare a few minutes (even seconds) for visual works of comparable greatness. Admittedly, the two media are not the same. In a nutshell, music can only be experienced ‘in time’, whereas all the visual arts exist by definition ‘in space’ as well. Nonetheless, it is striking that you sometimes walk past masterpieces in a museum almost without a glance, and even if you do fall under the spell of a Breughel or a Picasso, you are still unlikely to sit looking at a painting for a whole hour.

This, however, is exactly what we ar trying to achieve with the film Champmol 1399: take the time to look at the Crucifix Retable by Jacob De Baerze and Melchior Broederlam for an extended period, exploring the work in time and space. Admittedly, our gaze is directed by the screenplay, camerawork and editing, but something very similar is true of what happens to our ears when listening to music.

Incidentally, this is not intended (or supposed) to be silent contemplation. The retable was made for the Chartreuse de Champmol, a Carthusian monastery, and installed there in 1399. In that year, an antiphonary was also delivered to the monastery that was intended for use in the Carthusians’ liturgical services. The Gregorian music sung live during the film is all taken from that book.

Champmol was a showpiece for the Burgundian dukes. Philip the Bold had expressed the wish for a mausoleum for the Burgundian dynasty, a place where prayers would also be said for their souls. That was why he had a monastery built as well as merely a burial chapel. A pleasant site to the west of Dijon, beside the river Ouche, caught his eye. 

We have considerable information about the history of the Chartreuse de Champmol. A large amount of archive material allows us to reconstruct the story of how the monastery was founded and built. For example, as well as knowing that Philip the Bold came up with the idea of building the monastery, we even know how many francs the land was bought for, and that preparatory work began on 10 September 1377. We also know that the first stone was laid on 20 August 1383 by Philip’s wife, Margaret of Malefaction, who did the honors in her husband’s absence. She was accompanied by her twelve-year-old son John who would later become Duke John the Fearless.

Conceived and executed as a grand project, the monastery became a typical product of the artistic patronage of the Dukes of Burgundy. The construction work was entrusted to Drouet de Dammartin, who had previously distinguished himself with his work on the old Louvre in Paris. The project became a Gesamtkunstwerk with a comprehensive programme of architecture, painted and sculpted decoration, furniture, liturgical objects and manuscripts. Most of the artists employed were French, Flemish, Dutch, German and Spanish.

Two retables were ordered for the church from Jacob de Baerze, a sculptor based in Dendermonde (Flanders). Twenty-one archive documents have been preserved relating to the work on these retables, revealing many details of the ten-year process from ordering to delivery. An initial document, dated 25 May 1390, stipulates that the retables needed to be comparable to those in both the Bijloke in Ghent and the Collegiate Church in Dendermonde. These two ‘examples’ have been lost; we do not know whether de Baerze was supposed to make copies or use them as sources of inspiration. Neither do we know whether or not the two retables mentioned were made by de Baerze himself.

De Baerze worked on the two retables ordered in Dendermonde. One had the Crucifixion as its central theme (this is the retable on which Champmol 1399 is based) and the other tells a story of saints and martyrs. It seems that the lion’s share of the work had already been completed by the summer of 1391. De Baerze accompanied the transportation of his artworks to Champmol in person. Maybe the intention was for the retables to be polychromed and gilded in one of the workshops in Dijon. But this plan was shelved, perhaps because there was too much work to be done on artworks for the monastery.

In the spring of 1393, the retables ended up being sent back to Flanders, destined for Melchior Broederlam’s workshop in Ypres. He painted the outer panels (with tableaux from the life of the Virgin Mary) and added polychrome and gilding to the entire piece. Broederlam took somewhat longer over his work: the retables were not installed in the new monastery until the summer of 1399.

Champmol 1399 is an exploration of the Crucifix Retable. Few details are left out. We see saints on the side panels to the right and left: not all of them can be identified with any certainty, but we can pick out St George, St John and St Anthony, along with Mary Magdalene, St Catherine, St Margaret and St Barbara. On the central panel, we zoom in on three tableaux from the life of Christ: the adoration of the Magi, the crucifixion and the burial.

The plainchant music that accompanies the film follows these themes closely. If not always down to the last detail: there is little music to be found in the F-Dm 118 antiphonary about the saints we have mentioned. This is why we have mainly used material from the Commune Sanctorum, the ‘common of saints’, for that part. In compiling and performing the programme, incidentally, we have aimed to create a grand solemnity, so that the music reflects aspects of the retable such as its clean symmetry and its air of discipline. We have done so because looking and listening intently at the same time is no easy task. Often either looking or listening is dominant, and the film takes account of this alternating effect.

One question remains: why has Psallentes chosen female voices to sing the plainchant for this retable — knowing full well that the Chartreuse de Champmol was a male order? Well, this is our way of ‘gilding’ the artwork.

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele



URSULA11 (9 à 11 female singers) [€€] [CD]

The German Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was renowned in her time because of her views and visions. Hildegard corresponded with the greats of
her time, and thus was a very inSluential woman. Moreover, the abbess provided
 some of her poems and texts with her own music. This lead to a Gregorian chant that is strongly rooted in universal tradition, but which stands out because of large ambitus and rich melismas.

Seventy-five songs of Hildegard are known, the main source being a twelfth-century manuscript kept at Dendermonde (Sint-Pieters & Paul Abbey, Ms. Cod. 9). From this manuscript the singers of Psallentes chose for a series of chants in honor of St.
Ursula. Through antiphons (“O rubor sanguinis”), responsories, a Sequentia and a hymn (the rousing “Cum vox sanguinis”) a powerful evocation is constructed. An intense event, uniting unique voices contemplating with growing engagement the fate of Ursula and her companions.

Ursula was a legendary king’s daughter who would not marry before she had made a pilgrimage to Rome. Together with the 11,000 virgins who accompanied her, she was (again according to legend) killed near Cologne.

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele


Dendermonde codex Psallentes 2018 Leuven Begijnhofkerk

HOURS OF HILDEGARD (6 à 9 female singers) [€] [CD]

The twelfth-century abbess and prophetess Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179) had already attained iconic status in her lifetime. Princes both temporal and spiritual — from abbots and bishops to the emperor and the pope — exchanged ideas with her and sought her advice. Apart from her correspondence with leading personalities of her day, she composed an extensive body of work, making her one of the most prominent and influential authors of the Middle Ages and guaranteeing her a permanent place in the history books.

The works of Hildegard of Bingen are not only extensive but extraordinarily diverse. The ‘Sybil of the Rhine’, as she is known in the literature, elicits interest from many different quarters. Theologians, philosophers, literary scholars and historians scrutinize her visions. Beyond her mystical writings, her texts also attest to her knowledge of medicine, plants and herbs. The wide-ranging interest in her legacy also has much to do with her musical production. As one of the first composers known to us by name, she left behind more than seventy musical works. These include monophonic songs in the form of antiphons, responsories, hymns and sequences which place Hildegard within the liturgical traditions of the twelfth century. The way in which she interprets these genres, however, is anything but commonplace and attests to her own distinctive vision of Gregorian music.

The collected compositions by Hildegard of Bingen are preserved in two manuscripts. The oldest of the two, which can be dated with certainty to the lifetime of its author, was created in her own monastery of Rupertsberg, and is today in Dendermonde (Belgium). After the book had been sent by Hildegard to the Cistercian monks of Villers, it came via the Benedictines of, successively, Gembloux and Affligem in the 19thcentury to its present-day home in the Dendermonde abbey of Sint-Pieter en Paulus.

The calf-leather volume comprises 183 parchment folios; along with various texts by Hildegard, it also contains fifty-seven of her compositions, or around two-thirds of her extant musical works. Hildegard herself named this musical collection Symphoniae harmoniae caelestium revelationum(‘Symphonies of the harmony of heavenly revelations’), but the manuscript volume itself is generally known in the scholarly literature as the ‘Dendermonde Codex’. It is cited by both researchers and musicians worldwide by this title. Starting in 2017, this famous manuscript is available for online consultation via the Integrated Database for Early Music (IDEM, The high-quality digital photos were provided by the Alamire Digital Lab, a travelling photo studio maintained by the Alamire Foundation, International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries.

For Psallentes, the availability of the manuscript in high resolution photos provided the stimulus for producing a new, complete recording of the Dendermonde Codex. On the one hand, the project will in due course — once it is finished— provide an auditory supplement to the images that can be viewed online. On the other hand, we are beginning, with this first album, to present a somewhat atypical reading of Hildegard’s musical oeuvre. The discography of the music of Hildegard of Bingen is extensive, and the available recordings take a wide variety of approaches. What can Psallentes and this project add to the existing ‘canon’ of recordings? And in what sense is its recording atypical?

The particular approach taken by Psallentes is marked by the fact that almost each of the fifty-seven compositions in the Symphoniaeis presented within its own context, as it were. Each composition is treated relatively independently of the previous or the following work, and is nearly always accompanied by appropriate readings, psalms or canticles. In this way, we seek to place Hildegard’s works in the twelfth-century context of collationes. The latter were communal reflections held in monastic communities on certain evenings, in which passages of Scripture were read in a slow, contemplative manner (the practice of lectio divina), in a spirit of meditative reflection. We imagine that Hildegard regularly led such evenings in her communities, where she read aloud not only from writings such as the Scivias, but also sang, or perhaps improvised, and gave the best singers among her nuns songs and accompanying recitations. Under this concept, each composition is presented in a far-reaching and in-depth context, so that this ‘first hour’ contains no more than four pieces from the Dendermonde Codex.

What we hear in this programme, therefore, is an interaction between, first, Hildegard the soloist, who reads aloud from her work, herself sings and at certain points performs her own compositions in an improvisational style; second, a duo of female singers who recite psalms and canticles and verses of the responsories; and third, a small group of female singers who perform the tutti passages following the notation of the Dendermonde Codex. The psalms and canticles are chanted using the psalm tones suggested in the manuscript (the so-called evovae), but with variations and prudent improvisation— as befits our hypothetical starting point that these songs were (also) sung at the paraliturgical evening gatherings mentioned above.

In order to further strengthen the link with the twelfth-century monastic world, we have decided to add related texts that one encounters in sources contemporary to Hildegard. For the psalms and canticles, we used a psalter made in the Benedictine abbey of St Albans in the English county of Hertfordshire. The identity of the first owner of this richly illuminated manuscript is uncertain, but there are indications that it may have been intended for Christina (c. 1097 – after 1154), prioress of the nearby convent of Markyate and Hildegard’s fellow mystic. The Scivias, the title of Hildegard’s description of her visions, is preserved in a manuscript that originates from Park Abbey (in Heverlee, near Leuven). Abbot Philip, who led the Praemonstratensian community at Park Abbey between 1142 and 1165, was one of Hildegard’s correspondents and visited her in her monastery of Rupertsberg.

With this slow, drawn-out and meditative reading of Hildegard’s works, Psallentes thus seeks to add its own distinctive and somewhat unusual interpretation to the canon of existing recordings, one that pays tribute and does justice to Hildegard’s genius, and that is in keeping with the spirit and the letter of the Dendermonde Codex.

Text: Ann Kelders & Hendrik Vanden Abeele


FORTUNE INFORTUNE FORT UNE (8 à 12 male and female singers, with harp) [€€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry.]



FRAGMENTA TUNGRENSIA (8 male singers) [€€] [CD]

There is ample documentation of the liturgy in Tongeren in the late Middle Ages. Not only is there a very detailed ordinal, which contains various instructions for the conduct of the liturgy, but a large group of plainchant manuscripts has also survived. The Tongeren collection of late mediaeval musical manuscripts is unique for several reasons. First, it is a complementary collection, with manuscripts that provide music for the hours as well as the Mass, and for both plainchant and polyphony. Second, the collection contains both of the two great families of plainchant musical notation: the square notation (black, square notes) and neumes (known as ‘Hufnagel notation’, as their shape resembled the nails [in German, ‘hufnagels’] used with horseshoes).

From this rich and important collection, the Teseum(opened in June 2016) selected five musical sources. Four of these — two antiphonaries, a gradual and a processional — have been given the exposure and honour they deserve on this new CD by Psallentes. For the sung offices, the antiphonary was the most important music book. For processions, a smaller book, with the appropriate chants, the processional, was carried along. For Mass, the principal book for the cantor was the gradual, which contained the recurring chants.

The music in the antiphonary is taken from two nearly identical manuscripts. This reflects the way these books were used by late mediaeval choirs: whatever was used on one side also had to be present on the other side of the choir area. The core of the sung office was the recitation of psalms, preferably sung ‘antiphonally’: the two sides alternated in singing a verse of the psalm. The name ‘antiphonary’ thus derives from this practice. This type of manuscript contains material that is needed for the musical performance of the liturgical offices. They mainly contain antiphons (short sung phrases that frame the recitation of the psalms) and responsories (sung phrases that respond to Scripture readings).

In addition to the Mass and the choral office, processions were an important part of the liturgy. Sometimes it was simply a matter of moving around within the church itself: singing while processing from the choir to the baptismal font or to one of the chapels. On important feast days, the processions could be longer. These would involve carefully choreographed processions to a chapel or church in Tongeren or beyond.

It is no coincidence that a processional is usually quite a small, thin book. It had to be possible to carry it along on the procession. It did not contain the full liturgy, as do antiphonaries and graduals. The musical repertoire for processions is quite limited: on the one hand people likely sang a lot of the music by heart while walking; on the other hand, they drew heavily on the repertoire written for the feasts of saints venerated locally.

As is true of the other mediaeval manuscripts kept in Tongeren, the gradual represent a fine sample of the late mediaeval art of penmanship. The large square notes are written with a firm hand on a red, four-line stave. Blue and red initials in various formats are illuminated in a skilful hand. For major feasts, gold leaf is added to the blue and red ink. As was customary, red was used for the instructions and guidelines to the liturgy (‘rubrics’).

A gradual contains the songs for the Mass, such as the Introit, Alleluia and Communion. Unlike the Tongeren antiphonary, which contains only half the material for the liturgical year, this gradual covers the whole year: it opens with the first Sunday of Advent, and ends with the last week before the next Advent.

The long list of music for the feasts of the saints confirms that they were for use in Tongeren. The hundred folios containing sacred music are devoted not only to the universal saints of the Church, but also to more local saints such as Remaclus, Maternus and Servatius.

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele

Salzinnes Saints Psallentes

SALZINNES SAINTS (6 à 8 female singers) [€] [CD]

Commissioned in 1554-1555 by Prioress Dame Julienne de Glymes, the Salzinnes Antiphonal originated from the Cistercian abbey of Salzinnes near Namur, in present-day Belgium. The manuscript (240 folios) contains sung portions of the Divine Office, including antiphons, responsories and hymns.

Painted in a bright palette in gouache on vellum, the manuscript features full-page illuminations, historiated initials and decorated borders. Of particular significance are the depictions of nuns living in the abbey in the mid-sixteenth century and identified by their names, some with their coats-of-arms.

The Antiphonal was likely acquired in the 1840s or 1850s in France and brought to Nova Scotia by Bishop William Walsh, the first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax. It was donated to the Patrick Power Library, Saint Mary’s University, in 1975. Tucked away in Special Collections, the unidentified manuscript was discovered in 1998 by art historian Judith Dietz. Since then, the Antiphonal has been the subject of research and several multi-disciplinary projects, including the 2017 exhibition ‘Centuries of Silence: The Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal’, held at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and curated by Judith Dietz.

The chant ensemble Psallentes has explored the Salzinnes Antiphonal and focuses on the plainchant from the Sanctoral section of the manuscript — with music for the Virgin Mary and for saints including St. Andrew, St. Agnes, St. Agatha, St. Roch and St. Hubert.

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele


THE ROAD OF EXCESS LEADS TO THE PALACE OF WISDOM (6 female singers, and with ensemble Het Collectief) [€€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]

Lament of embodied Souls:


We are strangers here!

What have we done, straying to realms of sin?

We should have been daughters of the King,

but we have fallen into the shadow of sins.

Living Sun, carry us on your shoulders

back to that most just inheritance we lost in Adam!

O king of kings, we are fighting in your battle.



TRIPTYCHA (6 à 8 female singers) [€] [CD]

There is no exact information about the music being performed on the two musical panels of the Ghent Altarpiece (Van Eyck, 1432). It might be music that we have never heard, such as angels singing, celestial sounds or mystical music.

The two panels show figures that are both seraphic and human. On the panel to the left, between Adam and Mary, some singers stand by a lectern with a manuscript. On the panel to the right, between Eve and John the Baptist, somebody is playing a small organ. Two other people, with a harp and medieval fiddle, stand by and watch.

The Psallentes production ‘Triptycha’ explores the musical world of the most vocal of these two famous panels. Do the angels sing plainchant or polyphony? Both are possible. It it is plainchant, they could be responses from the period after Easter. These responses make explicit references to the book of Revelations — which makes sense because the Ghent Altarpiece is full of references to the Apocalypse. The combination of these chants with two-voiced Agnus-Dei fragments from masses by Dufay, Ockeghem, Desprez and others, make for a series of small and beautiful vignettes. Triptycha.

Text: Hendrik Vanden Abeele


Psallentes met Bart Jacobs Brussel 10 juli 2018 De Rode Duivels verloren tegen Frankrijk op de wereldbeker voetbal

IN SIMPLICITATE (6 singers, and with BART JACOBS, organ) [€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]



WALBURGA (8 singers) [€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry.]


Psallentes Triptycha. Foto Hendrik Vanden Abeele

JERUSALEM JERUSALEM (9 female singers) [€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


Psallentes geschoten

LA FÊTE-DIEU (6 à 8 female singers) [€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


LLIBRE VERMELL DE MONTSERRAT (6 zangers, en met ensemble ZEFIRO TORNA) [€€€] [CD in voorbereiding]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


MACHAUT: MESSE DE NOTRE DAME (8 à 12 male singers) [€€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


Soetkin Baptist, Sarah Abrams, Lieselot De Wilde, Barbara Somers

MATER DOLOROSA (8 female singers) [€€] [CD in preparation]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry.]



MINNE (6 female singers, and with AN PIERLÉ and her band) [€€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


Arnaud Van de Cauter - Tota pulchra es Psallentes dir. Hendrik Vanden Abeele

TOTA PULCHRA ES, AMICA MEA (7 male singers, and with ARNAUD VAN DE CAUTER, organ; and Eva Godard, cornetto) [€€€] [CD]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


Psallentes en The Royal Wind Music 2018 AMUZ CD

GRATIA PLENA (6 female singers, and with THE ROYAL WIND MUSIC) [€€€] [CD in preparation]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


In meneghfuldeghen thone Ruusbroec Psallentes Hendrik Vanden Abeele

SANC VAN MINNEN (6 à 8 female singers) [€€]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


Missa Transfigurationis. Psallentes / Hendrik Vanden Abeele

MISSA TRANSFIGURATIONIS (8 à 12 male singers) [€€€] [CD]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]


Psallentes To Memling Lukasweg image copyright

MISSA DE SANCTO MARTINO (OBRECHT) (8 à 12 male and female singers, with BART JACOBS, organ) [€€€] [CD in preparation]

[No English programme notes available yet, sorry!]

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