Cappella Pratensis • a capella choir


Cappella Pratensis / Oktober 2013The Dutch-based vocal ensemble Cappella Pratensis – literally ‘Cappella des prés’ – champions the music of Josquin des Prez and the polyphonists of the 15th and 16th centuries. The group combines historically informed performance practice with inventive programmes and original interpretations based on scholarly research and artistic insight. As in Josquin’s time, the members of Cappella Pratensis perform from a central music stand, singing from the original mensural notation scored in a large choirbook. This approach, together with attention to the linguistic origin of the compositions and the modal system on which it is based, offers a unique perspective on the repertoire. Founded in 1987, Cappella Pratensis is currently under the artistic direction of singer and conductor Stratton Bull.

Besides regular appearances at concert venues in the Netherlands and Belgium, Cappella Pratensis has performed at leading international festivals and concert series throughout Europe, North America and Japan.

The CD Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope (2010), with guest conductor Joshua Rifkin, received a Diapason d’Or, while the following CD (2012) features two of the oldest polyphonic settings of the Requiem, by Johannes Ockeghem and Pierre de la Rue. February 2014 saw the release of a recording of music in celebration of the Annunciation, drawn from Vatican sources and featuring Josquin des Prez’s masterpiece, Missa Ave maris stella.

Cappella Pratensis also passes on insights into vocal polyphony and performance from original notation – both among professionals and amateurs – through masterclasses, multi-media presentations, collaboration with institutions, an annual summer course as part of the Laus Polyphoniae festival in Antwerp, and training young singers within the group itself. The ensemble is a partner with the universities of Leuven and Oxford in the digitization and valorisation of all the brilliant musical sources made in the workshops of the early sixteenth-century music scribe Petrus Alamire.


“Josquin in Rome”
Celebrating the Annunciation at the Sistine Chapel

In this program, Cappella Pratensis returns to its core repertoire with music composed by Josquin for the celebration of the Annunciation in the Sistine Chapel.

The Musical World of Hieronymus Bosch

As part of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death in 2016, Cappella Pratensis offers a sounding parallel to the world of Bosch, with music that he would have heard on a regular basis in his native city of ’s-Hertogenbosch—the ensemble’s home city.

“Missa Lutherana”
The Beginnings of Lutheran Church Music

In 2017 the world will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the symbolic start of the Reformation, when Luther nailed his famous 95 theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenburg. Cappella Pratensis marks this year with a program devoted to the very first music of the Protestant movement. 
The program will recreate an early Lutheran mass, drawing on works by the Franco-Flemish composers, as well as the very first settings of Luther’s own texts by the composer Johan Walter. As specialists in the polyphony of the early sixteenth-century, Cappella Pratensis is uniquely placed to trace the musical origins of the Lutheran movement.

The Unborn Emperor”
Cleofa Malatesta and the failed attempt to solve the Great Schism and save the Byzantine Empire

The program is more generally related to the attempt to reunify the Eastern Orthodox and the Western Catholic Church, and to the political climate of conflict between conciliarism and the papacy that followed the Council of Constance.
Works by Dufay, Hugo and Arnold de Lantins, Johannes de Lymburgia, Richard de Loqueville, Antonio Zacara da Teramo, Antonius Romanus, Christoforus de Monte, Ciconia, Antonius de Cividale.



Cappella Pratensis / Oktober 2013

Die Tonkunst, October 2016
about recording: Pierre de la Rue, Visions of Joy | The Chapel of Hieronymus Bosch

“Under the title “Visions of joy, the Chapel of Hieronymus Bosch” Cappella Pratensis combines the mass movements with Gregorian chants and stylistically appropriate organ improvisations by Wim Diepenhorst, together with the motet Gaude Virgo by Pierre de la Rue. The result is an impression of the musical world in which the painter lived…Throughout all the complex counterpoint the eight singers of Cappella Pratensis build a perfect balance of high and low registers, creating a full sound-texture in which the melodic lines run freely, yet with no loss of rhythmic accentuation, so that a seemingly unending flow rolls out.” by Almut Jaedicke




CC72710_cover Pierre de la Rue
Visions of Joy | The Chapel of Hieronymus Bosch
Cappella Pratensis / Stratton Bull
(Challenge Classics, 2016, 1 CD, Catalogue no. CC 72710)

Release date: June 3rd, 2016




Joimage.phpsquin Desprez 
Missa Ave maris stella
Cappella Pratensis / Stratton Bull

(Challenge Classics, 2014, 1 SACD, Catalogue no. CC 72632





Pierre de La Rue / Johannes Ockeghem
Cappella Pratensis / Stratton Bull

(Challenge Classics, 2012, 1 CD, Catalogue no. CC 72541





Adrian Willaert / Josquin Desprez / Jean Mouton / Andreas de Silva / Johannes de la Fage / Costanzo Festa 
Vivat Leo! Music for a Medici Pope
Cappella Pratensis / Joshua Rifkin

(Challenge Classics, 2010, 1 CD, Catalogue no. CC 72620




Jacob Obrecht 
Missa De Sancto Donatiano (Bruges 1487)
Cappella Pratensis / Stratton Bull
(Fineline, 1 CD + 1 DVD, 2009, Catalogue number: FL 72414)