World premiere recording.
Hieronymus Lauweryn, Lord of Watervliet and Poortvliet, served the governments of three monarchs of the Netherlands: Emperor Maximilian, his son Philip the Beautiful and his daughter Margaret of Austria. As a well-to-do businessman he invested his money in land reclamation in the province of Flanders. Between 1501 and 1506 he founded the Kristoffel Polder, the Jeroen Polder, the Philip Polder and various other polders in the Schelde area. In 1504 he founded the town of Watervliet where he had a church and a flax mill built.
Apart from being a good businessman, Hieronymus was also a passionate art lover. The renowned singers and composers he heard in Philip's chapel may have inspired him to put together a collection of songs and motets for his own use. This personal chansonnier was probably made between 1495 en 1507. The greater part of the songbook consists of 63 French chansons in the new and the old style. In addition, it contains 25 Dutch songs, an unusually large number at that time. Most of the compositions are three-part. There does not appear to be a clear order in the book, and religious and secular pieces are jumbled up together. Most of the compositions have been passed down anonymously. However, we do know the authors of some of them and we know the composer of one Dutch piece: Laurentius. Was this perhaps Lauweryn himself?
The Egidius Kwartet was founded in 1995 by four members of Ton Koopman's Amsterdam Baroque Choir with the aim of performing Renaissance and contemporary music from the Low Countries (in the broadest possible sense). At the heart of their repertoire lies music written during the reign of the Habsburgers (Charles V, Margaretha of Austria, Philip II). With their research, CD's and concerts, the Egidians sought and gained attention for the work of forgotten masters such as Nicolas Payen, Cornelius Canis and Gheerkin de Hondt. Their integral recording of Tielman Susato's two Musyckboexkens (NM Classics 92123) received much acclaim. In 2001 the Egidius Consort was formed to provide instrumental backing for various programmes. In addition to performing Renaissance music, the Egidius Kwartet aims to continue a tradition in which singers are ambassadors of new music from their country. Many Dutch composers dedicated new works to the quartet. The quartet made successful tours to France, Spain, Germany and the USA and has performed at the Holland Early Music Festival, the Flanders Festival, Musica Flandrica, the Tagen der alten Musik in Innsbruck, the Ambronay Festival, the Festival des Cathédrales de Picardie in Amiens, the Festival de Musique Ancienne à l'Institut Néerlandais in Paris, the Radovljica Festival in Slovenia and the Festival of Early Music Dubrovnik, Croatia.