Diskantores has a strong interest in performance-based and -related research into medieval music. This not only to develop historically informed ‘performance tools’ for the ensemble, but also as a form of ‘experimental musicology’, enhancing knowledge about the performance practices of vocal music in the later middle ages.
For its latest program, De Vroegste Nederlandse Polyfonie, Diskantores has closely collaborated with Eliane Fankhauser (Utrecht University). This program explores the earliest surviving polyphonic works in sources from the current Netherlands, dating from ca. 1400. More information on Eliane’s research can be found here (in Dutch). This collaboration has enabled Diskantores to give first modern performances of several newly discovered and reconstructed pieces from the so-called Leiden and Utrecht fragments.
As part of Niels Berentsen’s doctoral research Diskantores has pioneered the recreation of ex tempore (‘improvised’) polyphony from the 1300-1470 era. An interview with Niels about this project can be found here (in Dutch) Besides in scholarly publications, these experiments have also been demonstrated to the public on several occasions. A registration of a lecture-performance given at the Laus Polyphoniae (Antwerp, 2017) can be seen below.
In 2023 Diskantores has become an official partner of the ongoing research project Lacunae Ciconiae at the Haute école de Musique de Genève-Neuchâtel, led by its artistic director Niels Berentsen. Diskantores will develop a programme valorising the reconstructions and editions produced in this project.