Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi, in the Chiesa San Francesco in Asciano, rehearsal 2017 
Music festival Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi | 2018
Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi is an annual music festival under the artistic direction of Philippe Herreweghe in the beautiful region of the Crete Senesi in Tuscany.
In 1970, Philippe Herreweghe founded the Ghent choir Collegium Vocale Gent. They were one of the first ensembles to use new ideas about baroque performance practice in vocal music. Authenticity is the core concept on which Collegium Vocale measures the value of music.
About this historical execution practice, Bert Schreurs, general director of the company, writes
What we can do is to try to rid musical tradition of the ‘noise’ that inevitably arises in the transfer from one generation of musicians to the next, with utmost care and precision. This basic attitude is of essential importance and is embedded in the concept of authenticity. Accordingly, authenticity in its original sense of ‘made with one’s own hands’ (…).
Edding Quartet. Release video by Benjamin Travade on our Beethoven op.130 recording,
filmed in the Chiesa San Francesco in Asciano
Stefan Hertmans wrote very beautifully about this question for the occasion of Philippe Herreweghe’s 70th birthday in his text Omzichtige Radicaliteit (Prudent Radicalness’):
‘what is authentic is the attention to detail in the score, to understand what is on the page – not so much all the vague idealistic notions about what the intention can be, but what is concretely expected of the performer from measure to measure. Of course, this also assumes context – cultural context, historical context, an understanding of the framework in which a given musical idea developed – but its core remains an ascetic interest in the concrete, or even more so: an interest that refuses to appropriate the historicizing intentions of the music …. It assumes subservience and sovereignty in one.'
Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent present a highly accomplished version of one of the masterpieces of seventeenth-century sacred music, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine [repetition in the Chiesa di San Francesco, Asciano, 2017]
Conducting artists include Paul Lewis, Philippe Thuriot, Tiburtina Ensemble, Huelgas Ensemble, Edding Quartet & Northernlight, Thomas Zehetmaier and Ruth Killius, Reinbert de Leeuw and Barbara Hannigan, Soloists Royal Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam and Collegium Vocale Gent.
A season ticket gives you an exclusive concert: the concert with Tiburtina in the famous Abbazia Sant'Antimo.
Another special event will be Un giro de begl’occhi, the performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s Madrigals from Book I-VIII by Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe in the marvelous setting of the Sant’Anna in Camprena monastery. Look for the beautiful frescos by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma) in its Refectory.
Before each evening concert, a free drink is offered in the square at the entrance of each concert venue. After each evening concert you can subscribe to a dinner.
2017 was a special year: the year in which artistic director Philippe Herreweghe celebrated his 70th birthday and in which the world was celebrating the Monteverdi-year (Claudio Monteverdi was born 450 years ago).
For the first time, there was also a masterclass under the inspirational leadership of Philippe Herreweghe and Stefan Hertmans. Three universities, VUB, ULB, UGent and Tomorrow's Legacy program at EY Belgium combined their forces and brought together some of their students to immerse themselves in a culture bath in Asciano for 6 days.
Podere Santa Pia is a beautiful stone farmhouse south of Montalcino, and only 2 km away from Castiglioncello Bandini. The main house is spacious, comfortable and offers its guests a breathtaking view over the Maremma hills. Podere Santa Pia enjoys a wonderful panoramic view of the Tuscan Maremma and has a large garden with Downey oak, cypress, rosemary, laurel and many other plants that are typical of the Mediterranean. Half of the garden is covered with macchia Mediterranea: wild, untamed and completely natural vegetation.
Podere Santa Pia is the ideal place to pass a very inspiring holiday in contemplation of nature.
Podere Santa Pia provides an authentic experience of living the ‘Italian dream’: the stunning location, the artistic house create an ambiance that captures the true spirit of being a guest in Tuscany.
Biancane nelle Crete Senesi vicino a Monte Oliveto Maggiore
Monte Oliveto Maggiore
Monte Oliveto Maggiore
Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Campanile
Abside della Collegiata di Sant'Agata (Asciano)
Interiore della Collegiata di Sant'Agata (Asciano)
Chiesa San Francesco, Ascano
Castelmuzio, Pieve Santo Stefano a Cennano
Fondazione Bertarell Sasso d'Ombrone, Cinigiano
Podere Santa Pia is an artistic property, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the splendor of the Maremma hills of southern Tuscany. This formal cloister offers the quiet tranquility of a private retreat, with numerous attractions, beautiful nature reserves and unspoilt beautiful beaches within easy reach.
 Photo filmstill Monteverdi, Vespro della Beata Vergine by Philippe Herreweghe & Collegium Vocale Gent, Outhere