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Parco Naturale della Maremma





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Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi, in the Chiesa San Francesco in Asciano [1]


2017         2018         2019         2020


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Music festival Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi | 2021

After silence that which comes nearest to expressing
the inexpressible is music.


Aldous Huxley

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. The festival hosts a cherishable series of events and concerts that respond to the history and spirit of these corroded hills south of Siena and the ancient churches and abbeys chosen for their particular but suitable acoustics.

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’ (…).

Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi 2020: from Sunday 25 July until Friday 30 July 2021

The program for 2021 looks as promising as always, with an original and varied programme, with morning- , afternoon and evening concerts and with music from the Renaissance to the 20th century.
The festival opens with a lively party in Asciano. The festival starts on Sunday, July 25 with an afternoon concert in an Italian atmosphere by the lute player Michele Passotti and his ensemble. Eight Italian top musicians bring you a prelude to get you in the right mood.
In the late afternoon, the Poggibonsi fanfare gets the Festival going followed by a festive ceremony on this edition of the Festival.
More information about the opening night with concerts and buffet will be provided early Juli. Follow this on the festival's website.

The festival is traditionally concluded with Collegium Vocale Gent conducted by Philippe Herreweghe and the heavenly "Israëlis Brünnlein" by Johann Hermann Schein.

The Covid-19 crisis has made it impossible to deliver a normal program. You can read the practical info here.

All concerts take place in the San Francesco church and on Piazza del Grano in Asciano.

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Bar Caffè GASTON dei Fratelli Manieri |

Read the full program here on the website of the Music Festival Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi.
You can also order tickets or a subscription. The sale of single tickets starts on June 1st.

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 authenticity 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.'[2]

Collegium Vocale Ghent


Israelis Brünnlein. Johann Hermann Schein (1586 - 1630), Ensemble Vocal Européen, Philippe Herreweghe



The soloists of Collegium Vocale Gent conclude the 2021 festival on Friday evening, July 30 at the Chiesa San Francesco in Asciano with Israëlis Brünnlein [selected motets] by Johann Hermann Schein, conducted by Collegium Vocale Gent, Soloists & Instrumental ensemble and Philippe Herreweghe.

Before each evening concert, a free drink is offered at the entrance of the Chiesa San Francesco. After each evening concert you can subscribe to a dinner. More details will follow.

Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi is an organization of Collegium Vocale Gent.


Places | The Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi music Festival | Ingrandire mappa



Program 2019 | From Sunday 28 July until Friday 2 August

Conducting artists included on the opening night Ensemble Masques, soprano Eleanor Lyons and pianist Stanislav Solovev, the ensemble Mala Punica led by Pedro Memelsdorff and Philippe Thuriot as a closing.
Furthermore a cherihasble series of events and concerts by performing artists such as pianist Nelson Goerner, cellist Andreas Brantelid and lead singer Christoph Prégardien. Members of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam played a chamber music concert on Monday and Friday, respectively. The Edding Quartet played an intimate late-night concert on Wednesday evening, and accordionist Philippe Thuriot ended the day with a free improvisation concert on the outdoor stage at Bar Hervé on Monday and Thursday evening.

The soloists of Collegium Vocale Gent conclude the festival on Friday evening, August 2 at the Monasterio Sant'Anna in Camprena with the Psalms Davids by Heinrich Schütz.

Program 2018 | From Sunday July 29 th till Friday August 3th

Conducting artists included 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.
There was an exclusive concert with Tiburtina in the famous Abbazia Sant'Antimo.
Another special event was 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 beautiful setting of the Sant’ Anna in Camprena monastery. Look for the beautiful frescos by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma) in its Refectory

Enjoy the 2018 edition through the wonderfull pictures by Frédéric Bourda. 

The edition of 2017 | 06 - 11 AUG 2017

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.


One of Tuscany's best kept secrets is the beautiful valley sheltering this recently renovated 18th century farm house, in the Valle d’Ombrone.


Breathtaking view on Maremma hills and the Valle d'Ombrone from #poderesantapia.

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.


Casa vacanze in Toscana

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.

Turismo in Toscana | Case vacanze | Podere Santa Pia




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Album Crete Senesi    



Monastero di Sant'Anna in Camprena, cortile
Paolo Monti - Servizio fotografico (Asciano, 1965) - BEIC 6328809   Crete Senesi Calanchi

Album Monastero di Sant'Anna in Camprena


Album Monastero di Monte Oliveto Maggiore


  Biancane nelle Crete Senesi vicino a Monte Oliveto Maggiore
Monte Oliveto 381   Monte Oliveto 310  
Monte oliveto maggiore, chiesa, ext. 05

Monte Oliveto Maggiore


  Monte Oliveto Maggiore  
Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Campanile
Collegiata di Sant'Agata Asciano   Collegiata di Sant'Agata (Asciano), int. 01   Chiesa San Francesco, Ascano

Abside della Collegiata di Sant'Agata (Asciano)


  Interiore della Collegiata di Sant'Agata (Asciano)  

Chiesa San Francesco, Ascano


Pieve Santo Stefano a Cennano 13     Chiesa di San Francesco (Asciano) interno

Castelmuzio, Pieve Santo Stefano a Cennano


Fondazione Bertarell Sasso d'Ombrone, Cinigiano
  Interno della Chiesa San Francesco, Ascano


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.


Collegium Vocale Crete Senesi |

Foto Impresion by Michiel Hendryckx


[1] Photo by Michiel Hendryckx, released in the Public domain.
[2] But what I am searching for is not "authenticity" in the way this term is usually understood. We cannot hear Bach's cantatas as the congregation in Leipzig heard them because we are very different people, just as we cannot hear Bruckner's music as he heard it. But what we can hear, or can help to communicate as performers, is an authenticity in the sense of allowing the music to be true to itself.
[Source: Classical music | There is no compromise with Bruckner]