Listening To Pictures – Art and Music in the Early Renaissance

Athelstaneford Church, Athelstaneford

Sat 17 Sept 7.30pm (pre-concert talk 6.30pm)

Duration: Concert 1 hour 45 mins approx

With projections of contemporary paintings by artists including Fra Angelico, della Robbia and Crivelli

Half price concessions for students in full time education


‘Listening to Pictures’ pairs the magnificent paintings of Gentile da Fabriano, Fra Angelico, Luca della Robbia, Carlo Crivelli, Zanobi Strozzi, Mercantonio Raimondi and others with glorious music by composers such as John Dunstaple, Guillaume Dufay, Heinrich Isaac, Josquin Desprez, Antoine Brumel, and Adrian Willaert. This multimedia production vividly reveals how Renaissance art is full of sound – angels sing out from altarpieces, ancient gods and goddesses compete in musical contests, and music provides an essential backdrop to sensuous, amorous encounters.

The Orlando Consort are internationally renowned for their performances of mediaeval and Renaissance vocal music. In the first of their two performances this year they return to the juxtaposition of music with the visual.

Pre-Concert Talk 6.30pm
by Professor Tim Shepherd
Project advisor & author of Music in the Art of Renaissance Italy (2019) & Editor of the Routledge Companion to Music & Visual Culture (2013)

A colour brochure with details and illustrations of the project will be available to take away.

The work of the Consort is … remarkable for scholarship and imagination … and the skill and communicative immediacy it brings to the task of performance.

The Boston Globe

Athelstaneford Parish Church

The name of the village of Athelstaneford is steeped in the most ancient history of Scotland. It is where the original saltire - the white diagonal cross on a sky-blue background – is said to have been first adopted. Legend has it that, on the eve of a battle between Picts and Scots, led by Angus Mac Fergus, High King of Alba, and Angles and Saxons led by Athelstan in 832AD, Saint Andrew, who was crucified on a diagonal cross, came to the Pictish king in a vision and promised him victory. The next morning the Picts saw a white cross formed by clouds in the sky. They won the battle and attributed their victory to Saint Andrew, adopting his form of the cross as their flag, and naming him as their patron saint.  Athelstan was said to have been killed at a nearby river crossing, hence the name Athelstaneford. The identities of the protagonists are disputed but the legend has certainly secured the village’s place in Scotland's history.

The village as we now see it was planned on its high ridge in the 18th century by Sir David Kinloch of the nearby Gilmerton estate, replacing the ancient settlement on lower ground. The original church of Athelstaneford was built in 1176 by Ada de Warenne, wife of Prince Henry of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon and son of King David I. This continued to be the parish church until 1780 when the new church was erected.  It has been little altered since then and it has its own memorial to the bloody history of the area in the gravestone on the western wall to Adam Skirving (1719-1803) author of the popular Jacobite song ‘Hey, Johnny Cope’. It commemorates another nearby battle – the defeat of the Hanoverian Army under Sir John Cope by Jacobite forces at Prestonpans on 21 September 1745. Most Scots know the song, with its ironic refrain: Hey! Johnnie Cope are ye waukin’ yet? Or are your drums a-beatin’ yet?

Athelstaneford Parish Church


Athelstaneford Parish Church
EH39 5BE

Getting there by bus

Eve Coaches 121 stops outside church

Getting there by train

Drem is the closest station, approximately 15 minutes by bike, ten minutes by car

Getting there by car

The church is on the village main road (B1343) reached from, the B1437, which is off the A1



Free on-street car parking. We can cone off two spaces for Blue Badge holders. Email us at [email protected] to book a space, subject to availability.


Tarmac path to church

Induction Loop:

Available, including accessible toilet

Wheelchair Access:

Accessible from side entrance

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