Early Music at the Miller Theatre
The upcoming season at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University has some choice early music concerts. I can’t wait to hear Stile Antico, New York Polyphony, Sequentia and Le Poème Harmonique. The Bach and the Baroque series looks pretty hot too – TENET is a group that more audiences need to know and they have selected some fantastic repertoire.
Here are the details from the Miller Theatre press release:
An ensemble of a dozen unaccompanied singers, most still in their twenties and three who are sisters, Stile Antico is revitalizing Renaissance choral music. The group performs without a conductor, approaching choral works with the dynamic cohesion of a string quartet. This program focuses on the musical responses of composers faced with their own mortality, featuring swansongs and memorials by such masters as Lassus, Dufay, des Prez, and Byrd.
GIANTS OF THE FLEMISH RENAISSANCE
New York Polyphony, rising stars on the early music scene, has been likened to Anonymous 4 for their impeccable ensemble and wide-ranging programming. They perform Flemish and Tudor music for men’s voices, bringing a unique richness to selections by Ockeghem, Brumel, Dunstable, and Taverner, including excerpts from their new album, Tudor City.
SONGS FROM THE ISLAND SANCTUARY
In the 12th century, the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris was far more than a tourist mecca. It was an entire city unto itself, with a private port on the Seine and its own schools, laws, and social life. In this passionately performed, meticulously researched program, Benjamin Bagby and his acclaimed medieval ensemble Sequentia bring that bygone era to life, suffusing centuries-old music with striking immediacy.
ESPERAR, SENTIR, MORIR
Court composers in 17th century Spain and Italy often borrowed amply from street dances and folk songs, inspired by the rhythms, melodies, and improvisatory freedom of popular music. The ever-enticing Le Poème Harmonique returns to take us on a tour of this spirited music—complete with guitar and castanets. The program will feature the group’s soprano Claire Lefilliâtre, who garnered special mention after their performance last season: “Le Poème Harmonique’s five singers produced beautifully balanced sound, but the clear standout was Claire Lefilliâtre, who brought a virtuosic flair to the soaring, ambitiously ornamented soprano line.” (The New York Times)
CELEBRATING THE GENIUS OF VICTORIA
The intensely spiritual, passionate music of Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria has moved generations of listeners. The Tallis Scholars return to the series with a program celebrating the 400th anniversary of Victoria’s death, focusing on his grandest choral works, including the composer’s crowning achievement: the monumental Requiem.
Bach and the Baroque
SEEING DOUBLE: CONCERTO BY BACH AND VIVALDI
One of the most respected period instrument ensembles in the world, REBEL has been praised by The Boston Globe as “vital…dashing…with performances that lacked nothing in inwardness, charm, or brilliance.” Antonio Vivaldi’s concerti for two solo instruments inspired some of Bach’s most brilliant music. Rebel explores the fascinating connection between the two composers in a program of double concerti for strings and harpsichords.
RECLAIMING BACH FOR THE RECORDER
The delightful and entertaining Flanders Recorder Quartet has set out to right what they consider Bach’s sole shortcoming: his small output for recorder. The ensemble, whose delicate sound has been likened to Baroque organ, arranges works for keyboard and other instruments in this program, featuring Bach’s lively Italianate concerti, inventive preludes and fugues, beautifully expressive chorales, and monumental passacaglie.
BACH AND HIS PREDECESSORS
Church of St. Mary the Virgin (145 W. 46th St.)
Bach revolutionized German music, but like all great composers, he had his forbearers, such as Heinrich Schütz and Dieterich Buxtehude. The “sensational” new ensemble TENET joins forces with Spiritus Collective to perform festive German Baroque works for voice, strings, and brass, culminating in Bach’s brilliant early motet Jesu, meine Freude.
Complete details are at the Miller Theatre website
Here’s New York Polyphony singing Christopher Tye’s In Pace