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10/11 Divine Voices Series Announced

By Stephanie Normann

The Divine Voices Series celebrates the choral music tradition with three concerts at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and one in Hill Auditorium.

The Route of the New World:
From Spain to Mexico

Jordi Savall and La Capella Reial de Catalunya
with Hesperion XXI
Tembembe Ensamble Continuo
Thursday, September 30
|
8 pm
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

“The term ‘early-music superstar’ is surely an oxymoron. But in the most understated of repertory, on the most subdued of instruments, and in the most self-effacing way, Jordi Savall comes close to being one.” (The New York Times) Jordi Savall is an exceptional figure in today’s music world. For more than 30 years, he has been devoted to the rediscovery and performance of neglected musical treasures as soloist and director of three ensembles, two of which join forces with Mexico’s Tembembe Ensamble Continuo for this concert. For the past 15 years, Ensamble Continuo has explored the relationship between Mexican Baroque music and traditional Latin American instruments. This concert will trace the movement of music from Spain to the New World, bringing together ensembles from Spain and Mexico, and fusing Hispanic baroque and guitar music with contemporary jarocho and huasteco traditions.

The Tallis Scholars

Peter Phillips director
Thursday, November 4 | 8 pm
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

Widely considered “the rock stars of Renaissance vocal music” (The New York Times), The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by Peter Phillips, who remains their director nearly 30 years later. Through recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading advocates of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Named after the composer Thomas Tallis, the ensemble is widely recognized for the purity and clarity of its sound, which serves the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. For this return appearance, The Tallis Scholars juxtapose works of Renaissance England with the contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose minimalist style finds inspiration in Gregorian chant.

Sequentia

Benjamin Bagby director
Thursday, January 27 | 8 pm
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

For more than 30 years, the Ensemble Sequentia has set the standard for the performance of medieval music (from the period before 1300). After 25 years based in Cologne, Germany, the group has re-established its home in Paris, with a new program of vocal music from Notre Dame de Paris providing the impetus for this program. For centuries, Parisians and visitors to Paris have been thrilled by the imposing Cathedral of Notre Dame, whose massive towers and elegant flying buttresses dominate the Ile de la Cité. While today the area around the cathedral contains many of the trappings of a popular tourist site, in the 12th century, the cathedral of Notre Dame was situated within its own “campus” that enclosed nearly one-third of the island and housed an autonomous mini-state with its own laws and enforcement, free from the secular power wielded by the French king. Within this city within a city was the high altar, where the best young male vocalists in Europe were heard on important feast days, where the most innovative musical minds gave expression to new ideas in thrilling sonic structures that echoed the dynamic new architecture taking shape around them. This program draws from medieval vocal music from Paris in the 13th century.

Bach Collegium Japan

Masaaki Suzuki conductor
Thursday, March 24 | 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

Founded in 1990 by Masaaki Suzuki with the aim of introducing Japanese audiences to period instrument performance of great works of the Baroque period, the Bach Collegium Japan comprises both orchestra and chorus. The group has developed a formidable reputation through its recordings of J.S. Bach’s church cantatas, and returns to Ann Arbor after its 2003 St. Matthew Passion in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Widely regarded as one of the supreme achievements in classical music, the Mass in b minor was composed over a period of 25 years and assembled in its present form in 1749, the year before Bach died.

Program
J.S. Bach
: Mass in b minor

Divine Voices packages (all four concerts) are $132 for general admission tickets or $172 for reserved tickets.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the 10/11 Divine Voices series.  Have you been to a previous performance by any of these ensembles? Each of them has performed in Ann Arbor in the past.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie is the Marketing Manager at UMS and has been with the organization for four seasons. She is also a member of the UMS Choral Union.

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