Monday, September 30, 2013

Concert: O Maria Virgo - Kantika

I'm afraid I can't remember if I mentioned it here or not: I joined a Parisian vocal ensemble for medieval music - Kantika, directed by my friend and colleague, Kristin Hoefener. We gave a concert in Speyer on Friday night. It was part of the concert series "Via Mediaeval - Music and Spaces of the Middle Ages", which in turn is run by Stefan Morent, with whom I worked extensively about 7 or 8 years ago.

Part of the Speyer Cathedral crypt
Our program in honor of the Virgin Mary included music in 2 or 3 parts from the Codex Las Huelgas, one of the most important manuscripts of Spanish sacred music, and Gregorian Chant done in the Spanish style. It was arranged as a Mass might have been sung around the 1300. As encores 2 of our singers, Carlotta Buiatti and Sandra Bessis, who are both well-versed in arabic singing styles sang a Sephardic Lullaby and then we sang a 3 part piece by John Dunstable, which is from the new program we're preparing.

The crypt

Where we sang most of the concert
We sang in the crypt of the Speyerer Dom (Cathedral), which is enormous and the acoustics are lovely for medieval music. The reverb disappeared a bit when the crypt was filled with people but was still quite wonderful. We used the space a bit, processing in with the first piece, doing an antiphonal Gloria from opposite sides of the crypt and Marianne and I sang the Alleluia from the back.

SWR Radio recorded the program but we don't know when they'll air it. I'll post it when it goes on the air.

A nice little bonus doing this concert was seeing Stefan Morent again (he attended the concert). Unfortunately, he is no longer doing women's ensemble stuff, but sticking to men's ensembles so that he can sing along. It was also nice seeing another of the presenters (whose name I regret not having asked after, since I've long since forgotten it and now I can't find it online), who took care of Elysium when we sang in the same festival when it was called "Vokalmusik entlang der Romanischen Strasse" ("Vocal music along the Romanesque Road"). Also, Christoph Prégardien, Tenor, sang a song in the Cathedral Thursday night and stayed at the same hotel as Kantika. We saw him at breakfast on Friday and had a nice conversation. I attended a course he gave on German Lieder way back when (1996?) in Georgsmarienhütte, Germany during the "Tage Alter Musik"(Osnabrück). He pretended to remember me. Very sweet.

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