Photo courtesy of Jane Murray
The Case Western Reserve University Department of Music continues the 21st season of Chapel, Court & Countryside: Early Music at Harkness on Sunday, January 28, at 3 p.m., at Case's Harkness Chapel, 11200 Bellflower Rd., with a concert by the renowned British vocal group, The Hilliard Ensemble. "Fortuna Desperata," features madrigals and songs from Renaissance Italy and England—and marks the 25th anniversary of the Hilliards' Cleveland début.
Founded in 1974, the male vocal chamber ensemble The Hilliard Ensemble has set the gold standard for a cappella singing.
The group's distinctive style and highly developed musicianship engage the listener as much in medieval and renaissance repertoire as in works specially written for them by living composers for the hundreds of concerts they perform annually. Its substantial following in Europe, particularly in Mediterranean and central European countries, is augmented by regular visits to Japan, United States and Canada. In addition to the U.S., their 2006-07 tour includes performances in Vancouver, British Columbia; Bellingham Wash,; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Pittsburgh; and Cleveland.
Among the most expressive of all vocal music, madrigal musicians like The Hilliard Ensemble give the highest expression to human emotion: from the humorous to the heart-wrenching through the union of poetry and harmonies.
"Oftentimes composers paint the text with musical expression, transforming words like running, solo or pain directly into musical language," said Beverly Simmons, founder/manager of the Chapel, Court & Countryside series. Originating in 16th-century Italy, the madrigal was equally successful in England.
To balance the program, The Hilliard Ensemble includes works in French and Latin, as well. Among the composers represented are William Cornysh, Thomas Weelkes, Cipriano de Rore and anonymous works from Henry VIII's Songbook.
The concert is in the recital hall in Harkness Chapel. Following the concert, the artists will have an informal question and answer session with the audience to better acquaint the public with the artists and repertoire.
Tickets are $27 for the general public; $23 for seniors, Case faculty/staff, and members of early music societies; $10 for non-Case/CIM/CSA students; and free for Case/CIM/CSA students. Group discounts are also available. Tickets can be purchased through the Case Music Department or at the door. Harkness Chapel is wheelchair-accessible.
Sunday, January 28, 2007, at 3:00 pm
The Hilliard Ensemble (London)—return engagement
"Fortuna desperata: English & Italian Songs & Madrigals"
Harkness Chapel, 11200 Bellflower Road, on the Case campus. Informal Q&A Session with the artists, following the concert
Called "the Rolls-Royce of vocal ensembles," The Hilliard Ensemble brings a fine virtuosity to the great works of the Medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary periods. Since winning Cleveland's audiences in 1981, they have toured all over the world and won international accolades for their many recordings. With the precision and virtuosity of the finest string quartets, their a cappella singing is uplifting. David James, countertenor; Rogers Covey-Crump & Steven Harrold, tenors; Gordon Jones, baritone.
"Their performance was dazzling. The Hilliards managed flawless musicianship from the minute they stepped on the stage to the minute they left. ... They were perfect."
— The Emory Wheel (Atlanta)
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