Musica Ficta / Ensemble Fontegara: "Music for His Catholic Majesty"
The voices of Musica Ficta, founded in 1992 by conductor Raúl Mallavibarrena, and its instrumental component, Ensemble Fontegara, are among the most distinguished of Spanish groups performing early music. They have fifteen recordings to their credit, including an award-winning performance of Victoria’s Officium Defunctorum. Their program for eight voices and four instrumentalists will feature sacred works dedicated to the Catholic kings of Spain, Felipe II and III, and includes the music of Morales, Guerrero, Lobo, Victoria, and Escobedo.
Musica Ficta mix voices and instruments with variety and confidence, and their light tone matches the spirit of the music... – Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone.
[They] are all top quality, sensitive to the music and texts... – C. Moore, American Record Guide
Musica Ficta voices this profound music with earthy intensity. – Billboard
Concerto Köln: "Concertare”
An evening of baroque concertos for diverse instruments, by composers from Handel through Telemann to Vivaldi, will be presented by Concerto Köln when they return to San Diego this year. Founded in 1985, and usually performing without a conductor, each member of Concerto Köln participates in shaping the character of the performance. This legendary chamber orchestra has over 50 recordings to its credit, many of them award-winners. Be sure to join us in the superbly live acoustics of the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall for this highlight of the season.
The playing of Concerto Köln is first class. – Gramophone
Concerto Köln has a distinctive timbre and never-flagging excitement... – International Record Review
This international-caliber ensemble played with inspiration and precision... – Jerusalem Post
El Mundo: "Buon Natale y Felices Fiestas"
Featuring sopranos Celine Ricci and Nell Snaidas, along with bass Paul Shipper, and instrumentalists, El Mundo recreates the distinctive Latin sound of the old and new worlds. The Grammy-nominated group, led by Richard Savino, will perform a combined Italian, Spanish, and Latin American holiday program that consists of works that are both reverent as well as festive, including pieces by Legrenzi, Scarlatti, Kapsberger, Monteverdi, Castellanos, Durón, Ceruti, and Cozzolani, and an 18th-century trio sonata version of Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.
El Mundo as an ensemble is crisp and clean in performance, with tempos that keep the music alive and rhythmically active. – Fanfare
...every second of this concert was pure joy. – David Gregson, www.sandiego.com
The performances blend Baroque know-how and discipline with a spirit of fun, and also with respect for the music’s diverse roots. – Robert Cummings, classical.net
Cançionèr presents music for a fascinating and little-understood phenomenon: during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, certain areas experienced brief outbreaks of manic, “contagious” dancing that often afflicted dozens, or even hundreds. Ordinary people would succumb to a compulsion to dance furiously for days or weeks on end, some to their deaths. Some feared that they had been cursed, and perhaps gave in to mass hysteria. Music was offered for the dancers in the hope that it would appease Divine wrath. Instrumental and vocal dance music, flagellant songs, penitential prayers, tarantellas, and more! Members of Cançionèr include San Diego favorites Tom Zajac and Shira Kammen.
Exquisite… – Early Music America
The musicians are experts at what they do, and their enjoyment comes across loud and clear... Highly recommended – Fanfare
Another talented ensemble from the San Francisco Bay Area, Cançonièr delights the ear with medieval music expertly [played]. – Coreopsis: A Journal of Myth and Theatre
Christophe Rousset: "Exoticism on the Harpsichord"
18th century impressions of Egyptians, the Chinese, Incas, savages, and other archetypes will be brought to life by the stellar harpsichordist Christophe Rousset in an exotic journey of pieces by François Couperin and Jean- Phillippe Rameau at The Auditorium at TSRI. Christophe Rousset has many critically acclaimed recordings on the Decca, L’Oiseau-Lyre, EMI-Virgin, and other labels both as harpsichordist and as conductor of Les Talens Lyriques, the ensemble he founded in 1991. Don’t miss the San Diego debut of one of the greatest harpsichordists in the repertoire that made him famous worldwide.
Rousset’s depth of expressivity and rhythmic confidence are as impressive as the brilliance of his articulation… – The Independent
His phrasing is graceful and clearly articulated, the inflexions gently spoken and the rhythmic pulse all that one could wish for… – Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone
Mr. Rousset’s virtuosity is everywhere a delight. – James Oestreich, New York Times
Trio Sonnerie: "Running the Gamut: Scales, Sonatas, and a Tickle"
Monica Huggett returns to San Diego with Trio Sonnerie in a program exploring the bane of the budding young musician’s life: the scale. But for Marin Marais, the French baroque viola da gamba virtuoso who was also composer to the Sun King, the scale was the inspiration for an opera! An opera without words, no less, but passing “through harmonious songs and melodious tones...” Marais’ extraordinary piece will be complemented by the works of his contemporaries, including Bach, presented through a work on each step of the scale. Music by Marais, Bach, Schop, Hume, Matteis, Cima, and Rebel.
Monica Huggett plays as to the manor born... – Gramophone
...spectacular, exuberant, colourful and downright ravishing... – International Record Review
Trio Sonnerie’s extremely fluent performances are distinguished by taste and elegance throughout. – BBC Music Magazine