Early Music News & Reviews


A Teenage Mystic, a Revelation from God, and Bossy Parents: the Academy of Sacred Drama Revives a Lost Oratorio

A Teenage Mystic, a Revelation from God, and Bossy Parents: the Academy of Sacred Drama Revives a Lost Oratorio

Ashley Mulcahy
Biblical oratorios by Handel and Bach are cornerstones of a vast repertoire filled with forgotten treasures. New York's Academy of Sacred Drama is reviving these often-gorgeous obscurities, one show at a time. Led by violinist Jeremy Rhizor, their latest discovery is 'Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi,' with performances this week. 'The oratorios exist as literary narratives as well as stories of Biblical histories and lessons.'
Showcasing The Fooles from EMA's Boston Summit

Showcasing The Fooles from EMA’s Boston Summit

Alyssa Campbell
You can now watch EMA's extraordinary 2023 Emerging Artists Showcase, with three headliners. To introduce their performance, a member of The Fooles here offers insights into new postures and techniques required of this 17th-c. repertoire. And period-instrument ensembles everywhere should take note of their brilliant tuning regimen, where tuning fickle instruments isn't a disruption but an engaging part of the show.
Revisit the EMA Awards 2023 for Outstanding Work in Early Music

Revisit the EMA Awards 2023 for Outstanding Work in Early Music

Anne E. Johnson
Revisit the the 2023 EMA Awards ceremony from the Summit in Boston, recognizing three musicians for their achievements: Lindsey Macchiarella, Arthur Haas, and Ruben Valenzuela and his Bach Collegium San Diego.
A Handelian Feast in Portland

A Handelian Feast in Portland

James Bash
Like a jukebox musical, a pasticcio opera takes hit tunes from an artist or era and stitches them together with a bespoke plot. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Portland Baroque Orchestra is set to perform 'Dinner with Handel,' a pasticcio where the great composer is caught in a surprise dinner party—revealing the man and his complicated relationships.

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Shakespeare's Music, Where the Lying is Easy

Shakespeare’s Music, Where the Lying is Easy

Anne E. Johnson
Seven Times Salt's latest recording revisits music of Shakespeare's time. Some of the tunes are linked to specific plays -- 'Hamlet' is a particular fascination -- while others are suggestive of a theme or a familiar plotline, from 'Romeo and Juliet' to 'The Merchant of Venice.' All of it is beautifully delivered, often in charming arrangements. And the sonic engineering makes for a vivid listening experience.
Enlightened Women and their Salons

Enlightened Women and their Salons

Paul Corneilson
Once dismissed as "fringe events," musical salons hosted by women in the 18th c. are rightly seen as an invaluable source. Rebecca Cypess' engaging new book makes connections "that might otherwise go unnoticed."
Alkemie's Medieval and Modern Companions

Alkemie’s Medieval and Modern Companions

Stephanie Manning
How do you meld 12th-century music with psychedelic synth-pop? Composer Charles Mueller created new settings of troubadour and trobairitz poetry, where boundaries are a blurry mirage in the distance. Medieval ensemble Alkemie and Freelance Nun collaborate for an impressive blend of the medieval and the modern.
Celebrating the Microtonal with Cavalieri's 'Lamentations'

Celebrating the Microtonal with Cavalieri’s ‘Lamentations’

Anne E. Johnson
Like Monteverdi, Emilio de' Cavalieri took a 'seconda pratica' approach by breaking counterpoint rules to better convey the texts. He also experimented with new styles and techniques, such as dividing a whole-step into more than two pitches. Elam Rotem and his ensemble Profeti della Quinta specialize in this sort of treacherously difficult music to sing, and they deliver Cavalieri's 'Lamentations' with exquisite precision. The effect is a little disorienting and thoroughly mesmerizing.

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Blue Heron continues its multi-year exploration of the Italian madrigal with “Tasso & Wert,” a new program featuring dramatic scenes and lyrics by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544-95) set ...
For 35 years, the Musicians of the Old Post Road ensemble has delighted in their mission of uncovering, exploring, and performing the works of historically overlooked communities and individuals. Based ...
Bruton Baroque is a new period ensemble based in Williamsburg, Virginia. The debut candlight concert opens with two complete cantatas, J.S. Bach's Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199 and ...
The Newberry Consort is delighted to announce the forthcoming release of its first full-length digital concert under Artistic Director Liza Malamut. I Sing a New Song: The Epic Journey of ...
AMERICAN CLASSICAL ORCHESTRA PERFORMS BACH’S B MINOR MASSvAT ALICE TULLY HALL WITH THE ACO CHORUS MARCH 7, 2024 Soloists are Sopranos Kristen Hahn and Nola Richardson, Countertenor Reginald Mobley, Tenor ...

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