Canto: Chance Favors the Prepared Voice

Reflections from a whirlwind summer of singing and travel: “It’s hard to be an ’emerging artist.’ Even though I’m working more each season, my calendar is a patchwork of jobs I’m constantly worrying over. The upshot of being young and ambitious is that my schedule is more flexible than established artists…so when last-minute opportunities come up, I can often say yes. Still, it’s hard to know what work to accept.”

Handel’s ‘Israel in Egypt’ Rework’d

Jeannette Sorrell’s adaptation of Handel’s popular ‘Israel in Egypt’ cuts, re-orders, restores, and replaces music and text throughout the oratorio. But Handel didn’t leave us with a ‘definitive’ edition, and Sorrell’s version is so artistically logical that someone new to the work might not know anything is missing. Apollo’s Fire and the outstanding vocal and instrumental soloists make a compelling case.

Music Before 1800’s Bill Barclay and Historically Informed ‘Experience’

A Q&A with Music Before 1800’s new artistic director Bill Barclay: ‘If people are going to take a risk of coming to a concert for the first time, they need something to hold on to’… it’s ‘sadly a bit of an exclusionary pleasure — you have to know a little bit to get a lot out of it, unless there’s something that resonates and makes people understand that early musicians are arbiters of ancient insights into human performance.’

Bach Worship? It’s Complicated.

People who love Wagner operas can separate his music from his toxic beliefs. Yet J.S. Bach’s ‘superlative ability to move listeners’ and status as ‘a pinnacle of Western art’ brushes aside the composer’s harsh theology and often intolerant personal philosophy. In this collection of essays, Bach scholar Michael Marissen warns us to ‘not soften or assimilate this figure to our own preferences, no matter how much we find inspiration, solace, or transcendence in his art.’

EMA Announces 2023 Annual Award Winners

Congratulations to this year’s Annual Awards recipients selected by the EMA Board of Directors based on nominations submitted by colleagues throughout the early-music community.

The Women Who Preserved Music in Latin America

The latest essay in EMA’s ‘Early Music: the Americas’ series looks into the private notebooks of two women who preserved music of Latin American and European composers — music that in some cases is found nowhere else.

Zesty Music for High Baroque Trumpet

Trumpet soloist Josh Cohen and Ensemble Sprezzatura bring together regal flair and expressive grace with ‘Altissima,’ exploring the varied colors and dimensions of the high Baroque trumpet. The recording makes an ideal introduction to myriad trumpeting styles through mostly unfamiliar repertoire.

Early Music Rocks the Video Game Universe

Video games generate more revenue than the movie industry, and many games are set in ‘legendary times’ that cry out for an early music soundtrack. As technology improves, many games employ early music not just as background but as element of play.

Reviving Louise Farrenc’s Violin Sonatas

Billed as the first recording on period instruments, violinist Aleksandra Kwiatowska and fortepianist Andres Muskens offer strong performances of Louise Farrenc’s complete music for violin and keyboard.

Somber Music from the Plague in Venice

In the 1570s, Venice was devastated by the plague, losing a third of its population. The latest compelling album from the celebrated Concerto Palatino and cornettist Bruce Dickey explores a spiritual sound world from this time of grief and penitence.

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