The Friends of Chamber Music presents Vox Luminis on October 29 at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
Vox Luminis is a Belgian early music vocal ensemble created in 2004 by Artistic Director Lionel Meunier. The ensemble performs over 60 concerts a year, appearing on stages in Belgium, across Europe and around the world. Since its inception, the ensemble has been defined by its unique sound, appealing as much through the personality of each timbre as it does through the color and the uniformity of the voices. The size and composition of the group depends on the repertoire, with the core of soloists, mostly from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, often joined by additional performers. The repertoire is essentially Italian, English and German and spans from the 16th to the 18th century.
Recent highlights include Vox Luminis’ Lincoln Center debut with a residency at the Juilliard School in New York along with debuts at the Arsenal in Metz and at the Gyndebourne Festival Opera, at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, and at the Our Lady of Ambronay Abbey. Vox Luminis is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Concertgebouw Brugge.
Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
Gloria, SV 258 Selva morale e spirituale
Dixit Dominus II, SV 263 Selva morale e spirituale
Beatus vir, SV 268 Selva morale e spirituale
Adoramus te Christe, SV 289 Selva morale e spirituale
Crucifixus, SV 259 Selva morale e spirituale
Laetaniae della Beata Vergine, SV 204
O bone Jesu
Confitebor tibi Domine III, ‘stile alla franzese’, SV 267 Selva morale e spirituale
Magnificat I, SV 281 Selva morale e spirituale
In 1613, Claudio Monteverdi was appointed director of music (maestro di cappella) at the breathtakingly beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. This was the top position in Northern Italy for a church musician, and Monteverdi held the post until his death in 1643. As was typical for a director of music in the 1600s, Monteverdi composed most of the music performed at St. Mark’s during his time there. In 1640 and 1641, he published an anthology that included much of this music, Selva morale e spirituale (Moral and Spiritual Forest). The collection is remarkable for the various types of music it contains, including madrigals, psalm settings, hymns dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a complete setting of the Roman Catholic Mass, and individual Mass movements. With the exception of two pieces, all the music featured on Vox Luminis’s program comes from this collection. From the stark setting of the somber Crucifixus text, with its lamentful descending bass line, to the closing Magnificat, filled with joyful exuberance, the Baroque tenet of contrast is everywhere present in this celebration of music at one of Europe’s most important churches 400 years ago.
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