Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakepeare’s death in 1616, The Alamire Consort celebrates the legacy of his work with a concert “The Music of Tudor England at the Time of Shakespeare” on Sunday, April 24 at 3PM at The Dance Hall in Kittery.
The Alamire Consort is a mixed ensemble of voices, viols, harp and Renaissance wind instruments, which explores the interactions of vocal and instrumental music of the 16th century. Together with Capella Alamire, the Consort has released a recording of music by Pierrequin de Thérache on the Centaur label in 2013, and has another one underway currently, music by Jean Mouton and Noel Bauldeweyn. The Consort was formed from the combination of two early music groups: Capella Alamire, a Renaissance ensemble specialized in Franco-flemish polyphony that began in Cambridge in 1984, and the Hampshire Consort of the University of New Hampshire.
For this concert, they are exploring music of Shakespeare's England, including a number of pieces referred to in Shakespeare's plays. The ensemble includes Robert Stibler, cornetto and recorder, Mindy McMahon, voice and harp, Paul Merrill, sackbut, recorder and harpsichord, and Emily and Peter Urquhart, bass and tenor viols. Also joining them is well-known soprano Sharon Baker, making up a “broken consort” of six performers.
The name Alamire derives from a solmization term for the pitch A, sung as la, mi, or re; it was also the pseudonym of a Flemish music scribe employed by the Habsburg court at the beginning of the 16th century in the region of present-day Belgium and northern France, an area that produced many of the greatest composers and singers of the time. Capella Alamire has released seven CD recordings to date, through Titanic Records (Motets by Busnoys, Josquin and Gombert, 1992), Dorian Discovery (The Early Josquin, 1995, and Music of the Modes: Three Masses by Johannes Ockeghem, 1997), Naxos (Music of Nicolas Gombert, 2007), and Centaur Recordings (Music by Pierrequin de Thérache, 2013).
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