MAILED: Oct. 10, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- The Orlando Consort will present a program of early music titled "The English Countenance" on Thursday, Nov. 6, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Artists Series performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall, Fine Arts Center.
Formed in 1988 by the Early Music Centre of Great Britain, the Orlando Consort has rapidly achieved a reputation as one of the most expert and consistently challenging groups performing sacred and secular choral music from the years 1050 to 1500. Experts in the field of early music, the four members of the Orlando Consort work with leading academics on music that has often never been performed in modern times -- setting new standards of performance for an increasingly popular repertoire.
The Orlando Consort made its North American debut in June, with two concerts headlining the 1997 Boston Music Festival. "They sing with spirit and danger," wrote Boston Globe music critic Richard Dyer, who praised their performances as "profound exercises of the imagination... This music was never meant to be performed by four men in sportive vests to a concert audience that applauded every selection; it was not music intended for 'performance' at all -- it was meant to embody, express, and confirm religious emotion.
"The work of the Orlando Consort is equally remarkable for scholarship and imagination working on the past, and the skill and communicative immediacy it brings to the task of performance, which lies in the present," Dyer wrote.
The Consort has appeared in sell-out concerts at the prestigious Utrecht Early Music Festival in Holland, the London Early Music Festival, and other festivals in Ireland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Austria. Last season they performed in two of London's most prestigious venues, Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room, in concerts supported by the Arts Council of Great Britain.
"The calibre of the singing and the lucidity of the spoken introductions made this an enthralling evening," wrote the London Evening Standard.
Regularly heard on BBC Radio 3, the Orlando Consort won the coveted Gramophone Magazine Award for Best Early Music Recording of 1996 with its Metronome recording "The Music of John Dunstaple." The group now records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv, which "wants to make the group the male Anonymous 4" (Boston Globe). The Consort's third disc on the Archiv label, featuring songs by Machaut, is scheduled for release in spring 1998.
The Orlando Consort was selected to replace the Kuijken Trio, which canceled its Midwest tour, on UW-Eau Claire's performing arts series. Tickets for the Kuijken Trio concert will be honored at the Orlando Consort performance; ticket prices are the same. Admission is $15 for the general public; $13 for those age 62 and over, and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $5 for those age 17 and under, and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, and will be sold at the door.
The Artists Series is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate. The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 10, 1997