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Download: Armonia Celeste Explores Love’s Perils
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Udite Amanti – Lovers Beware!
7:30PM, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church
6221 Main Street
A pre-concert talk with ensemble members begins at 6:45 p.m.
This up-and-coming group specializes in rarely heard music from the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque. In mid-17th-century Rome, the Barberini family was a great supporter of vocal chamber music. The program highlights Roman composers of the period, including Rossi, Carissimi and Cesti. To complete the historical picture, a copy of the famous Barberini harp, made for this prestigious family in 1635, will be played in this concert.
Armonia Celeste will perform a program titled “Udite Amanti – Lovers Beware!” on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 as part of Houston Early Music’s Emerging Artists Series. The pre-Valentine’s Day concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church and feature rarely heard music from the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque eras.
The Barberini court flourished during the first half of the 17th century, when Maffeo Barberini sat on the papal throne as Pope Urban VIII. Great patrons of the arts in Rome, the Barberinis gathered around them some of the finest composers of their day, including Luigi Rossi, Giacomo Carissimi and Pietro Marc’Antonio Cesti.
Many of the works on the program were written for soprano trio, a musical grouping that first appeared in late-16th-century Italy and became especially popular at the Barberini court.
This configuration of musicians is particularly appropriate for Armonia Celeste, a relatively new ensemble with three female singers at its core. The group, which first came together in 2008, consists of singers Rebecca Beasley, Dianna Grabowski and Sarah Griffiths, accompanied by Lyle Nordstrom on lute, theorbo and Baroque guitar, along with Paula Fagerberg, who plays a modern copy of the famous Barberini triple harp from 1635.
On the diverse program are vocal trios, duets and solos, as well as instrumental works, mostly focusing on the dangers of love, though some of the music celebrates love’s pleasures.
Armonia Celeste was one of five finalists in the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos Recording Competition, in which more than 100 new and emerging early music groups vied for the chance to record a CD for the Naxos label. The group plans to release its debut album in 2013.