Chronicle says ‘Flow My Tears’ is a reason to celebrate

Long before country-and-western songwriters discovered the joy of expressing heartache, musicians of Elizabethan England were all over it.

Chronicle article:

“All I want for Christmas is a sackbut.” ~ Sara Hessel, KMFA Music Director

A review of the Dufay Collective concert – by Sara Hessel, , music director and producer of “Ancient Voices” on Austin’s KMFA 89.5. 

…I couldn’t believe my luck when I heard that the UK-based Dufay Collective would be performing in Houston! I’ve been a fan of their spirited performances for years, and have played their excellent recordings on Ancient Voices many times. Their program of 16th- and 17th-century English music was sheer joy to listen to. Vocalist Vivien Ellis seemed to have stepped right out of one of Henry VIII’s Christmas revels with her clarion tone, excellent diction and storyteller’s sense. Especially memorable was an anonymous ballad called “To drive the cold winter away,” and the very moving “Thys endere nyghyt,” gorgeously arranged by director William Lyons. It was fascinating to watch the players switch effortlessly from one instrument to another: Mr. Lyons played flute, recorder, curtal (an ancestor of the bassoon) and bagpipes!…

Chronicle: Dufay brings music from the past to the present

Dufay brings music from the past to the present

Published 10:46 a.m., Friday, December 9, 2011

England’s Dufay Collective has been exploring Medieval and Renaissance music since 1987. In those years, they’ve released 10 recordings and have performed all over the world, from Morocco to Australia – but never before in Texas.

That will change Sunday when Houston Early Music brings the group to town to present To Drive the Cold Winter Away – Christmas Revelry in Renaissance England at Christ Church Cathedral.

Earlier this week, Dufay Collective artistic director William Lyons spoke from London about his ensemble, the program they’ll present in Houston – and his experiences in the film business.

Q:What can you say about the music you’ll be performing?


continue reading at:




La Donna Musicale gives women their due

An article by Colin Eatock in Houston Chronicle about the upcoming concert

,,,, But for La Donna Musicale’s music director, gambistLaury Gutiérrez, the music of female composers active in the baroque era has been a passion for 20 years. Her ensemble – which varies in size from about six to eight musicians, depending on the repertoire – has played more than 100 concerts in the U.S., Europe and South America. (Sunday’s concert will mark the group’s second appearance in Houston.) Continue reading

Flanders Recorder Quartet does impressive things with wood instruments (review)

from Flanders Recorder Quartet does impressive things with wood instruments – 2011-May-15 – CultureMap Houston


  Joel Luks, culturemap Houston


…  The music was sublime. Playing with virtuosic musicality, sensitivity and poise, members Bart Spanhove, Tom Beets, Joris Van Goethem and Paul Van Loey exploited the limits of the recorder, often changing instruments and role to suit the composition, even using humor where appropriate.

Continue reading

Review: Early-music concert dazzles


Oct. 4, 2010, 12:10PM

The Route to the New World: Spain to Mexico, the joint season-opening program of Da Camera and Houston Early Music, brimmed with news and dazzling entertainment. – Houston Chronicle

Music review: Red Priest entertains with unique technical wizardry

from Houston Chronicle

Music review: Red Priest entertains with unique technical wizardry


Oct. 29, 2009, 5:55PM

If any Baroque-music purists survived the Houston debut of Red Priest, Tuesday’s concert at Midtown’s Trinity Episcopal Church would have been their personal Nightmare on Main Street.

Actually, the four-member, Britain-based ensemble called the evening Nightmare in Venice and, in the spirit of Halloween, featured music composed in Stylus Phantasticus, a 17th-century style noted for its free-form, fantastical moods and unexpected musical effects

Red Priest recorders, violin, Baroque cello and harpsichord opened with a concerto by the original red priest, Italy’s Antonio Vivaldi. ForLa Notte (The Night), the players entered in black hoods and robes, one musician from the side of the church’s chancel and the rest from the church’s rear. They played the horror film-like special effects with ghoulish glee and fabulous virtuosity. Continue reading

Red Priest red hot!

From Matthew Dirst The Real Quill- Red Priest red hot!

Red Priest gave an amazing performance tonight for Houston Early Music, complete with their trademark rearrangements of famous Vivaldi concerti and Halloween-inspired shenanigans. These four players, led by recorder virtuoso Piers Adams, have been compared to the Rolling Stones (among other groups), and now I see why. They play with an enthusiasm that goes well beyond the familiar swaying and ducking of even the most physical of early music practitioners. It’s a fascinating combination of both spot-on playing with the imagination — and sheer nerve — of the best jazzers or rock musicians. Utterly fascinating, though some of the music — particularly the Corelli "Folia" at the end — came completely apart in their hands, though no one there (myself included) seemed to mind!