¡Cancionero! – Houston Chronicle Review

By CHARLES WARD — Houston Chronicle

….Brazilian-Uruguayan countertenor José Lemos sang with appealing simplicity and directness. With a smooth sound that served the music, he could twist listeners around a vocal finger with sensuous melodies or, aided by the instrumentalists, make them fidget with energy.

Playing a wide variety of flutes, recorders, strummed and bowed string instruments (the crumhorn was ailing and couldn’t be used), the Consort had great fun producing spirited, polished music for the large audience in Midtown’s First Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is slowly becoming a location for performances of liturgical and early music as part of its overall rejuvenation.

Consort members noted that the ensemble is now in its 28th year of touring, but one took a moment to congratulate Houston Early Music on its 40th anniversary (it previously was known as the Houston Harpsichord Society). Because of the group, Houston has become a key stop for touring early-music performers, he said.

More at The dark side of ¡Cancionero! | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Schütz choir to offer new early-music venue

Feb. 8, 2008, By CHARLES WARD /  Houston Chronicle

Houston’s early-music scene is getting another major boost with the founding of the Heinrich Schütz Choir of Texas.

Based at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Midtown, the new ensemble debuts on April 20 with a Vesper service featuring Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien, an hour-plus work considered the composer’s most important funeral music. Allen Hightower, director of choral activities at Sam Houston State University, will conduct. The initial concert will feature 24 singers, period instruments and other works of Schütz.

more … Schütz choir to offer new early-music venue | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Review of Fortune’s Wheel concert

Fortune’s Wheel: making music from the far past seem like it was wrriten yesterday

By CHARLES WARD, January 13, 2008

…. But the Fortune’s Wheel singers – Lydia Heather Knutson, Aaron Sheehan and Shira Kammen – perfromed as if the Medieval English style had become their primarily musical language. Their simple communication with the audience made the essentially unfamiliar music as appealing as the Three Bs. Kammen, on the harp, and Mealy, on the fiddle, added sinuous accompaniments. ….

Read the full review