Sunday, February 4, 2007

Baltimore Consort charms

Tom Strini in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews last night's performance at the Episcopal All Saints Cathedral. That must have been him in the pew ahead of ours taking notes on his program. As he notes, early music in concert is entertainment.
They were often witty - the odd little scoops in the wind instruments, for example, made the audience laugh out loud. Some might question the historical authenticity of such tricks, but they were amusing, and there is every reason to assume that musicians goofed around to get a laugh 400 years ago, just as pop musicians do now.

Although the countertenor voice has been associated with the early music movement since the beginning of the last century, it's not particularly authentic in this music. But never mind; the justification here lies in Lemos' clarity, accuracy and interpretive subtly. He approached these songs not so much as a scholar-performer, but as a good singer.

We heard some of the numbers featuring countertenor Jose Lemos when the Consort played in Madison last summer. He'll be featured on their next CD.

We wonder what their former vocalist Custer LaRue has been doing since her last stand with them.

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