MIDDLEBURY, Vt.?With five voices and one harpsichord, the choral group La Venexiana plans to transport a Middlebury College audience back to the Italian Renaissance with an autumn evening performance at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24, at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The group's program will feature works by Monteverdi.
Acclaimed for numerous recordings of madrigal repertoire, La Venexiana is named after an anonymous Renaissance comedy considered a theatrical masterpiece for its use of language and insightful portrayal of society and manners of its time. In that tradition, the modern musical ensemble incorporates theatricality, subtlety of language, and an exploration of contrasts in today's culture.
The members of La Venexiana began recording as a group in 1996 and have since performed at a host of festivals and concert series around the world. The group has made concert appearances in Barcelona, Brussels, Mexico City and Tokyo. Performances in the United States have included such locations as New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. Since 1998, La Venexiana has recorded madrigals by Monteverdi, D'India, Luzzaschi, Marenzio and Venosa exclusively on the Spanish Glossa label. In 2002, the group received the Cannes Classical Award; in 2001 it took the Gramophone Award. It has also received several Diapason d'Or awards.
"In a few years, La Venexiana has conquered almost like a comet the heavens of the late 16th and early 17th century vocal musical with their exemplary recordings," wrote one German critic in 2001 in a review of a La Venexiana D'India CD.
A 2002 Gramophone magazine critique called La Venexiana's Marenzio recording "a must" and had this to say: "Accurate tuning and carefully balanced chording, backed up by exquisite phrasing, are the keys to La Venexiana's delicate interpretations of some of the most poetic music written by one of the most important Italian madrigalists before Monteverdi."
The performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series.
Reserved seating tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors. A pre-performance dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts on South Main Street (Route 30). For tickets, dinner reservations or information, contact the College Box Office at 802-443-6433, or visit online at www.middlebury.edu/arts/.
-- end --