November 2, 1999
The Clerks’ Group to Perform Renaissance
Choral Music at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on
As part of their North American debut
tour, The Clerks’ Group will come to Middlebury College to perform
at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17 in the Concert Hall of the
Center for the Arts, on Route 30. The six-member group, which
has gained critical acclaim for its recordings of Renaissance
choral music, specializes in the Flemish sacred music of Johannes
Ockeghem, a renowned composer of the late 15th century.
Before the concert, at 6:30 p.m., there will also be a pre-concert
lecture by Middlebury College Professor of Music John Milsom,
in the Concert Hall.
The Clerks’ Group, founded at Oxford
University by Edward Wickham, made its professional debut in London
in 1992. One of the ensemble’s Ockeghem recordings won Gramophone
magazine’s 1997 award for early music recordings.
Describing the quality of the musical
performances, Gramophone declared, “These are crisp, clever,
truly imaginative performances delivered with a confidence bordering
on arrogance. … Why mince words? This is superb.”
In recent years, The Clerks’ Group
has toured extensively on the continent and has recorded a program
for Belgian television. During the current tour, the ensemble
will sing music by Renaissance masters Josquin des Prez as well
as Johannes Ockeghem, and will perform in 15 American cities,
including New York and Los Angeles.
The Clerks’ Group includes Wickham
(director/baritone), as well as Rebecca Outram (soprano), William
Missin (alto), Thomas Raskin (tenor), Matthew Vine (tenor), and
Robert Macdonald (bass). The ensemble, following traditional Renaissance
performance style, sings by reading the individual parts while
gathered around a single choir book, instead of each member holding
his or her own score.
The Sunday Times of London has praised
the group’s singing, calling it “beautifully, shaped, impeccably
tuned, and miraculously well-blended in tone.”
Tickets for this performance are $9
general admission and $7 for senior citizens. For more information,
call the College box office at 802-443-6433.