In the fifteenth century the richly harmonized polyphony that emerged from the pens of English composers was known in France as the Contenance Angloise, or ‘the English manner’. Via its powerful influence on the Burgundian court of Philip the Good, the English style quickly spread far and wide to become a thoroughly European mode of musical being. English music that is proudly European? Pace the Brexiteers, ’twas actually ever thus! As tonight’s programme of English music gorgeously exemplifies, music knows no boundaries and eschews isolationism. Taking in some of the loveliest English music from Purcell and Gibbons to Elgar and Britten, this evening’s concert celebrates the sounds of the ‘Fairest Isle’.
Purcell Overture in G minor Z 722
Purcell Sweeter than roses
Britten ‘I know a bank’ from A Midsummer Night’s Dream Op. 64
Edward Elgar Serenade for Strings in E minor Op. 20
John Tavener Mother of God, Here I Stand
Orlando Gibbons Drop, Drop, Slow Tears
Purcell Hear My Prayer, O Lord Z 15
Improvisations on Henry Purcell A New Ground in E Minor Z Y682
Bridge Autumn H.24, Music When Soft Voices Die H.31, The Bee H 110
Britten Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge
Mezzosoprano Luciana Mancini was born in Sweden, but has Chilean roots. She received her bachelor degree in Classical Singing and Early Music Performance Practice from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in Holland, where she subsequently joined the Opera Studio. In 2009 she received her Master’s degree, writing a thesis on Italian monodies of the 1600s. Luciana åhas sung under conductors including René Jacobs, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Enrico Onofri, Pablo Heras-Casado, Neeme Järvi and Juanjo Mena; she has also collaborated with numerous ensembles, notably L’Arpeggiata, La Fenice, Lautten Compagney, Divino Sospiro, Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Ensemble Matthäus, and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, singing at venues including the Staatsoper Berlin, Theater an der Wien, Drottningholm Palace Theatre, Carnegie Hall, the Opera Comique and the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth. Luciana has worked with stage directors such as Benjamin Lazar, Sigrid T’Hooft, Pablo Maritano, Achim Freyer, and with the choreographer Sasha Waltz.
Christoph Sommer, born in Lutherstadt Wittenberg (Germany), received his first musical education on the piano and the guitar. His great interest in Early Music soon awoke his fascination towards lute instruments and their repertoire. In 2012 he graduated at the "Koninklijk Conservatorium" in Den Haag with the masters degree of Early Music. During his studies with his teachers Nigel North, Mike Fentross, Joachim Held, Xavier Diaz-Latorre and Monica Pustilnik, he focused on the historical performance of renaissance- and baroque music on the archlute, renaissance lute, theorbo and the baroque guitar. Further lessons and courses with renowned artists like Hopkinson Smith, Eduardo Eguez, Christina Pluhar, Charles Toet, Fabio Bonizzoni, Peter van Heyghen and Sébastien Marq shaped his way of performing this particular repertoire. Past engagements include concerts with the Holland Baroque Society, the Staatsorchester Hamburg, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nord Nederlands Orkest, as well as the Elyma Ensemble under the direction of Gabriel Garrido. In 2008 he was selected for the Ambronay-Academy under the musical direction of Jean Tubery. In 2009 and 2012 he was part of the Young artist residency in Ambronay. He currently is engaged in a dance theatre production “Next Stop: Blue” of the Luxembourg Philharmonic under the choreography of Ela Baumann. His participation in several Early Music-ensembles made him giving concerts in Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, France and Chile. Christoph Sommer is one of the founders and instrumentalist of the rising ensemble I Sospiranti, member of the Pera-Ensemble (Echo-Prize winner of 2012) and founding member of the continuo-ensemble Sopra il Basso.
O/Modernt is always searching for new ways to encourage the next generation of young musicians. We are delighted to have established the O/Modernt New Generation, which we will be launching in Stockholm on the 12th November. The initiative includes a Stockholm-based youth orchestra which will provide opportunities for instrumentalists to perform in concert alongside members from the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra as well as world-class soloists. There will also be a series of international masterclasses, open rehearsals for young people and exchanges, with a focus on the UK throughout 2018. More information will follow about opportunities for young people to be involved in these wonderful activities.
Touring extensively throughout Europe, North America and Asia, VOCES8 performs a repertory from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary commissions and arrangements. In recent seasons VOCES8 has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Bozar Brussels, Cité de la Musique Paris, Vienna Konzerthaus, Tokyo Opera City, National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, the Shanghai Concert Hall and Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Artistic collaborations have included the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, period ensembles Florilegium and L’Arpeggiata, violinist Hugo Ticciati and pianist/composer Jonathan Dove. VOCES8 is a Decca Classics Artist and has released albums which have been at the top of the Classical Charts. VOCES8 is an Ambassador for Edition Peters with whom it publishes arrangements and educational material. The ensemble’s innovative education work has received praise from UNESCO and since 2005 has raised £1 million towards music education