Grammy-nominated early music ensemble Ars Lyrica Houston presents "Heart and Soul", a program of devotional works from the German Baroque for voice, strings, and organ tonight, February 3, 2013 at 6 pm at St Philip Presbyterian Church. The concert features renowned British counter-tenor Ryland Angel, Ars Lyrica Artistic Director Matthew Dirst on the newly installed Baroque-style Fritts organ, and a quintet of Ars Lyrica string players. Tickets are available at the door for $15.
"It's a program that explores the richly expressive repertory of 17th-century German sacred music for voice and instruments. This was the first great flowering of art music in the Protestant church: sophisticated yet heartfelt music that encapsulates the joys and sorrows of the early modern age."- Artistic Director Matthew Dirst describes the repertoire.
The "Heart and Soul" program will be recorded and published in 2013: this will be the fourth commercial release for the Houston- based early music ensemble in the last three years. Previous Ars Lyrica recordings garnered considerable international acclaim: Gramophone, the leading journal of the classical recording industry, praised Ars Lyrica's debut CD for its "exemplary skill and taste," the ensemble's musicians for their "impassioned performance" of never-before recorded works by Alessandro Scarlatti; while Ars Lyrica's world première recording of Johann Adolf Hasse's Marc Antonio e Cleopatra, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Opera 2011.
On Saturday, February 16 at 6pm, Ars Lyrica will hold a benefit concert and dinner at a private River Oaks residence. The event, entitled "Songs from the Heart", will feature Ryland Angel in Baroque and crossover repertoire and will help underwrite the production of this new recording project. For more information and reservations please call Kinga Ferguson at 281-636-4951.
About the "Heart and Soul" Program
Christoph Bernhard, "Was betrubst du dich, meine Seele"
Heinrich Schütz, "Was hast du verwirket"
Philipp Erlebach, "Trocknet euch ihr heißen Zähren"
Johann Michael Bach, "Auf, laßt uns den Herren loben"
Dietrich Buxtehude: selections from the Sonatas Op 1 & 2
Samuel Scheidt: Chorale Partita on "Warum betrübst du dich, meine Seele" (organ)
Founded in 1998 by harpsichordist and conductor Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston is a Texas-based ensemble that performs world-class Baroque music on period instruments. Ars Lyrica's world premiere recording of J.A. Hasse's Marc Antonio e Cleopatra brought the ensemble its first Grammy nomination for "a thrilling performance that glows in its quieter moments and sparkles with vitality" (Early Music America). Ars Lyrica's distinctive programming, drawn from the rich chamber and dramatic repertories of the 17th and 18th centuries, "sets the agenda for imaginative period instrument programming in Houston," according to the Houston Chronicle. The ensemble's first commercial release, on Naxos International, features the world première recordings of Alessandro Scarlatti's La Concettione della Beata Vergine and Euridice dall'Inferno. This disc brought international recognition to the ensemble: Gramophone, the leading journal of the classical recording industry, praised this CD for its "exemplary skill and taste," and Ars Lyrica's musicians for their "impassioned performance" of never-before recorded works. Ars Lyrica's latest Sono Luminus recording, of Domenico Scarlatti's comic intermezzo La Dirindina and his chamber cantata Pur nel sonno, was released in August 2012. For more information visit www.arslyricahouston.org.
Born on St. Cecilia's Day, Ryland Angel was a chorister at Bristol Cathedral and a lay-clerk at Chester Cathedral. He trained as a lawyer before deciding to pursue a professional career as a singer in 1991 when he started studying with David Mason. Since then, Mr. Angel has received a Grammy nomination He has performed with William Christie, Rene Jacobs, Ivor Bolton, Roy Goodman, Christophe Rousset, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Coin, Gabriel Garrido, Cantus Köln, Le Concert Spirituel, Le Parlement de Musique, the Ensemble of Early Music of New York and Ensemble La Fenice. This season he looks forward to performing with the National Chorale in the Handel Messiah at Avery Fisher Hall. Mr. Angel has a new CD with Rick Errickson and the Bach Players of New York City of Buxtehude Cantatas about to be released and is featured on the Grammy Nominated Bobby McFerrin "Vocabularies" (Universal) album. This season Mr. Angel performs in Charpentier's The Prodigal Son with Musica Sacra at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center.