REVIEW: Roots, Shoots and Celestial Flowers: BREMF

November 6, 2017

Roots, Shoots and Celestial Flowers

Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens

Musica Secreta
Hannah Ely soprano
Katharine Hawnt and Nancy Cole mezzo sopranos
Caroline Trevor alto
Alison Kinder bass viol
Claire Williams organ

Celestial Sirens
Deborah Roberts and Laurie Stras directors

Although opening with a nod at Lynn Truss famous example of incorrect punctuation this was a pretty serious production of works rarely heard. The rise of the great convent choirs of Ferrara was shared in music from the 15th and 16th centuries with Musica Secreta celebrating the Virgin Mary in a range of sublime motets & choral works. The motet was one of the pre-eminent polyphonic forms of Renaissance music & here we explored music that has rarely been heard outside the convent.

The singers along with their choir, attired as nuns and silently drifting around the church from front of stage to the rear in the choirstalls presented works by Josquin, Gombert, de Rore and Willaert and we were treated to some carefully explored and extraordinary music probably composed by Lucrezia Borgia’s daughter, Leonora d’Este.

The Soprano and two mezzos gave some sublime and subtle performances across the evening and I found myself floating off into the ethereal vaults more than once as their voices combined and entwined in perfect harmony and sored into blissfulness.

Celestial Sirens are a South Coast-based semi-professional women’s voice choir, formed in 2002 by Musica Secreta director Deborah Roberts they performs plainchant and polyphony from six centuries of choral repertoire.

Musica Secreta have released a CD of this music that you can buy or find out more about here:

Friday, November 3, 8pm, St Paul’s Church, Brighton

See full details of the event here: