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Sunday, January 10th, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Cleveland, Ohio
MAGI VIDERUNT STELLAM
Lute songs and solos for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany
Immaculate Conception Church
4129 Superior Avenue in Cleveland
(216) 431-5900 for information
free-will offering; free off-street parking in church lot
Sunday, January 10th at 4pm, in the 130-year-old sanctuary of Immaculate Conception Church, lute song duo Mignarda will present a concert of sacred polyphony and Gregorian chant. Their celebration of Epiphany glimmers within a richly sumptuous seasonal setting and includes Advent and Christmas music dating from 1400 through 1690. The centerpiece of the program is a bouquet of seasonal and Marian motets by Spanish composers Francisco Guerrero, Cristobal de Morales and Tomas Luis de Victoria setting the stage for the story of the visitation of the Magi. Conceived as an extended meditation, this program offers the glorious music of Renaissance masters in historically-sensitive interpretations for solo voice and lute following the 16th century practice of adapting sacred polyphony for private devotions.
The program will feature music from Mignarda's 2010 CD recording, Harmonia Caelestis, as well as a generous offering of of Gregorian chant from Donna Stewart’s critically acclaimed 2014 solo CD, Adoro Te.
Quotes from Audiences, Colleagues & Critics
“I have always admired Stewart's beautiful voice but I thought she surpassed herself in this repertoire which obviously means a great deal to her. She captures the intense religious fervour of the music simply by letting the words speak for themselves with subtle variations in dynamics, ranging from an introspective pianissimo in the reflective pieces to some ecstatic alleluias in the more joyful ones.”
Stewart's ornamentation of the vocal line in Victoria's Ne timeas, Maria is exquisite and her interpretation brings out the intensity of religious devotion, but also subdued passion inherent in [the] poetry."
- Monica Hall, Lute News (UK)
"Congratulations on a really exquisite rendering of your selection from 'Pilgrimes Solace'! The lovely open quality of Donna's voice I find really endearing, and so suitable for giving us the 'inner passion' of these marvelous texts. And such intelligence shines behind every word."
- Anthony Rooley, Consort of Musicke
"I believe that you and Donna form the pre-eminent lute song duo of our time."
"I was transfixed by the clarity and musicality of the lute...and of course Donna's voice was absolutely beautiful. I can see why your CDs are being met with critical acclaim. I was enraptured."
- Gregory Heislman, Director of Music, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (Cleveland, Ohio)
"Your concert was revelatory in several ways, especially as it challenged our ears and hearts to enter a realm difficult to access these days, where subtlety and elegance trump flash and flamboyance, and content, rather than effect, is primary."
America's premiere professional lute song duo, Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music and poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching and recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs. Mignarda's publications include a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. The couple met in a schola providing liturgical music for the Latin Tridentine Mass, and they continue their dedication to historical sacred and secular music. Based in forested upstate NY, Mignarda recently celebrated their 12th year as a duo.
The Lute Society (UK) has called their CD La Rota Fortuna "essential listening", and Au pres de vous their "lute disk of the year". Divine Amarillis, their recording of French music from the early 17th century, was awarded first place for Best Classical/Voice Album in the 2009 JPF awards. Their recordings have been featured on the internationally syndicated Millennium of Music, hosted by Robert Aubry Davis, and all are included among CD Baby's top 40 best-selling classical CDs. Mignarda was featured in a one-hour live concert produced by Binghamton, NY PBS affiliate WSKG TV, which has been rebroadcast frequently and is available from PBS.org on DVD.