Drew Minter and His Ensembles

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Program: #94-06   Air Date: Feb 07, 1994


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From the Post:

The Folger Consort had two world-class singers as guest artists last weekend. Soprano Ann Monoyios and countertenor Drew Minter, who are superb soloists and even better in duets, found deep pathos and dazzling brilliance in music from late 17th-century England. Except for Henry Purcell, one of the towering figures in music's history, the age of William and Mary had no composers whose names are widely recognized today. But as this concert showed, it had many who produced excellent vocal works and a few who helped to lay the foundations of modern chamber music. While Purcell's works, including his "Golden" Sonata, his exquisite "Music for a While" and the technically elaborate, expressively strong "Sweeter Than Roses," made the deepest impression, the program was notable for the light it cast on less familiar composers of the period: John Wilson, whose "Where the Bee Sucks" is one of the best Shakespeare settings in existence; Matthew Locke and Christopher Simpson, who produced chamber music of impressive elegance; and Henry Lawes, a songwriter whose notes brought great vitality to lifeless-looking texts. One thing that happened in that period (though more in Europe than in England) was the birth of the concerto, and with the highly skilled assistance of violinists Tina Chancey and Dana Maiben and harpsichordist Peter M. Marshall, the Folger Consort presented a slight but impressive English work in the form: the Concerto in C for recorder, strings and continuo by William Babell. The solo part looked fiendishly difficult, requiring uncommon agility in the fingers and an endless supply of breath. But soloist Scott Reiss made it look almost easy.

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