Wednesday, May 22, 2024
May 22, 2024

Baltimore Consort shares Angel’s Wede program

Submitted by Kirsten Bolton


An accomplished ensemble that has enjoyed Billboard’s award as Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year returns to ArtSpring for a show next Friday, Jan. 26.

The Baltimore Consort has been described as “perhaps the best balancing act of period authenticity, instrumental precision, and sheer fun in the early music community today,” (Times-Dispatch, Richmond, VA.)

The group was founded in 1980 to perform the instrumental music of Shakespeare’s time with instruments common in this period. Shakespeare’s music tapped into the popular repertory of the Elizabethan period; the tunes heard in taverns, on street corners, in the theatre, and accompanying dancing.

It was also a period where music started to get written down for the first time, and ensembles of six, named English Consorts, or Broken Consorts as the music was often in bits and parts, began to form. The Baltimore Consort has taken up this tradition and gone on to explore early music from England, Scotland, France, Italy and Spain, focusing on the relationship between folk and art song and dance.

In 2020, the musicians were asked if they could perform a women-themed program to celebrate the centennial for women’s right to vote in the United States. Angel’s Wede: Music of Mary, Queen of Scots was the result and features French music in addition to Scottish, with touches of Italian for Rizzio, her murdered lutenist (and papal spy?) and an English piece by William Byrd commemorating her martyrdom, titled In Angel’s Wede.

Instead of the usual six instrumentalists, this intriguing performance features five musicians who are joined by soprano Danielle Svonavec and captivating narration by Emmy Award-winning television and radio personality Robert Aubry Davis, a Washington-based lecturer and host of Millennium of Music, a program dedicated to music from the thousand years before Bach, now in its 44th season.

Tickets are on sale by phone, in the box office, or online. Theatre Angel tickets available for $15.

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