The concluding event in our online 2021 City Summer Sounds festival features virtuoso vocal ensemble EXAUDI performing works from Carlo Gesualdo's 5th and 6th books of madrigals (1611), in a specially recorded concert at the nearby church of Holy Trinity Hoxton.
These beautiful and astonishing works, full of chromatic harmonies and unexpected extremes of emotion (oscillating between manic joy and lugubrious despondency) reflect Gesualdo himself: a notoriously troubled, violent and divisive figure in the music of the late Renaissance.
The programme is completed by Patrick Hegarty's Recitations (2019), based on fragments of Gesualdo's Tenebrae factae sunt, in which the singers are guided by cues on headphones to create a floating web of sound.
Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613): Madrigals from Books V and VI (1611)
Gioite voi col canto (Libro V)
Itene, o miei sospiri (V)
Deh, come invan sospiro
‘Io parto’, e non più dissi (VI)
Asciugate i begli occhi (V)
Patrick Hegarty (*1996): Recitation (2019)
Gesualdo: Madrigals from Books V and VI
Se la mia morte brami (VI)
O dolorosa gioia (V)
Al mio gioir (VI)
Mille volte il dì (VI)
Tu piangi, o Filli mia (VI)
Languisce al fin chi da la vita parte (V)
The Department of Music at City, University of London, would like to thank Fr Andrew Newcombe at Holy Trinity Hoxton for his generosity in hosting this event.
EXAUDI is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles for new music. Founded by James Weeks (director) and Juliet Fraser (soprano) in 2002, EXAUDI is based in London and draws its singers from among the UK’s brightest vocal talents.
EXAUDI’s special affinity is for the radical edges of contemporary music, at home equally with maximal complexity, microtonality and experimental aesthetics. The newest new music is at the heart of its repertoire, and it has given hundreds of national and world premières. As well as performing the acknowledged greats of contemporary music, EXAUDI is particularly committed to the music of its own generation and is also strongly involved with the emerging generation of young composers, regularly taking part in composer development schemes and residencies at home and abroad.
An enduring feature of EXAUDI’s programming has been the mixing of contemporary music with the music of the medieval, Renaissance and baroque periods. In 2012 the EXAUDI Italian Madrigal Book was launched as an open-ended project to create new repertoire to stand alongside the masterpieces of Monteverdi, Gesualdo and others; as well as numerous appearances in the UK, the Book has toured to France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy, creating and recording new repertoire with each new installment.
EXAUDI has appeared at many of the leading European and UK venues and festivals, broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and European radio stations, and has released fourteen critically acclaimed recordings on the NMC, ÆON, Métier, Winter&Winter, Mode, Confront and HCR labels.
EXAUDI’s most recent disc, Gesualdo Madrigali, was released in September 2019, subsequently receiving a prestigious Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and being named as one of BBC Radio 3’s Discs of the Year. The critics wrote:
‘Blazing intensity and total precision’ ***** BBC Music
‘Wonderful…it’s the emotional wisdom as well as the beauty of EXAUDI’s disc that gives it the edge.’ ***** Telegraph
‘A stunner, a superb new disc. EXAUDI sing with impeccable definition and accuracy, letting each dissonance burn and scorch until the ear longs for release.’ Observer