In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Lionheart is one of America's leading ensembles in vocal chamber music. Acclaimed for its "smoothly blended and impeccably balanced sound" (Allan Kozinn, The New York Times), Lionheart (Jeffrey Johnson, Lawrence Lipnik, John Olund, Richard Porterfield, Kurt-Owen Richards, and Michael Ryan-Wenger) is best known for its interpretation of medieval and Renaissance a cappella music, with Gregorian Chant as the keystone of its repertoire. The ensemble also collaborates with instrumental ensembles, dance companies, and contemporary composers, and was recently selected for inclusion on the Star Spangled Touring Roster, the first year of an initiative by Early Music America.
Lionheart has released two CDs on the Nimbus label: "My Fayre Ladye: Tudor Songs and Chant: (1997), and "Paris 1200: Chant and Polyphony from 12th Century France" (1998). The ensemble is also heard on Sony Music's CD companion to A History of Western Music, and on NPR's "Christmas Around the Country II," a collection of favorites from NPR's Performance Today. The grpup recently recorded a new CD of the music of Palestrina and his contemporaries with Koch International which is due for release in October of 2001. On radio, Lionheart has been featured on Performance Today, on PRI's Harmonia, on WGBH, and appears regularly on WNYC. Lionheart has also received significant air play on Radio Shanghai, which broadcasts Western music to a wide audience in China.
In 1998 the six men of Lionheart began a continuing collaboration with Anonymous 4, joining forces to explore rare and ravishing repertoire to create a combined sound that is "mystical... resonant with haunting beauty" (The New York Times). In December 2000, Lionheart furthered its commitment to presenting the work of living composers by premiering a new piece by composer Julia Wolfe as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival/p>
In New York City Lionheart performs regularly on the distinguished series Music Before 1800, at The Cloisters, and in its own concert series at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church. The ensemble has also appeared at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, at Lincoln Center, and at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall (in collaboration with composer Steve Reich). Out-of-town venues include the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral and the Folger Library in Washington, D.C., the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Friends of Chamber Music series in Kansas City, and the campuses of Stanford, UCLA, and Yale University. In Europe they have participated in festivals including musikpodium in Stuttgart, Tage Alte Musik in Regensburg, and the Covent Garden Festival in London.
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Review: Great recordings of the Spanish Renaissance composers Francisco Guerrero and Cristobal de Morales are often hard to find. Luckily, Lionheart has simplified the task by taking matters into their own hands - they recorded their own album. Perfectly balanced and blended voices are qualities to which every vocal ensemble aspires, but not everyone acquires. Lionheart does. If you love the Renaissance Period or you're wanting something other than the usual Mozart and Beethoven, Lionheart's El Siglo de Oro is just the album for you.
Songlist: Ojos Claros Serenos - Guerrero, Sanctissima Maria - Guerrero, Introit Rorate Caeli Desuper - Gregorian Chant, Kyrie Missa Ave Maria - Morales, Gloria Missa Ave Maria - Morales, Sancta Et Immaculata - Guerrero, Offertory Ave Maria - Gregorian Chant, Sanctus Missa Ave Maria - Morales, Agnus Dei Missa Ave Maria - Morales, Communion Ecce Virgo Concipiet - Gregorian Chant, Pan Divino Gracioso - Guerrero, Pastor Quien MAdre Virgen - Guerrero, Que Te Dare Senor - Guerrero, O Virgen Quand'os Miro - Guerrrero, Vana Speranca - Guerrero, Antiphon Ave MAria - Gregorian Chant, Missus est Gabriel - Morales, Hymn Ave Maria Stella -Gregorian Chant
Review: This musical homage to the fairer sex is performed by the all male sextet 'Lionheart,' whose member's impeccable credentials include past association with Anonymous 4. The group's foundation, and the cornerstone of it's sound, is Gregorian Chant, a style that is epitomized here. In medieval times, the church was the locus of existence, and expressions of devotion were central in music and art. Therefore, it is understandable that the role of woman in culture would be regarded similarly, and that songs of praise to her would take on a religious connotation, as to the Virgin Mother Mary. Predominant on this recording is the Sarum Chant, a plainsong used in rituals at Salisbury Cathedral in England. The melodies are simple and unembellished, the mood subdued.
Songlist: *The Beloved*, Quam pulcra es, Quam pulcra es, Ibo michi ad montem mirre , Who shall have my fayre ladye? , Salve regina misericordie, *The Unfathomable*, Adew mes amours , A robyn, gentyl robyn , Iff I had wytt for to endyght, *The Maternal*, Quid petis o fili?, *The Desired*, Tota pulcra es , Up Y Arose , And I war a maydyn , Blow thi horne hunter , *The Triumphant*, Anima mea liquefacta est, O regina mundi clara , Beata Dei genitrix
Review: Lionheart is one of Americas leading ensembles in vocal chamber music. Acclaimed for its smoothly blended and impeccably balanced sound. They are best known for thei interpretation of medieval and renaissance a cappella music, with Georgian Charnt as the keystone ofits repertoire. The ensemble also collaborates with instrumental ensembles, dance companies, and contemporary composers, and was recently selected for inclusion on the Star Spangled Touring Roster, the first year of an initiative by Early Music America.
Songlist: Ave Maria , Kyrie: Missa in duplicibus minoribus I , Gloria: Missa in duplicibus minoribus I, Petrus beatus catenarum laqueos, Adoramus Te , Credo: Missa in duplicibus minoribus I , Tibi Christe splendor Patris , Sanctus: Missa in duplicibus minoribus I , O regem caeli, Gloriosi principes terrae, Agnus Dei: Missa in duplicibus minoribus I , Surrexit pastor bonus , Litaniae de Beata Virgine Marie, Ave Maris
Review: In the extensive liner notes to 'Tydings Trew' we learn that present-day Christmas celebrations owe a great deal to English monks, particularly followers of St. Francis of Assisi who arrived in England in 1224. Carols, not at all religious, were a form of ribald dance. The form, but not the content, was appropriated by the friars and Christian sentiments added to the verses. All-male sextet Lionheart is one of America's leading ensembles in vocal chamber music, best known for its interpretation of medieval and Renaissance a cappella music, particularly Gregorian chant. 'Tydings' is the 4th CD featuring their smoothly blended harmonies and precise, balanced sound. There are 22 carols from 14th and 15th century England, mostly relating to the nativity, but varying in their methods and purpose. 'Antiphon: Facta est cum angela,' for example, sings in Latin of the angels' annunciation, while 'Carol: A, my dere, a, my dere Son' is Mary singing to her newborn baby. 'Carol: Nowel, nowel' is likely the actual 'first noel,' and quite different from it, but simply beautiful.
Songlist: A Solis ortus cardine, Nowell, nowell, Hayl Mary, ful of grace, Venter tuus, Facta est cum angelo, Benedicite omnia opera domini domino, As I outrode this endres night, Ecce, quod natura, Nesciens mater, A, my dere, a, my dere Son, Nowel, nowel, Sancte dei preciose, Eya, martir Stephane, Hic est discipulus, Worcepe we this holy day, Lully lulla, Seynt THomas honour we, Magi videntes stellam, Ave Rex angelorum, Gaude virgo mater Christi, Alleluya, omnes de saba, Nunc dimitts