Harmonia Early Music

Retrospective: Early Music America Competition Winners, pt. 1

Marking the 25th anniversary of Early Music America with a look at its past competition winners: Ensemble La Rota, Asteria, and the Catacoustic Consort.

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musicians and brick wall

Photo: Courtesy of the Ensemble

Ensemble La Rota (Tobie Miller, Emilie Brule, Sarah Barnes, and Esteban La Rotta).

Time capsule for this episode: 1759

In celebration of Early Musica America’s 25th anniversary, we’re looking back at the past winners of its competitions, which include three recording competitions and three Medieval/Renaissance performance competitions. This is part one of each group’s road to success since winning.

Ensemble La Rota explores the Middle Ages

The Montreal-based Ensemble La Rota won in 2006 for their dynamic program of medieval repertoire. Almost immediately the quartet was given a recording contract with the Canadian label ATMA Classique. Around the same time, they also won or were finalists, in several international competitions. La Rota has concertized extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, appearing at many prestigious early music festivals.

Anonymous: Retrove from Robertsbrige Codex
Ensemble La Rota — Heu Fortuna: Music from the Time of Philippe IV (ATMA, 2007)
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Asteria and the Medieval Love Duet

In 2004, the winner of the inaugural Medieval/Renaissance performance competition was Asteria, a duo comprised of soprano Sylvia Rhyne and lutenist Eric Redlinger. Since then, the duo has performed across the U.S., and throughout Europe and Mexico. The fruits of their labor are evident in the recording of Burgundian chanson, a repertoire they specialize in.

Guillaume Dufay: “Pour l'amour de ma doulce amye”
Asteria (Sylvia Rhyne, voice, and Eric Redlinger, lute) — Un tres doulx regard (Magnatune, 2009)
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Catacoustic Consort and the Italian Baroque

The Cincinnati-based Catacoustic Consort was the winner of the 2002/03 EMA/Naxos recording competition. Director Annalisa Pappano credits the ensemble’s ensuing professional success to the win, both on a local and national level. The recording prize gave the ensemble an opportunity to make a CD with Naxos Records. Entitled “The Italian Dramatic Lament,” the recording offered international recognition and acclaim.

J.H. Kapsberger: Capona
Catacoustic Consort — The Italian Dramatic Lament (Naxos, 2005)
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Featured Release: Jordi Savall

Our featured release is an Alia Vox label recording of music from the time of Louis XV. Jordi Savall directs Le Concert des Nations in a program that revolves around the Concert Spirituel, a special concert series founded in Paris during Louis XV’s reign.

The program focuses on three immensely popular composers heard throughout the life of the series, including Arcangelo Corelli, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Georg Philipp Telemann. Savall not only directs, but appears as soloist in a performance of Telemann’s Ouverture and Suite in D major for viola da gamba, strings, and basso continuo.

Anonymous: Retrove from Robertsbrige Codex
Ensemble La Rota — Heu Fortuna: Music from the Time of Philippe IV (ATMA, 2007)
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Gillebert De Berneville: “Au noviau temps que yvers se debrise”
Ensemble La Rota — Heu Fortuna: Music from the Time of Philippe IV (ATMA, 2007)
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Tobie Miller, arr.: Estampie - Chascuns dit que je foloi
Ensemble La Rota — Heu Fortuna: Music from the Time of Philippe IV (ATMA, 2007)
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Guillaume Dufay: “Pour l'amour de ma doulce amye”
Asteria (Sylvia Rhyne, voice, and Eric Redlinger, lute) — Un tres doulx regard (Magnatune, 2009)
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Anonymous: Tristre dolent plain de pensee – instrumental
Asteria (Sylvia Rhyne, voice, and Eric Redlinger, lute) — Un tres doulx regard (Magnatune, 2009)
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Guillaume Dufay: “Ce jour de lan voudray joye mener”
Asteria (Sylvia Rhyne, voice, and Eric Redlinger, lute) — Un tres doulx regard (Magnatune, 2009)
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Giulio Caccini: “Amor ch’attendi”
Catacoustic Consort — The Italian Dramatic Lament (Naxos, 2005)
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J.H. Kapsberger: Capona
Catacoustic Consort — The Italian Dramatic Lament (Naxos, 2005)
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Giulio Caccini: “Vedro ‘l mio sol”
Catacoustic Consort — The Italian Dramatic Lament (Naxos, 2005)
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Jacopo Peri: “Al fonte al prato”
Catacoustic Consort — The Italian Dramatic Lament (Naxos, 2005)
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G.P. Telemann: Overture & Suite in D Major for viola da gamba & strings [excerpts]
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall — “Le Concert Spirituel [from] the Time of Louis XV” (Alia Vox, 2010)
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Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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