The Bloomington Early Music Festival features a wide variety of medieval, Renaissance, baroque, and classical music. It’s an event where creative programs and exciting performances meet enthusiastic audiences year in and year out. Of the many ensembles that performed at the 2007 festival, Montreal-based Ensemble La Rota gave a dynamic, memorable program from medieval France entitled, “Heu, Fortuna: Music at the Time of Phillipe IV ‘the fair.'”
Music of the trouvères, by such composers as Blondel de Nesles, was abundant throughout La Rota’s program. One could say that love was in the air! And who better to express such a complex emotion than these musicians/poets from northern France?
The concert also featured a number of notable interpretations, not least of which included two estampie that were improvised by Tobie Miller, the group’s hurdy-gurdy player. Other members of the group include soprano Sarah Barnes, vocalist/lutenist/harpist Esteban LaRotta, and vielleist Émile Brûlé.
The new release of the week features Japanese ensemble Anthonello, under the direction of Yoshimichi Hamada. A recording from the Enchiriadis label, the group performs music of Dutch composer Jacob van Eyck.
Here’s a video of Marie Nishiyama, harpist and harpsichordist in Anthonello, performing an excerpt of a familiar J. S. Bach composition: