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La Rota at the 2007 Bloomington Early Music Festival

This week we explore selections from ensemble La Rota’s concert at this year’s Bloomington Early Music Festival and a recent release by ensemble Anthonello.

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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.

More information, including biographies, concert schedules, and sound clips, can be found on La Rota’s website and myspace page.

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:


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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