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From Renaissance Rome to Contemporary Connecticut

Published: 2 May 2013

New performance projects from Lecturer in Music Dr Stephen Rice feature vocal music from the Italian Renaissance as well as challenging new compositions.

His newest CD with The Brabant Ensemble contains Roman music for Eastertide by Giovianni Pierluigi da Palestrina, one of the giants of sixteenth-century music. As well as a five-voice Mass based on the plainsong hymn Ad coenam Agni providi, the disc features motets for five, six, and eight voices, and the Easter section of Palestrina's cycle of polyphonic offertories. The review in the Observer complimented the performance for "a full-voiced, beefy intensity that lifts the music away from mere polite polyphony and gives it a really exciting energy". The disc is the ensemble's eleventh release on the Hyperion label (track listings and soundclips are available on the website).

Fast forward several centuries: Dr Rice and the experimental music group the Vocal Constructivists were ensemble in residence at the recent festival-conference, "Time Stands Still: Notation in Musical Practice" at Wesleyan University, Connecticut. The ensemble performed new music by the Scratch Orchestra co-founder Michael Parsons (world premiere, conducted by Stephen), and American composers Mark Applebaum, Paula Matthusen, Pauline Oliveros, and Anthony Braxton. Performances took place at Wesleyan University and at the JACK performance space in Brooklyn, New York. Vocal Constructivists will be performing at the Grimeborn Festival in London on 1 August.

From Renaissance Rome to Contempoary Connecticut
Lecturer in Music Dr Stephen Rice
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