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The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Erin Headley and her ensemble Atalante receive prestigious Diapason d’Or award

Published: 20 February 2015

In January 2015 Erin Headley and her ensemble Atalante received the prestigious Diapason d’Or award for the first disk in their recording series, Reliquie di Roma. Research for the CD, entitled Lamentarium, formed part of Erin's Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts at Southampton, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Erin's research involves reconstructing and performing seventeenth-century music featuring the lirone, a fascinating and distinctive instrument especially prominent as an accompaniment to the voice. With as many as twenty strings and a nearly flat bridge, four or more strings could be played together on the instrument to produce beautiful and ethereal sustained chords and, according to its inventor in 1505, ‘full and consummate harmony’.

Gaëtan Naulleau, the reviewer for the French Diapason magazine, remarked:

'Atalante’s CD is subtle in atmosphere and original in content: their fascinating album shows that an entire programme of laments need not entail monotony. The kaleidoscopic continuo expertly led here by the group’s director, Erin Headley, contribute enormously to the success of this album, and their entrancing sounds are complemented by the spectacle of selected scenes delivered in costume on an accompanying DVD. Above all, the lasting impression is of plangent voices in compelling declamation over the uniquely evocative, ghostly chords of Headley’s chosen instrument, the lirone.'

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