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New works for viols, voice, and electronics
KRISTIN NORDERVAL | TAWNIE OLSON | FRANCES WHITE
Parthenia with Kristin Norderval, soprano, Dashon Burton, bass-baritone, and Valeria Vasilevski, narrator
December 20, 2017
New chamber works for renaissance viol consort, all written for and premiered by Parthenia over the past decade, by three outstanding women composers – Kristin Norderval, Tawnie Olson, and Frances White. Featured guest artists are bass-baritone Dashon Burton (Room Full of Teeth), soprano Kristin Norderval (Pomerium, Ensemble Pi), and narrator Valeria Vasilevski (NPR, Android Sisters). These compositions create a rich tapestry of stories, ranging from a song cycle for soprano, viols and electronics exploring Elizabethan political intrigue and paranoia through the words of Queen Elizabeth I, to a poignant fairytale about isolation and unexpected friendship between a girl and a bird; from a powerfully resonant depiction of Christ on the cross, to a meditative electronic-enhanced reflection on a chant by abbess Hildegard von Bingen.
Mary Queen of Scots and Her World
Parthenia with Ryland Angel, tenor/countertenor
and Dongsok Shin, virginal
February 1, 2015
Hauntingly beautiful music of Scotland and England from the 1500s for viol consort and voice performed by Parthenia, Grammy-nominated tenor/countertenor Ryland Angel and early keyboard expert Dongsok Shin. This rarely performed or recorded repertoire is music that Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, and their friends, enemies and subjects might have heard. Also featured on the CD is a new song-cycle, SONGS OF LOVE AND BETRAYAL, by composer Richard Einhorn - stunning arrangements of four songs by Scottish poet and lyricist,Robert Burns.
Music for an Elizabethan Christmas
Parthenia with Julianne Baird, soprano
Release date August 31, 2010
Following a long-treasured tradition of music for Christmas, the viols of Parthenia join famed soprano Julianne Baird to present a sparkling array of songs, dances and carols from Elizabethan England. Along with music by Thomas Morley, Anthony Holborne, Thomas Ravenscroft, Dr. John Bull and Tobias Hume, this disc features a wide variety of music by the celebrated master composer of England's Golden Age, William Byrd.
"Julianne Baird scarcely needs an introduction as an unsurpassed mistress of late Renaissance and Baroque music... Parthenia is equally accomplished, spinning out its instrumental lines with caressingly soft, silvery tone and polished ensemble playing." --Fanfare
Love Songs in the Age of Ronsard
Parthenia with Julianne Baird, soprano and Robert Mealy, violin
Release date December 8, 2009
French Renaissance songs and dances marked by grace, balance and a wonderful sense of lightness, featuring song settings of the poetry of Pierre de Ronsard by such composers as Claude le Jeune, Guillaume Costeley, Claude Goudimel, Eustache du Caurroy and others. Parthenia is joined by renowned soprano Julianne Baird and Renaissance violinist Robert Mealy.
"... a 'must have' for a serious collector of renaissance music." - American Record Guide
Music by American composer Will Ayton, Parthenia with Alexandra Montano, mezzo-soprano
Release date January 30, 2007
Also available at MSR Classics Label and Amazon.com
About A Reliquary for William Blake
American composer Will Ayton's love of folk music, Elizabethan poetry, his Celtic heritage, his devotion to the art of polyphony, his love of old legends, and things philosophical and spiritual all shine through in this mesmerizing CD, featuring the song cycle, "A Reliquary for William Blake," composed for Parthenia in 2005. Mezzo-soprano Alexandra Montano's purity of tone, both as singer and as narrator in the prose passages, makes her an ideal interpreter.
"Possibly the most aesthetically cohesive setting of Blake's poetry and prose to music yet. For sheer consistency and elegance of tone. . .nothing equals A Reliquary for William Blake. . .composed by the American Will Ayton and performed with passionate delicacy by the viol consort Parthenia and the mezzo-soprano Alexandra Montano." – World Magazine
"The exquisite music on this CD and the equally fine rendition of it by Alexandra Montano and her colleagues in Parthenia have produced an aural feast for the music lover... Recommended - and highly - for far more music lovers than just the early music crowd." --Fanfare
Produced by Museovich Productions 2002
Release date December 17, 2002
Also available at CDBaby
Defined by the ethereal quality which is at the soul of the viol consort sound, Within the Labyrinth explores an unusual collection of music that reflects the healing and spiritual aspects of the Labyrinth-walking experience, at times taking unexpected musical turns, from the simple canon of Ravenscroft's Browning Madame to the mesmerizing variations of Hugh Ashton's Masque and Bevin's Browning, and the highly stylized dances of Scheidt and Farina.About Within the Labyrinth
"The four musicians that make up [Parthenia] bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the ensemble, and it is clearly audible in the precision and expression they evoke from material.... It is no wonder, then, that the ensemble has drawn accolades for their work." – Renaissance Magazine
"The selections here are obviously carefully chosen ... contemplative in nature, gently evocative.... Within the Labyrinth achieves a subtly spiritual effect ... performing music that soothes the soul without putting the mind to sleep." – Renaissance Magazine
CD Baby: jasmine stone - "exquisitely wrought"
"The fine musicianship displayed in this sampler makes me never want to hear anyone but these folks play early music. They dance with the stars and my only fear is that they are so good, God might strike them down out of jealousy. They take the vile out of viol. Perfect intonation, light, buoyant touch and exquisitely wrought turns of musical phrasing which never seem far from the composer's heart."
CD Baby: j-p - "MAGNIFIQUE!"
"Une musique de reves et d'emotions parfait pour s'echapper de la realitee de tout les jours."
The Randy Sandke Quartet, featuring Bill Charlap with Parthenia, A Consort of Viols
Release date April 1, 2005
Randy Sandke's use of a string section comprised of viols, as well as his always trenchant writing and commanding trumpet technique, breathes new life into the "jazz-with-strings" concept. Sandke's influences and interests encompass Beiderbecke, Armstrong, metatonal music and everything in between. This collection of ballads and other atmospheric pieces is certainly easy to listen to but is far from "easy listening."