After 40 years at the very peak of the vocal ensemble world, The Hilliard Ensemble will conclude their remarkable touring career with a concert in Wigmore Hall in London on December 20th, 2014. You can see their remaining concerts here.

One of the world's foremost vocal ensembles, who bring a fine ensemble virtuosity to bear on great works of the Medieval, Renaissance and contemporary periods. Recent performances include those for Lincoln Center, the Getty Museum, Harvard University, the Tanglewood Festival, and as soloists with the New York Philharmonic. Various programs available – early, mixed & contemporary.

The Hilliard Ensemble's sound, as always, was beautifully blended and subtly shaped,”  The New York Times

Biography & Reviews in Word Format

Music In MP3 Format
Gombert – Salve Regina from ECM 1884
(Opens with most MP3 players, including Quicktime which you can download for free)

Publicity Photos

Video
Excerpt from
"When Angels Sing"

THE HILLIARD ENSEMBLE

DAVID JAMES countertenor
ROGERS COVEY-CRUMP tenor
STEVEN HARROLD tenor
GORDON JONES baritone

Biography

The Hilliard Ensemble, founded in 1974 and named after the British miniaturist painter Nicholas Hilliard, is one of the world's finest vocal chamber ensembles. It is unrivalled for its formidable reputation in the fields of both old and new music. Its distinctive style and highly developed musicianship engage the listener as much in medieval and renaissance repertoire as in works specially written for the group by living composers.

The group's standing as an early music ensemble dates from the 1980s with its series of successful recordings for EMI (many of which have now been re-released on Virgin) and its own mail-order record label hilliard LIVE, now available on the Coro label; but from the start it has paid equal attention to new music. The 1988 recording of Arvo Pärt's Passio began a fruitful relationship with both Pärt and the Munich-based record company ECM, and was followed by their recording of Pärt's Litany . The group has recently commissioned other composers from the Baltic States , including Veljo Tormis and Erkki-Sven Tüür, adding to a rich repertoire of new music from Gavin Bryars, Heinz Holliger, John Casken, James MacMillan, Elena Firsova and many others.

In addition to many a cappella discs, collaborations for ECM include most notably Officium and Mnemosyne with the Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek. The fall, Officium Novum will be released on ECM – the latest in this collaboration. The disc Morimur with the German Baroque violinist Christoph Poppen and soprano Monika Mauch was based on the research of Prof. Helga Thoene. It is a unique interweaving of Bach's Partita in D minor for solo violin with a selection of Chorale verses crowned by the epic Ciaconna , in which instrumentalist and vocalists are united.

The group continues in its quest to forge relationships with living composers, often in an orchestral context. In 1999, they premiered Miroirs des Temps by Unsuk Chin with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Kent Nagano. In the same year, James MacMillan's Quickening, commissioned jointly by the BBC and the Philadelphia Orchestra, was premiered at the BBC Proms. With Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, they performed the world premiere of Stephen Hartke's 3 rd Symphony and they recently collaborated with the Munich Chamber Orchestra with a new work by Erkki-Sven Tüür. In 2007 they joined forces with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra to premiere Nunc Dimittis by the Russian composer Alexander Raskatov, also recording this for ECM.

A new development for the group began in August 2008 with the premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival of a music theatre project written by Heiner Goebbels in a production by the Th éâ tre Vidy, Lausanne : I went to the house but did not enter . This has subsequently been presented throughout Europe and the US.

This fall The Hilliard Ensemble returns to Lincoln Center in New York to showcase their collaboration with saxophonist Jan Garbarek, and in a 2nd concert with Icelandic alt-rock group Sigur Ros, in a piece created especially for The Hililard Ensemble by the Icelanders.

Reviews

The Hilliard Ensemble quotes

The Rolls-Royce of vocal ensembles.
Stephen Hartke, composer

The Hilliard Ensemble does ancient music better than just about anyone now.
Kenneth LaFave, Arizona Republic, May 2, 2004 

Few vocal groups can be recognized within a single bar. The Hilliard Ensemble are one. Their sound is not contrived, their distinctive character having developed organically from their collective musicianship.
Matthew Power, Gramophone, May 2004 

The astounding melding of the voices of David James, Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold and Gordon Jones is simply that, astounding, other-worldly. The Hilliard Ensemble are without a doubt one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world.
Alan Conter, The Globe and Mail, March 6, 2003 

For their performances

Their performance was dazzling. The Hilliards managed flawless musicianship from the minute they stepped on the stage to the minute they left. There was not a single note out of tune, not one breath out of place, no voice ever stuck out, sang too loud or too soft. Every syllable was clearly articulated. They were perfect.
Tom Czerwinski, The Emory Wheel (Atlanta, GA), April 23, 2004
(Morimur at Spivey Hall April 18, 2004)

For Machaut, Motets

The five Hilliard singers render these pieces beautifully, in the smoothly blended sound that has become the ensemble's trademark.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, June 13, 2004 

The Hilliard Ensemble remain peerless in this repertoire and bring their customary vocal purity and tonal refinement to this music.
Lawrence A. Johnson, Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), May 21, 2004 

The results are magnificent, marked by a combination of technical precision and expressive generosity. The various melodies, each carrying its own poetic imagery, cross and blend exquisitely, and the almost-extravagant sentimentality comes across in piquant contrast to the music's structural ingenuity.
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, April 18, 2004 

It is a credit to both ECM’s knowledge of its audience and The Hilliard’s musicianship that they can confidently release a disc of esoteric 14th- century motets by Machaut. The result is a rich discovery, imbued with a unique dynamic evolved over three decades.
Matthew Power, Gramophone, May 2004 

This is a hypnotic, stupendous disc.
Alan Rich, LA Weekly, April 22, 2004 

Few ensembles have attracted the fervent devotion that England's Hilliard Ensemble has garnered over the last 30 years. Freely traversing early and new music, the Hilliards … have consistently earned praise for their gleaming tone, insightful scholarship and adventurous spirit. 

These singers burn brightly in this music, adding yet more luster to an already distinguished reputation.
Anastasia Tsioulcas, Time Out New York, April 22/29, 2004 

The five male voices of the Hilliard Ensemble evoke the aura of a faraway time and place as they perform the difficult music with purity of sound and serenity of spirit.
Wilma Salisbury, (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, April 11, 2004 

The performances are of a truly mandarin refinement. Here are the Hilliard Ensemble with goodness knows how many combined years of experience performing this kind of music in public; they are not just on the top of their form but also constantly showing the fruits of that experience.
David Fallows, Gramophone (UK), May 2004 

For Morimur

#1 in "The Year in Classical Music; The Critic's Choices"
James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, December 23, 2001

Morimur is performed at the highest level. The performances are everywhere engaging and at times truly sublime.
James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, December 2, 2001

Reviews

January 31, 2006

Music Review | Hilliard Ensemble

Some Austere and Layered Sounds of the Renaissance

By ALLAN KOZINN

The Hilliard Ensemble has lately been exploring the music of the Flemish composer Nicolas Gombert. His music — in particular, his Missa Media Vita and some of his sacred motets — is the subject of the ensemble's latest recording for ECM, and on Sunday afternoon the group sang most of the Mass, a few motets, and pieces by Josquin and Dufay as part of the Music Before 1800 series at Corpus Christi Church.

Gombert is a fascinating character. He was born around 1495, reportedly studied with Josquin and thrived in the Spanish chapel of Emperor Charles V until 1540, when he was sentenced to shipboard labor for interfering with one of the choirboys. He was apparently pardoned and spent his last years as a canon at Tournai Cathedral.

Like Josquin's, his music is seamless and vibrantly contrapuntal, an effect created by staggered vocal entrances and lines that remain entirely independent until a work's final phrase, when they suddenly coalesce in a rich harmony. More than Josquin, though, Gombert preferred dark timbres, and the Hilliard has added a bass-baritone (Robert Macdonald) to capture that shift.

On its Gombert CD, the group sings the Mass with motets interposed. They did the same on Sunday, singing all but the Credo of the Mass, and drawing on a somewhat different motet repertory. A group of pieces from a 12th-century manuscript found at the abbey of St. Martial de Limoges revived an early form of polyphony in which the voices remained tethered together rhythmically, and which sounded strikingly primitive beside Gombert's obsessive counterpoint. And although Gombert was meant to be the composer of the day, two Josquin works — the serene "Tu solus qui facis mirabilia" and a shapely, passionate setting of David's lament for Saul and Jonathan, "Planxit autem David" — proved the most memorable performances.

The Hilliard Ensemble's sound, as always, was beautifully blended and subtly shaped, and in this church's acoustic, which is drier than some, it was possible to focus on the individual vocal textures within that blend, an instructive experience typically lost in more ambient settings.

 

the Hilliard Ensemble
BY LLOYD SCHWARTZ

THE BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL presented England’s renowned Hilliard Ensemble in a program of 15th-century music by Guillaume Dufay and Josquin des Prés at Cambridge’s reverberant St. Paul Church. This quartet — countertenor David James, tenors Rogers Covey-Crump and Steven Harrold, and dour baritone Gordon Jones — have an impeccable sense of pitch and a human quality that many early-music singers seem to avoid. They sing less like angels than like people in the throes of profound devotion. Dufay’s exquisite Se la face ay pale Mass (using a theme he’d composed for a love ballade), with its overlapping waves of æthereal sound, was interspersed with Josquin’s earthier, more richly textured, more directly emotional Bible settings (the Death of Jonathan and Saul — "How are the mighty fallen") and prayers (a heartbreakingly slow Ave Maria). The Hilliards are also admired for their contemporary music. Maybe that’s one reason they never forget they’re singing about something.

 

The Best Classical CD's of 2004

Published: December 12, 2004

MACHAUT: MOTETS
Hilliard Ensemble (ECM New Series) This 14th-century poet and composer wrote music whose spare and haunting beauty can at first seem disorienting to modern ears. These motets, in a sumptuous performance by the Hilliard Ensemble, make a wonderful introduction, with their undulating polyphony, shivery dissonances and supple vocal lines, each built around its own poetic text. JEREMY EICHLER

Review Published: June 13, 2004

MACHAUT: MOTETS  Hilliard Ensemble. ECM New Series 472 400-2; CD.

FOR all the strenuous and varied efforts of period-instrument groups and specialized choirs over the last two decades, the music of the 14th-century French composer Guillaume de Machaut has made relatively little headway. This is odd in a personality-driven time, for Machaut essentially invented the notion of the composer as name brand.

His predecessors had generally worked anonymously, but Machaut insistently affixed his name to his works, and he spent much of his last decade collecting his scores (and poetry) into an authoritative edition. His "Messe de Notre Dame," the first complete Mass by a known composer, has guaranteed him a place in music history books.  Recordings of the Mass are infrequent, and albums drawn from other corners of Machaut's copious output are rarer still. The Hilliard Ensemble helps to redress that neglect with a new selection of 18 motets, secular and sacred songs, in French and Latin.

These are exquisite works, structurally unlike the polyphonic vocal works familiar since the Renaissance. Each voice in the fabric has its own text, but the basis and the emotional core of each work is the tenor: usually a brief plainchant melody on a minimal text (sometimes only one word), repeated throughout. Two higher voices — the motetus and triplum, each with its own text — are more expansive.  The counterpoint, in other words, is not only musical but also poetic. And the deep emotions evoked in these love songs and devotional texts are mirrored in the play of consonance and dissonance.

The five Hilliard singers render these pieces beautifully, in the smoothly blended sound that has become the ensemble's trademark. But Machaut fanciers may bristle at that description.

Current thinking in Machaut performance, or at least one school of it, is that vocal production during the composer's time was notably earthier and more rough-hewn than the current finely polished norm. A superb example of that approach can be heard in a recording of the "Messe de Notre Dame" by Marcel Pérès and Ensemble Organum on Harmonia Mundi France.

But the art of performing Machaut lies in making conjecture sound convincing. The conjecture the Hilliard singers provide has less to do with historical re-creation than with bringing this marriage of text and music to life for listeners attuned to modern notions of tone. As it happens, the transposition works extremely well.
ALLAN KOZINN

 

Posted on Thu, May. 08, 2003

Review: Wild-hare ``Morimur'' convinces the heart if not the mind

By PAUL HORSLEY
The Kansas City Star

"Morimur" is a 70-minute concert that attempts to show that Bach had certain Lutheran chorales tunes in mind when composing his Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.

He embedded fragments or numerical patterns of these tunes into the violin texture -- according to the theory hatched by German scholar Helga Thoene -- thus imbuing it with hidden meanings relating to faith, death and redemption.

On Wednesday, the renowned musicians who recorded "Morimur" for the ECM New Series label -- German violinist Christoph Poppen and the four-voice Hilliard Ensemble -- performed it at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Lenexa.

It's hard to explain why this odd mixture works, but it does. In concert, "Morimur" is even more powerful than it is on the Grammy award-winning disc. On Wednesday, the audience seemed riveted. If at the end we still had doubts about the theories that spawned "Morimur," the sheer beauty of the music won our hearts.

Here's how it works: the violinist plays the D-minor Partita, and the singers insert a chorale between each movement. After eight more chorales are sung, the famous Chaconne is played a second time with the chorale tunes sung where they (supposedly) fit into the texture.

You don't ordinarily think of hymns as something you want to sit and listen to in concert, but the Hilliards' ravishing, diamond-clear sound made these chorales seem as bracing as any of Bach's more ambitious works.

Poppen's deeply studied rendering of the D-minor Partita was continuously engaging. One was drawn to his natural feel for rubato (rhythmic give-and-take) and to his tenacious rhythmic sense.

He was appropriately skittish in the Courante and dignified in the Sarabande. His Chaconne was compelling in unconventional ways, and to these ears one of the more distinguished renderings of this piece one can hear today.

At times we wished he'd brought his Baroque violin, which he plays on the CD. On the "modern" violin the earlier movements of the suite took on a more languid mood. At times there is a sort of austerity about his playing -- in the Chaconne's rapid arpeggiated passages, for instance -- and on Wednesday this rigor jousted in interesting ways with what is obviously a passionate basic temperament.

The big, new-ish Holy Trinity Church was not an ideal space for the venture, a tad dry and with a geometrically complex ceiling that sent echoes bouncing off into odd corners to either side of the altar.

"Morimur" was a hit anyway, as good as anything I heard all season

 

Sounds that astound

Thursday, Mar. 6, 2003
By ALAN CONTER
Special to The Globe and Mail

The Hilliard Ensemble

Montréal Nouvelles Musiques
At Pollack Hall
in Montreal on Tuesday

Tuesday evening a friend ventured what probably many in the hall were thinking -- that coming into the concert he had assumed that the extraordinary sounds heard on Hilliard Ensemble ECM recordings must include some fancy digital treatment. But no, the astounding melding of the voices of David James, Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold and Gordon Jones is simply that, astounding, other-worldly.

The Hilliard Ensemble, named for the English miniaturist painter Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), are without doubt one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world. Since their founding in 1974 they've built an enviable reputation in both the New Music and Old Music worlds. A lot of very fine music has been created for them, from composers such as Gavin Bryars, John Casken, James McMillan and, of course, Arvo Part. Over the past decade or so they've become somewhat renowned for their singing of songs of the Baltic region.

They are featured guests at the Montréal Nouvelles Musiques festival and on Tuesday evening they performed eight short pieces by eight contemporary composers, while on Wednesday they performed the North American premiere of Dutch composer Cornelis de Bondt's Bloed.

The Tuesday performance was an eclectic and mostly, though not entirely, pleasing mix. The concert began with Piers Hellawell's The Hilliard Songbook. The work is redolent of early English musical motifs and is a lovely showcase for the remarkable individual and combined voices of all four men.

This was followed by the veteran Swiss composer Rudolf Kelterborn's Four Sonnets for Four Voices. While Kelterborn may enjoy a stellar academic reputation, the Four Sonnets suffers from that academic obsession with intricacy that ultimately becomes tedious to listen to and, one suspects, not a whole lot of fun to perform.

Relief was not long coming. Elizabeth Liddle, a Scottish composer who lived in Vancouver for a while, offered a delightful work entitled Whale Rant,which she claims to have composed while "obsessed" with Melville's Moby Dick. Light and dark shift in language and tonal colour and bump up against each other in a very fine work that evocative of a Presbyterian hymnal.

Then came the world premiere of José Evangelista's Songs of Innocence and of Experience,based on William Blake's poetry. Evangelista has an innate sense of the loveliness of the human voice. With the seven songs of this cycle he transports us through a shifting tapestry of musical colours and textured harmonies on four-note sonorities that flow into heterophony.

After the intermission it was time for the world premiere of Torontonian Peter Steenhuisen's Les enfants éternels des gens désespérés. Steenhuisen takes an excerpt of Christian Bok's fabulous Eunoia,a piece that uses only the vowel "e" in a descent into hell, full of hexes. While the singers are given separate and at times colliding lines to sing, the hallucinatory setting is augmented by taped electro-acoustic sources such as recordings of the Afghani instrument the sorna. The canonic singing of the Hilliards didn't quite seem to marry as fruitfully with the electro-acoustic material as one might have wished. The jarring effect, while perhaps in part intentional, seemed not entirely satisfactory. It was if one was listening to two too-separate performances.

Joanna Metcalf, an American composer, carried the audience to the poetry of Dante with a piece that, like the Hellawell and Evangelista, evoked earlier musical forms. A lovely work.

Arvo Part's And one of the Pharisees was next, using excerpts of the Gospel of St. Luke. The Hilliard's relationship with Part began in 1988 and this latest work shows the intimate connection with the composer. This was an achingly beautiful performance, even for those who might have heard just about enough of the composer that FM radio loves.

The final work was by the Russian-German composer, Alexander Raskatov. It is a devotional piece whose music uses the tonal shifts of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical tradition. After the austere Part, it seemed an almost academic pursuit of intricacy. Fine, technical singing, some intriguing moments. But it demanded too much concentration when luxuriating in the earlier sublime moments would have sufficed.

 

Hartford Courant

MUSIC REVIEW

Hilliard Quartet Weaves Magic

By MATTHEW ERIKSON
Hartford Courant Staff Writer

February 23 2003

The following review is reprinted from Saturday's late editions.

The Hilliard Ensemble, a world-renowned a cappella quartet, performed the sacred, soul-soothing strains of early Renaissance composers Dufay and Josquin at Trinity College Chapel Friday night.

Founded in 1974-years before a cappella groups such as Chanticleer or The King's Singers had their start-the British-based group has built its sizable reputation on highly engaging performances of old and new vocal repertoire. Friday it turned its attention to the timeless polyphony of the 15th century with interludes of earlier church music.

The evening's result was similar to the experience of visiting an ancient European cathedral for the first time: awe-inspiring, edifying, and amazingly beautiful.

No doubt the Gothic arches, ornate decor and resonant acoustics of Trinity's chapel added to the impression, as did the sprinkling of sections of Dufay's Mass "Se la face ay pale" throughout the performance. The evening began with the Mass' "Kyrie" and closed with its "Agnus Dei." At times it made applauding these fine and singular musicians more than a little awkward.

Dufay's Mass assimilates the best of the Italian, Flemish and French musical elements of his time: weaving independent melodic lines that move elegantly from bursting activity to repose. Expressive, though never emoting, the musichad a rapturous effect.

The Josquin motets performed by the Hilliard Ensemble demonstrated a richer range of vocal color and vertical sonority. From the start of the motet "Tu solus qui facis mirabilia" to its end, the voices of the group coalesced splendidly.

Other highlights included the heart-rending "Ave Maria," which reached back and forth from canonical to melodic textures. Tenor Steven Harrold gave a solo of early chant that had the beauty and scope of an operatic aria. The group came together in the Josquin motet "O bone et dulcissime Iesu," singing with distinctive delicacy, technical control and brilliant balance.

Copyright 2003, Hartford Courant

 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

April 26, 2002

Music review, Performing Arts Chicago's 'Morimur' at St. James Cathedral

By John von Rhein

Composers have dabbled in musical cryptograms for centuries. Now, it would appear that Johann Sebastian Bach was the greatest cryptographer of them all.

In 1994, the German Bach scholar Helga Thoene published a paper arguing that a number of the chorales Bach had written for his cantatas were implied or alluded to in the famous Chaconne from his D-minor Partita for solo violin. The chaconne, she believes, is an elaborately encoded epitaph to Bach's first wife, Maria Barbara.

Thoene's thesis, based on numerological clues left behind by the composer, intrigued the German violinist Christoph Poppen. He persuaded Manfred Eicher, the ever-visionary producer of ECM Records, to record Thoene's arrangement of the Chaconne incorporating the encrypted chorales. Eicher brought the four-voice Hilliard Ensemble into the project, and the result was an adventure in speculative musicology called "Morimur."

Their ECM disc of that name shot to the top of the charts upon its release late last year. "Morimur" struck a sympathetic chord with many listeners at a time of national unease and mourning. The CD's sleeper success produced a spinoff tour that brought Poppen and the Hilliards to Chicago's St. James Cathedral Thursday under the auspices of Performing Arts Chicago.

Whatever credence one was willing to give the scholarly theories behind it, the 70-minute concert made for an absorbing, uniquely moving experience.

Following the format of the recording, "Morimur" (the title, "We die," comes from a Latin epitaph, "We die in Christ") interspersed the partita's five movements with the Lutheran chorales Bach is thought to have imbedded in them. The 14-minute Chaconne was played twice — in the solo version and also in Thoene's arrangement for violin and voices singing rhythmically altered versions of the chorales.

It would take another musicologist to fathom the arcane evidence Thoene has amassed to support her contentions. Her arguments are convincing but impossible to prove. Is this really what went on in Bach's mind when he was writing the solo violin works? We can never know for sure. On the other hand, decoding Bach's secret language is no mere scholarly exercise if it takes us on so rewarding a musical and spiritual journey.

"Morimur" offers music of consolation from across the centuries, presented with enormous skill and deep devotion. A superb, stylish violinist, Poppen shaped Bach's long undulating lines from the inside out. Whether plain or adorned with vocal polyphony, his playing of the Chaconne took on a rapt, ethereal beauty. The Hilliards — Monica Mauch, David James, Steven Harrold and Gordon Jones — intoned the chorales with pure, precise, glowing tone. Bach's music came alive, exquisitely so.

Programs  

The Hilliard Ensemble has quite an active repertoire.  Their own website (click here) will give you what is currently being offered and I recommend that you head there.  The programs fall into three categories:

All-Early Music

These can include concentrations on composers Machaut, Lassus, Josquin, Dufay, and others. The ensemble can tailor programs as needed (given enough advance time).

Mixed Early & Contemporary

These programs are a riot, and the audience leaves not knowing what is new and what is old – just what the Hilliards want.  The Hilliards structure these not in sets by the same composer, but in contrasting pieces side by side.  Intellectually great!  Not for every audience.

(this is only an example – it is not a currently available program)

REVELATIONS
From Russia, the USA and Southern Europe,

Il nome del bel fior: Maria I           Joanne Metcalf

Salve regina                         Nicolas Gombert

Il nome del bel fior: Maria II         Joanne Metcalf

Audi dulcis amica mea       Jacquet de Mantua

Il nome del bel fior Joanne Metcalf

There is no rose of such virtue      anon C15

Alnight by the rose Karen Thomas

Interval         

From Prophetiae Sibyllarum         Orlando di Lasso

Carmina chromatico          

Virgine matre          

Ecce dies venient   

Ecce dies nigras.    

Wreath of Stone       Jonathan Wild

Dame de qui toute ma joie            Guillaume de Machaut

Praise             Alexander Raskatov

(The above is only an example of a type of program.  It is not available)

Collaborations

Bach Motets and Pärt – soon to be an album for ECM, Bach’s motets (2 sopranos, alto, 2 tenors, bass and organ) will be paired with chamber works, some a cappella and some with organ, by Pärt.

Morimur - The Hilliard Ensemble in collaboration with Christoph Poppen performing Bach's D minor Partita and with related chorales, in Helga Thoene's realization.

Works for The Hilliard Ensemble with orchestra or instrumental ensemble -

Cornelis de Bondt - Bloed, Stephen Hartke - Titluli, Unsuk Chin - Miroir des Temps, James MacMillan - Quickening, Piers Hellawell - The Pear Tree of Nicostratus, Arvo Pärt - Litany, Passio, Miserere. Forthcoming works by Stephen Hartke, Alexander Raskatov and Terje Rypdal.

Discography   click here

Personal & Biased Comments About The Artist

Virtuosity is most commonly associated with the sizzle of a violinist’s flurry of notes.  The Hilliards offer another kind.  It’s a “low temperature” virtuosity that you hear in the glow of four voices beautifully tuned and balanced, emerging out of silence.  This ensemble, without resorting to any tuning reference, does just that.  Their program may jump from a barely tonal contemporary piece to a hyper-tonal motet – and they emerge time and again in beautiful consonance.  It’s really something, and it is one reason why the ensemble is so revered by choral ensembles.  Of course tuning is a technical issue, but without mastering it, very little music can be made. 

Technical Requirements

The Concert Presenter will please provide:

4 chairs & 4 music stands with solid tops, 2 hours rehearsal in space on day of concert; and during the rehearsal & concert please provide 3 quarts of mineral water, glasses, freshly-brewed coffee with cups.

 

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