Switzerland – (Birth!)Day 3

Published: 19th October 2015

2015-10-17 09.44.08
2015-10-17 09.58.08
After a leisurely breakfast and a trip to the chocolate shop in the square, we set off from Zofingen for Ittingen – this journey involved four changes, with two trains, a bus and eventually a minibus coming to collect us from a deserted Swiss roadside! The travel was worth it, though: Kartause Ittingen is an incredibly beautiful and peaceful place, brimming with culture and fantastic organic food, all grown or reared on site. After rehearsal we were treated to dinner in the Kartause restaurant by Ursula Jones, our tour organiser, sponsor and irrepressible force of nature! (pictured right, with Guy and Ed) We then performed to a wonderfully receptive audience, before celebrating Emma’s birthday with a cake (preceded by some ridiculous distraction techniques to keep her occupied while the candles were lit!) in the green room and some well-deserved local beer: brewed on site, of course!

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Reviews

"The Marian Consort’s performances deliver full value in terms of expressive range and sophistication. Pitch-perfect tuning and immaculately clean ensemble … add further to the attractions of this eminently listenable recital."

BBC Music Magazine

"You are left in no doubt of the agony of the crucifixion in the vocal and horn climax of the opening chorus of Stabat Mater ... intense and riveting."

The Times

"There’s earnest beauty in it and the instrumental playing on this recording is spot on – the Berkeley Ensemble under David Wordsworth clinches the balance of chaste, plaintive and urgent."

The Gaurdian

"The Marian Consort has built an enviable reputation for coolly poised and precisely balanced performances and indeed there are times here when the listener can only sit back and admire, seduced by the sheer beauty of sound."

Early Music Today

"Singing one person to a part, the Marian Consort give sublimely refined, spacious and impeccably tuned performances."

The Sunday Times

"The Marian Consort’s background in early music pays dividends in their superb precision of pitch, impeccable rhythmic placing and beautiful diction … the lush harmonies that open [Judica me] are sumptuously delivered and beautifully recorded."

Gramophone

"Little is known about the 16th-century composer, except that his beautifully smooth polyphony was much admired ... As revealed with pellucid clarity by Rory McCleery’s young Marian Consort on this first recording devoted exclusively to Maillard, he was a subtly expressive composer."

The Times

"With two women in the group, they make no pretence at emulating what might have happened in the 16th century; but that lets them sing out with more freedom. So this is no-nonsense musicianship, but for all that thoroughly musical ... The unfussy performance helps the music enormously."

Gramophone

"The motets are more adventurous, declamatory and cleverly nuanced, with a recognisable house style. The Marian Consort produces a very pleasing sound."

Early Music Today

"The most striking feature of this entertainingly varied collection is the consistently fresh, fruit-ripe tonal quality of the Marian Consort's singing … poised and flexible, the text responded to with notable insight and maturity."

BBC Music Magazine