News

Herald preview of St Andrew’s Voices appearance

Published: 23rd October 2014

In advance of our appearance at the wonderful St Andrew’s Voices Festival this Friday, Kate Molleson has written a lovely piece which appeared in the Herald last week, and can be viewed online here: she chatted with Rory about the group’s origins and its trademark sound and repertoire, including the exciting Scottish premiere of two works by Jonathan Harvey in St Andrew’s. We hope to see you there!

 

Gramophone Award for Delphian Records

Published: 20th September 2014

RMcC-gramophone-225x300We’re delighted that our recording label, Delphian Records, has been awarded the Gramophone Label of the Year at this year’s Gramophone Awards. The announcement was made at the 2014 awards ceremony, which took place on September 17th in St John’s Smith Square in London, and was attended by The Marian Consort’s director, Rory (pictured below holding the award). We’re going ‘into the studio’ (actually the chapel!) for our next recording with Delphian in January 2015, and our most recent release, Christmas with the Shepherds, will be available from the end of this month.

 

German debut

Published: 13th May 2014

We were delighted to make our German debut with a concert at the Leipzig A Cappella Festival on Sunday – the Festival, run by the German ensemble Amarcord, was a fantastic place for our first concert in the country, as we were wonderfully well looked after and performed our ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold’ programme to an attentive and enthusiastic audience.

The concert was recorded by Deutschlandfunk Radio and will be broadcast, along with an interview with Rory, in the Autumn – we’ll post details here on the website nearer the time.

In the meantime, you can read a review of the concert here – we’ll be performing in Germany several times in 2015, and with such an enjoyable first experience, we can’t wait to go back!

New Reviews

Published: 10th February 2014

After a spate of lovely reviews of our most recent CD release, of music by the French Renaissance polyphonist Jean Maillard, before Christmas, including a very nice one in the December edition of Gramophone Magazine, another has appeared in the latest issue of Choir and Organ. Rebecca Tavener wrote:

‘The pioneering Marian Consort presents the first disc completely dedicated to this musical man of mystery with their characteristic delicacy of phrasing and excellent ensemble, and I was delighted to find the gorgeous five-part Marian motet Omnes gentes attendite, formerly assumed to be Scottish.’

Gramophone was equally complimentary:

‘They show the precision and pellucid textures we have come to expect…this is no-nonsense musicianship, but for all that thoroughly musical.’

 

As with all of our CDs, the disc is available from us on the ‘recordings’ page of our website.

 

 

Reviews of ‘Breaking the Rules’ in Brighton

Published: 5th November 2013

There have been some lovely reviews of our performance in Brighton on Sunday (3rd November) as part of this year’s Brighton Early Music Festival: we were performing with actor Finbar Lynch in ‘Breaking the Rules’, a newly-devised dramatic piece examining the life of the notorious composer Carlo Gesualdo, the anniversary of whose death falls this year.

The Brighton Argus reviewer seemed particularly taken with us: ‘Every bit as arresting as they are transcendent, the modest forces of the Marian Consort filled the air with harmonies that bloomed one from another, their particular skill being an intonation so precise that single notes sounded at first like natural harmonics before gathering a more palpable force. Here was music sung with heavenly perfection’.

To read all of this review, click here.

Robert Hugill’s review commented that ‘The Marian Consort sang Gesualdo’s music as if it was their natural mode of expression, making his difficult chromaticisms seem easy and natural. They sang in the English manner, with a lovely clean sense of line and fabulously secure pitch, but certainly with a feeling for the drama of the music.’

To read all of this review, click here.

Guardian Review of Maillard Missa Je suis déshéritée & motets ****

Published: 7th October 2013

There was a very nice review of our latest CD release in last Thursday’s Guardian, where Andrew Clements awarded the disc four stars, commenting that ‘The performances are models of discretion and musical taste, every texture clear, every phrase beautifully shaped.’

The CD is available for purchase here on our website, or from all good CD retailers.

4 * Review for new CD release – Jean Maillard Missa Je suis déshéritée & motets

Published: 30th September 2013

We’re delighted that our latest CD, of music by the little-known but wonderful Parisian Renaissance composer Jean Maillard, has been awarded four stars by Richard Morrison in the Times. In his review, Morrison praised the ‘beautifully smooth polyphony’ and ‘pellucid clarity’ of the performance.

The disc, which features Maillard’s beautiful Missa Je suis déshéritée, based on a chanson by Pierre Cadeac, alongside a selection of his motets,  is on sale in record shops, online, and from our website from today.

Review of ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold’ in the Church Times

Published: 5th July 2013

After a fruitful day of rehearsals on our Purcell and contemporaries programme for our concert in Edinburgh on Sunday, it was a lovely surprise to see a review of ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold’ from the Church Times, forwarded to us by the good people at Delphian Records.

Roger Judd comments that “listening to this CD was an unalloyed joy for me from start to finish. The seven singers of the Marian Consort, one of whom is their director, Rory McCleery, sing with great finesse and ensemble. I could wax lyrical about just about every track, but i’ll spare you that. Instead, go out and buy the CD for yourself’.”

High praise indeed!

 

International Record Review of ‘An Emerald in a work of Gold’

Published: 6th March 2013

Another very nice review of ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold – Music from the Dow Partbooks’, this time from International Record Review: Robert Levett praises ‘the second release from the superb Marian Consort…Performances are uniformly excellent, the Marian Consort’s rich, sweet timbre, immaculate tuning and clear diction – just listen to Robert Parsons’s Ave Maria, which ends the recording – complemented by the Rose Consort’s own gloriously rich yet transparent sound. Soprano Emma Walshe’s dulcet stratospherics are equally impressive in Tallis’s O salutaris hostia, floating high above the viol consort.’

The disc is available in all good record stores, and from the ‘Recordings’ page here on our website.

Passiontide at Merton Festival brochure available

Published: 19th January 2013

We’re very excited to be ‘Consort in Residence’ at this year’s Passiontide at Merton Festival, where we’ll be performing as soloists with the stellar Merton College Choir in Arvo Pärt’s ‘Passio’ and Handel’s ‘Messiah’ on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th of March.

 

The brochure, which contains details of all the events in the 2013 Festival, is now available here.

Reviews

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

The Sunday Times

"The performances are models of discretion and musical taste, every texture clear, every phrase beautifully shaped."

The Gaurdian

"'performances are always vibrant and perfectly tuned’"

The Times

"There is an alluring, sometimes intoxicating equilibrium about this disc, regulated by the pure-toned intimacy and blend of Rory McCleery’s fine ensemble."

The Scotsman

"The singers perform with a yearning intensity which is just exquisite."

Gramophone

"Exemplary one-to-a-part performances ... the singing is as impassioned as it is effortlessly elegant."

BBC Music Magazine

"This is no-nonsense musicianship, but for all that thoroughly musical ... The unfussy performance helps the music enormously."

Gramophone

"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

"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