I organise an Early Music group: SIENA. Siena specialises in music from the 14th-17th centuries,
on reproduction Renaissance viols, recorders, voices and lute. The group
has broadcast in my Radio 3 play, Orlando and Friends, and
gives carefully created concerts which have a unique and seamless mix
of words and music. Over the past decade we have performed the previously
little-known music of Salamone Rossi, the early 17th century Jewish composer
from Mantua, contemporary of Monteverdi. We have appeared at the Purcell
Room in London, in Nottingham and at the Lincoln Early Music Festival.
We have also produced our debut CD, Salamone Rossi Hebreo Mantovano
(2002), the first CD produced in this country to contain a cross-section
of Rossi's music. The CD was produced with the help of a Jewish Music
Institute Millenneum Lottery Fund Award.
|The CD weaves together a diverse selection of Rossi's sacred
and secular vocal and instrumental music. The playing and singing
is excellent and utterly compelling. Michelene Wandor links the
music with an extended poem which draws the listener more closely
into the experience. The result is both moving and enriching.
Early Music News, 2002
|Siena Ensemble bring Rossi's music to life.
Click here to sample the CD
(extract from Ahi, ben ti veggio)
Click here to Order the CD
SIENA offers a number of programmes. These are a seamless mix of words and music. A narrative poem by Michelene Wandor is interwoven with appropriate period music, vocal and instrumental performed on period instruments. Fees by negotiation.
Plain and Fancy: an entertainment based on the life, times and music of Benvenuto Cellini, with music from 16th-century Europe. Toured round the country and appeared at a number of early music festivals. (2002 onwards.)
The Marriage of True Minds: Shakespeare and the Dark (Jewish?) Lady of the Sonnets. A vivid evocation of life in London in the early seventeenth century, woven round the life and times of Emilia Lanier, the first woman in England to publish a long, devotional poem. Music by Dowland, Byrd and others. (2003 onwards.)
The Harlot, the Rake and London Town: a words and music dramatisation of Hogarth’s ‘Rake’s Progress’, with songs from John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. (2004 onwards.).
The Music of the Prophets: the resettlement of the Jews in England, 1655-1656. The story of Oliver Cromwell and Menasseh ben Israel, with evocations of Amsterdam and London. Music by John Hingeston, Cromwell’s Master of Musick. (2006 onwards.) Supported by the European Association for Jewish Culture.
Fees for performances by arrangement - contact
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