Vox Nostra

Vox Nostra
Vox Nostra

Vox Nostra ~ Vocal Ensemble

Vox Nostra is a vocal ensemble based in Berlin, Germany, founded in 1999 by Burkard Wehner. Specialized in the performance of medieval music the main focus of the group is the interpretation of the earliest surviving compositions from the cultural centers of Europe. Sung from manuscripts originating in monasteries, cathedrals, and courts, this music is an acoustical insight into the archaic sound world of the Middle Ages. The members of Vox Nostra have pursued extensive scholarship in the fields of musicology, medieval paleography, and theology. The music of Vox Nostra combines expressive musicality and academic curiosity. The repertoire includes Gregorian and pre-Gregorian chant and the specific liturgical music of the different medieval orders like Cistercians, Dominicans, Carthusians and Franciscans dating from the 10th to the 14th century. Furthermore Vox Nostra sings early polyphony from the 12th to the 14th century and the richly polyphonic compositions of the Renaissance. A special feature of the ensemble is the practice of singing scores researched from original manuscripts. The musical interpretation made by Vox Nostra has specific consequences on the old forms of notation, such as neumatic notation of the chorale, the modal notation of the Notre-Dame organa, and mensural notation. In order to give these features the emphasis they deserve, ensemble Vox Nostra favours a slow, flowing style of performance in an appropriately restrained tempo. The vocal sound which results is rich in overtones, and fills the entire space; it allows the archaic and pure intervals of this music to be fully appreciated, and ensures that the complex weaving of the individual voices is clearly audible. In addition to the original manuscripts, research and this interpretation of the music from the 12th-16th centuries also provides new information the regarding tempo, ornamen­tation and the practice of solo performance of the chants. The unique acoustical situation of each concert location influences concert presentations, as well as the choreography of singers, hence time in each venue to work how the singers can move between various points in the room to integrate the acoustic properties of each site into the score.
The leader of the Ensemble, Burkard Wehner, was born in Steinach an der Saale /Unterfranken. Study of German and Theology at the Julius-Maximilian University Würzburg. Study of "Medieval and Renaissance Vocal Music", and musicology at the Brabant Conservatory in Tilburg, Holland. International master classes with Andrea von Ramm, Jill Feldman, Marcel Pérès and Pedro Memelsdorff. Soloist at many international festivals in Poland, Holland, Austria, France, and Germany. Musical advisor to many medieval ensembles. Extensive musicological activity in the research of medieval source material. Instructor in the field of music sociology at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Teaches workshops and seminars on the interpretati­on and performance practice of medieval vocal music. Director of the Baroque opera Zenobia from Tommaso Albioni (1694) for the Syrian National Opera Damascus / Cultural Capital Damascus 2008. Member of the advisory board for the exhibition 'The Council of Constance 1414-1418' in Constance from April to September 2014. Lives and works in Berlin.
Gregorian Chants · Veri Solis RadiusGregorian Chants · Veri Solis Radius
Ensemble Vox Nostra
Veri Solis Radius
Musical networks in medieval Europe
Gregorian chants from the 12th & 13th century,
performed by the Vocal Ensemble Vox Nostra:
Amy Green · Susanne Wilsdorf · Ellen Hünigen
Werner Blau · Burkard Wehner (Musical Director)
A concert recording from the church
of Cistercian Abbey in Eusserthal (Germany)
HD Recording · DDD · c. 60 Minutes
CD
EUR 22,00SpotifyDeezerNapsterGoogle PlayApple MusicNaxos Music LibraryAmazon MusicTidaliTunes MasteredFor...Qobuz HDeClassical HDPresto Classical HDReview

It is not possible to overstate the importance of this recording

The first word that comes to mind on listening to this CD is haunting. As a procession entering into the abbey church (St. Bernhard, Eusserthal, Rhineland-Palatinate) we initially hear a distant group of singers approaching, as they get louder and fill the space with their resplendent voices we settle into a transcendental journey across ancient medieval Europe. Each of the five singers on this recording is a scholar specialist (musicology, paleography, theology) in this repertoire. They include, Amy Green (USA), Susanne Wilsdorf, Ellen Hünigen, Werner Blau, Burkard Werner (Germany). They gave a concert in the abbey church on September 8, 2013. This CD is a snapshot recorded on site in direct 2-track stereo digital. The sound quality is quite simply amazing. A restored church from what was left of the original ruined abbey Kloster Eusserthal, is widely known in Europe as a great concert acoustic. An ongoing series of performances is presented annually in the former Cistercian monument, near Annweiler am Trifels.
Vox Nostra to quote their notes, "…favors a slow, flowing style of performance in an appropriately restrained tempo. The vocal sound which results is rich in overtones, and fills the entire space; it allows the archaic and pure intervals of this music to be fully appreciated, and ensures that the complex weaving of the voices is clearly audible." This writer would have to qualify their approach and the amazing results as revolutionary and without president or rival. I feel like I have heard medieval chant for the very first time it is so startling and overpowering.
The repertoire is varied and all taken from original manuscripts in Spain, Italy, Scotland, Germany, England and France. The recording ends as it began. The singers exit the abbey church and their voices trail off into the distance into silence. It is not possible to overstate the importance of this new recording on a label that is almost totally unknown here in North America. Insist on listening for yourself Vox Nostra's artistic triumph Veri Solis Radius.

© 2015 Timothy Eaton Memorial Church

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