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    Organization

    Blue Heron Renaissance Choir

    PO Box 372
    Ashland , MA 01721
    617.960.7956

    Website: blueheronchoir.org


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    About BLUE HERON

    The vocal ensemble Blue Heron, directed by Scott Metcalfe, has been acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker for the “expressive intensity” of its interpretations. Combining a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practices, Blue Heron...

    About BLUE HERON

    The vocal ensemble Blue Heron, directed by Scott Metcalfe, has been acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker for the “expressive intensity” of its interpretations. Combining a commitment to vivid live performance with the study of original source materials and historical performance practices, Blue Heron ranges over a wide and fascinating repertoire, including 15th-century English and Franco-Flemish polyphony, Spanish music between 1500 and 1600, and neglected early 16th-century English music, especially the rich and unique repertory of the Peterhouse partbooks, copied c. 1540 for Canterbury Cathedral. Blue Heron’s first CD, featuring music by Guillaume Du Fay, was released in 2007. In 2010 the ensemble inaugurated a 5-CD series of Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks; three discs have been released so far, of music by Hugh Aston, Robert Jones, Nicholas Ludford, John Mason, and Richard Pygott, including many world premiere recordings; volume 4 will be recorded this fall for release in 2014 and volume 5 will follow in 2015. All of Blue Heron’s recordings have received international critical acclaim and the first Peterhouse CD made the Billboard charts.

    Blue Heron presents a concert series in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The ensemble has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival; in New York City at The Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum of Art), the 92nd Street Y, and Music Before 1800; at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., at Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, California, and at the Berkeley Early Music Festival. In 2012-13 Blue Heron took up a new position as ensemble in residence at the new Center for Early Music Studies at Boston University and performed for the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Highlights of the 2013-14 season are a return to The Cloisters and debut appearances at the Library of Congress, at Yale University, and in Seattle, Kansas City, and Cleveland.

    *****

     “One of the Boston music community’s indispensables...sets the standard for the presentation of Renaissance vocal music.”  —The Boston Globe

    “There is always something in this choir to make you listen more deeply, to lean forward and witness the inner voices. Their contrapuntal nuance is at times astounding... [Blue Heron is] a fantastic model for the fully-realized potential of early music performance in the 21st century.” —Boston Musical Intelligencer

     


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    Media Reviews


    • Event Name: Chansons de printemps
      Article: Springtime in Europe, from an inspired pairing
      Boston Globe - May 06, 2013
      By Jeffrey Gantz

      "What makes Blue Heron and Parthenia ... such good partners is the value both outfits place on clarity and expressiveness. Whether it’s a tapestry of voices or instruments, every thread is palpable. But there’s nothing abstract about their perfo… Expand

      "What makes Blue Heron and Parthenia ... such good partners is the value both outfits place on clarity and expressiveness. Whether it’s a tapestry of voices or instruments, every thread is palpable. But there’s nothing abstract about their performances, which ebb and flow with human feeling." Collapse

    • Article: Many Voices
      The New Yorker - Jan 10, 2011
      By Alex Ross

      "Among recent CDs in the polyphonic field, a recording by the Boston ensemble Blue Heron stands out. The director of Blue Heron is Scott Metcalfe and his aim is to bring expressive intensity, even a hint of Baroque flair, to the earlier repertor… Expand

      "Among recent CDs in the polyphonic field, a recording by the Boston ensemble Blue Heron stands out. The director of Blue Heron is Scott Metcalfe and his aim is to bring expressive intensity, even a hint of Baroque flair, to the earlier repertory. ...Of course, my sense of Aston’s voice owes much to Blue Heron’s imaginative realizations of his scores. Through an array of interpretive choices—fine gradations of dynamics; pungent diction; telling contrasts of ethereal and earthy timbres; tempos that are more lusty than languid; a way of propelling a phrase toward a goal—the music takes on narrative momentum, its moods dovetailing with the theme of the text. Listen to the brazen, almost raucous tone of the sopranos as they arrive, in “Ave Maria dive matris Anne,” at the self-reflexive phrase “psallentes et omnes hoc Ave Maria”—“and all singing this Hail Mary.” Or to the joyous thrust of the basses in the Amen coda of Aston’s “Gaude virgo mater Christi,” as they repeat a phrase in which one interval keeps widening, from a third to a fourth and, finally, to a fifth. ... But it is good to feel a hint of turbulence, of mortal fear, in performances such as Blue Heron’s and Ensemble Organum’s; with that quiver of passion, the music inspires even greater awe. Cathedrals turn cold when they are empty of people." Collapse

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