Baroque string band ACRONYM joins forces with the vocalists of Les Canards Chantants for a program featuring the unusual and enticing large-ensemble sonatas of Giovanni Valentini (c1582–1649) – once Kapellmeister of the Holy Roman Empire – coupled with the first modern performances of a number of his madrigals for voices and instruments, exactly four hundred years after their publication.
ACRONYM, a twelve-member string band, formed in 2012 to create the first recording of a collection of ensemble sonatas by Johann Pezel. Their next disc, sonatas by Antonio Bertali, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim; Alex Ross selected it as a CD Pick, and Early Music America magazine wrote “the idiomatic performances and spacious recording by these young musicians are absolutely first rate. This is a disc … belonging in everyone’s collection.”
The group is dedicated to giving modern premieres of the wild instrumental music of the seventeenth century, resurrecting long-forgotten works. ACRONYM released a third album, the first recordings of Giovanni Valentini’s instrumental works, in 2015. Gramophone wrote that the recording is "played with expertise, enthusiasm and an almost tactile sense of timbre." ACRONYM has recorded two more albums to be released in early 2016: the modern premiere of Valentini's 1616 book of madrigals with the vocal ensemble Les Canards Chantants, and a "Cabinet of Curiosities," instrumental sonatas by ten composers of the German Baroque.. Quickly becoming recognized as an essential early-music ensemble, ACRONYM is "vital and vibrant," "irresistible" and "exceptional."
Les Canards Chantants
Praised for their “polished singing” and for “instilling their superb performances with liveliness and theatricality” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer) and for their “brilliant and moving” programming (Early Music America magazine) Les Canards Chantants is a solo-voice ensemble committed to dynamic interpretation of renaissance polyphony.
The “singing ducks” have performed to high acclaim throughout the UK and Germany, appearing on BBC One and in venues as diverse as York Minster, The National Centre for Early Music, and Poole’s Cavern. Now newly based in Philadelphia, Les Canards Chantants are musical Ensemble in Residence at the Glencairn Museum, and their 2015-2016 season includes concerts at the Cathedral Basilica and the Bowerbird series in Philadelphia, the Five Boroughs Music Festival in New York City, collaborations with period-instrument ensembles Piffaro and ACRONYM, and residencies at Brown University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Les Canards Chantants is proud to be a 2015 recipient of an Early Music America Outreach Grant.
Upcoming performance page, slide1 and ACRONYM bio photos: Alice Hixon Kirk / Slide2 photo: Becky Oehlers Photography / Les Canards Chantants bio photo: Paul Shields