ArcoVoce’s performances have been hailed for both their outstanding quality and their remarkable innovation. Examples of ArcoVoce’s innovative programming include pairing music of Hildegard von Bingen and Olivier Messian, music stemming from the same Catholic mystic tradition notwithstanding the eight plus centuries between composers. The ensemble’s Compact Disk “The ArcoVoce Chamber Ensemble” links the moody, dark Bach e minor sonata for violin and continuo with the dark, moody instrumental song cycle of Shostakovich “Seven Romances to Poems of Alexander Blok.” ArcoVoce often presents highly meritorious but less familiar pieces from the panoply of western music, including east coast premieres of music of the Dutch baroque composer Cornelius Padbrue, C. P. E. Bach’s contemporary J.C. Graun, and contemporary composer Lori Leitman. ArcoVoce has also made the first recording of trio sonatas of the 17th century Italian baroque master Isabella Leonarda. The Washington Post said of ArcoVoce: “The performances were skilled and dedicated, wonderfully expressive... It is very rare to hear a single ensemble performing so well in such different kinds of music.”
REPERTOIRE AND CHOICE OF INSTRUMENTS
ArcoVoce juxtaposes music from different eras because we believe that while the artistic language chosen by composers may differ, the underlying human truths expressed remain constant and discernable. Linking seemingly disparate music reveals unexpected congruities and synergies. Our compact disk, for example, pairs a Hildegard von Bingen chant with the exquisite slow movement of the Brahms c minor piano quartet, both aural manifestations of the eternal feminine. It follows that our interest in this variety of repertoire is reflected in a commitment to historically informed performance practice: performing music on the instruments for which it was composed. But ArcoVoce goes further and maintains that there need not be a chasm between early and modern instruments – or early and modern instrument performers! From our perspective, at the dawn of the 21st century, our sweeping awareness of all that has come before invites this panoramic exploration, encouraging a feeling of discovery, appreciation and recognition in both performers and audiences.