The English instrumental and vocal ensemble, Fiori Musicali, founded by Penelope Rapson in 1983, offers a range of formats small chamber ensemble (4-10 musicians), chamber choir (20-30 singers) and also chamber orchestra (11-30 players), and presents repertoire from Palestrina and Victoria, to Mozart and L.v. Beethoven, with everything in between. Fiori’s players include well known musicians.
From the outset, Fiori Musicali built up a strong regional presence in central England, bringing alive the drama and passion of 17th and 18th century music. Programming familiar repertoire with rarer music has drawn the support of an enthusiastic concert-going public, while historically aware performances informed by careful re-examination of sources has brought critical respect for the orchestra’s work. The orchestra's concert season and touring has gown to its present scale of over 40 concerts a year, and attracts significant commercial sponsorship. Fiori Musicali also receive regular support from local and regional arts boards and are frequent winners of awards from the Arts Council of England. In 1992 the orchestra gave performances of Purcell’s ode Hail! Bright Cecilia on the exact 300th anniversary of its first performance in Stationer’s hall in the City of London. The success of this landmark event led to the revival of the 17th century tradition of celebrating St Ceciliatide at the Hall, where the orchestra now has an annual platform to present large-scale works in the capital.
For 2007 Fiori Musicali offered a feast of great music and great artists. They worked with virtuoso recorder player Pamela Thorby, playing sparkling chamber concertos by Vivaldi their recent CD of these pieces was well reviewed: ‘There are six lovely performances on this recording ….there is no denying the stylish and enjoyable playing of Fiori Musicali … a thoroughly enjoyable recording.’ Early Music Review. Fiori also works with counter-tenor James Bowman, with whom they have toured to Madrid, and with acclaimed Spanish guitarist José María Gallardo del Rey.
In 2008 Fiori celebrate 25 years of beautiful music in beautiful places - concerts that take the audience into the sound world of another age. To mark their silver jubilee Fiori offers a cornucopia of wonderful programmes and venues, as well as the launch of our new Silver Jubilee Club. Some of the finest stately homes in Northamptonshire generously open their doors for the ensemble this season. Fiori are performing in the Picture Gallery at Althorp (as part of the Althorp Literary Festival), in the Orangery at Aynhoe Park, at Courteenhall House, and in the Great Hall at Boughton House. These special concerts take place under the auspices of Northampton's summer-long Venezia! festival - a Venetian extravaganza inspired by the fine collection of baroque paintings housed in the Museum and Art Gallery.
Venice colours Fiori's musical programming too. From Monteverdi's famous Vespers of 1610 through to the popular Four Seasons concertos of Vivaldi, Fiori explore the musical world of 17th- and 18th-century Venice.
And not neglecting their own heritage, there are grand concerts from the English Renaissance and Baroque, including Purcell's celebratory Te Deum and Jubilate and Tallis monumental 40-part motet - Spem in alium.
They bring to their audience world class artists. During the 2008-2009 season: the fleet-fingered recorder player Pamela Thorby whose sparkling virtuosity dazzles audiences time and again, brilliant violinist Kerstin Linder-Dewan and delightful soprano Grace Davidson, who recently released with Fiori her début CD - "Grace Davidson: A Portrait". The distinguished counter-tenor James Bowman, will sing with Fiori Musicali in July and August 2008.