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Sarum Consort (Vocal Ensemble)

Founded: 1992 - England

Originally formed for a Requiem Service in Romsey Abbey in 1992, the Sarum Consort made its formal debut at the 1993 Salisbury Festival when painter Jane Mackay, Andrew Mackay's sister, exhibited work inspired by Britten's music, and a concert was given to illustrate the artist's inspiration. The group continues to explore a wide repertoire from medieval times to the present day, but music of the golden age - the Renaissance - remains its speciality.

In March 1996 the Consort signed a contract with ASV for the release of a disc of music by Tallis and Byrd on the Quicksilva label, and in June became the founding choral ensemble of a new music festival at Wardour in Wiltshire under the patronage of Sir
John Eliot Gardiner. The Consort's second disc of Byrd Motets was described in the Gramophone as "exhilarating" and in the Penguin Guide as "a first-rate bargain" in which the pacing and control of light and shade "cannot be faulted". More recently the group has begun to record the five and eight part motets of Peter Philips for ASV's Gaudeamus label. The first of these discs has been featured on BBC Radio 3's Record Review where it was described as "magical", and in BBC Music Magazine where it received a glowing report and the maximum five stars for performance. In addition, the Consort's innovative recording of the Bach Motets with one voice to a part was released in April 2001. The Consort's latest disc, of music by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Philip Moore, including Moore's acclaimed Sarum Consort commission Canticle of Light, was released in February 2004.

The choir made its London debut in St John's, Smith Square in October 2002 with
Sergei Rachmaninov's Vespers and Philip Moore's Canticle of Light, commissioned for the occasion. The Church Times reviewer Roderic Dunnett, for whom the Consort "proved itself an easy match for almost any London choir", noted that the conductor "marshalled and balanced his well-prepared Sarum forces with sensitivity, shrewdness, and a glorious feel for the dance".

Source: Sarum Consort Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2004)

Andrew Mackay: Short Biography | Sarum Consort | Recordings of Vocal Works

Links to other Sites

The Sarum Consort (Official Website)


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