WEM Festival Sunday May 7th 2017: Gonzaga Band

Date(s) - 7th May 2017
15:00 - 17:00

Gonzaga Band


Faye Newton     soprano

Jamie Savan        cornett and mute cornett

Steven Devine       harpsichord and chamber organ

will perform songs and duets from the age of Monteverdi.

The Gonzaga Band was formed by the cornettist Jamie Savan in 1997, in order to explore historical approaches to the performance of vocal and instrumental music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The ensemble takes its name from the ducal family of Mantua: the Gonzagas were powerful and influential patrons of the arts in the late Renaissance, who employed Claudio Monteverdi as their maestro della musica.

Performing most often as a chamber ensemble with a core of soprano, cornett and keyboards, the primary focus of the group is in the intimate relationship between vocal and instrumental performance practice. The Gonzaga Band expands on occasion to include other like-minded vocal and period-instrument specialists according to the particular requirements of each programme.

The Gonzaga Band is renowned for its innovative programming, underpinned by the latest scholarly research, which shines new light on the repertoire and its interpretation. The Gonzaga Band has released two CDs on the Chandos label to international critical acclaim: Sacred Garland (2009) and Chamber Vespers (2011).

Faye Newton enjoys a diverse repertoire spanning some six centuries and embracing many aspects of the solo voice, from intimate lute-song recitals and consort singing to baroque opera and collaborations with some of the leading orchestras and choirs on the European scene for historically-informed performance. For much of the past decade she has performed as a soloist with the New London Consort, most notably at the BBC Proms and in Jonathan Miller’s productions of Monteverdi’s ‘Orfeo’, and Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’, delighting audiences across four continents.

Faye can often be heard performing solo-voice Bach Cantatas with the Feinstein Ensemble at St Martin in the Fields and the Southbank Centre, London. Faye has a particular love for the music of Monteverdi and his contemporaries and in addition to her work with The Gonzaga Band she features on Andrew Parrott’s recording of Monteverdi’s Orfeo released in 2013, singing the role of ‘Euridice’ opposite Charles Daniels in the title role. Other notable recordings include ‘The Language of Love’, songs of the troubadour and trouvères with Duo Trobairitz, released by Hyperion and selected as American Record Guide Choice of 2007; music by Giovanni Battista Grillo with His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts; and a recent recording of English rounds and grounds entitled ‘Twenty waies upon the Bels’ with Pellingmans’ Saraband.

Jamie Savan is a member of His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, as well as the founder-director of the Gonzaga Band. He is also active as a solo recitalist, and as an orchestral principal with the English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He has performed with many other of the world’s leading period-instrument ensembles, including Concerto Palatino, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and Bach Collegium Japan to name but a few, and continues to be in great demand as a freelance player of the cornett, mute cornett, and the oft-neglected ‘lizard’ or tenor cornett.

Jamie’s main passion is in discovering previously unknown music in old manuscripts and original printed part-books, and in bringing it to life though the process of transcribing, editing, performing and recording – both with The Gonzaga Band and with HMSC for which he has researched and directed a number of innovative new programmes. Jamie is lucky enough to combine his performing career with teaching and research as a Senior Lecturer in Music at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Steven Devine enjoys a busy career as a music director and keyboard player working with some of the finest musicians. Since 2007 Steven has been the harpsichordist with London Baroque in addition to his position as Co-Principal keyboard player with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He is also the principal keyboard player for the Gonzaga Band, Apollo and Pan, the Classical Opera Company and performs regularly with many other groups around Europe.

He has recorded over thirty discs with other artists and made six solo recordings. His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (Chandos) has received critical acclaim – including Gramophone Magazine describing it as “among the best”. Volumes 1 and 2 of the complete harpsichord works of Rameau (Resonus) have both received five-star reviews from BBC Music Magazine and Steven’s new recording of Bach’s Italian Concerto has been voted Classic FM’s Connoisseur’s choice.

Tickets are £15 (under 18 free) and are available from:

Worcester Live Box Office on 01905 611427

or online from www.worcsearly.eventbrite.co.uk









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Old St Martin's Church, Worcester