Abendmusik: Bach and Before

Resurgam with continuo Siobhán Armstrong (baroque harp) and Mark Duley (director and organ)

 Live-streamed from St Nicholas Collegiate Church, Galway
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This concert is part of a series of Sunday evening concerts organized by Resurgam Chamber Choir, directed by Mark Duley. Initially partnered by Music for Galway for Galway 2020, the series is continuing for 2021 under Resurgam’s own steam.

Programme
Johann Schein, Fontana Israel : Israelis Brünnlein (Leipzig 1623)
Monteverdi, Laudate Dominum SV 287 (1641)
Heinrich Schütz, Geistliche Chormusik (Dresden 1648)
Monteverdi, Venite venite sitientes SV 335 (1624)
J.S. Bach, Jesu meine Freude BWV 227

What the reviewers say
Early music specialists, Resurgam, mined the Italian influence in 17th century German repertoire building to a mighty motet by JS Bach. Director Mark Duley mixed and matched nimble forces of five singers, chamber organ and harp to produce a satisfying variety of timbre and pace. Siobhán Armstrong’s plucked harp strings blended with the ethereal soprano voices of Aisling Kenny and Charlotte Trepess in Monteverdi’s setting of the Song of Solomon would make a cynic believe in angels.

Cathy Desmond, Irish Examiner, 3 May 2021


ARTISTS

Resurgam was founded in 2003 by Mark Duley, and is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed vocal ensembles. Resurgam is the premiere project-based professional choir in the country, and many of its singers have parallel careers as soloists. It inspires audiences and partner choirs the length and breadth of Ireland, bringing alive the emotional drama found in so much vocal music, especially that of the seventeenth century.  For this concert the choir is

Charlotte Trepess (soprano)
Aisling Kenny (soprano)
Sarah Thursfield (alto)
Christopher Bowen (Tenor)
Paul McGough (bass)
 

Mark Duley (Director and chamber organ) is one of Ireland’s most well-known choral specialists, and has led workshops and masterclasses for choirs and conductors in Ireland, the UK, and continental Europe. He founded Resurgam in 2003, with the aim of establishing it as Ireland’s premier project-based professional choir. He has directed the choir in numerous concerts and tours and over a wide range of repertoire.

Mark was born and raised in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, and came to Ireland in 1992. He has held several major posts in the country, including organist and director of music at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, chorus master to the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and artistic director of the organ festival Pipeworks.

As conductor or organist, he has appeared with most of the major Irish ensembles, including RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Chamber Choir Ireland, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Opera Theatre Company, and the Orchestra of St Cecilia. He has performed at many of Ireland’s premier festivals, including the Wexford Opera Festival, the Cork International Choral Festival, the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the East Cork Early Music.

Siobhán Armstrong (Baroque harp)
One of Europe’s best-known harpists playing pre-1800 repertory on reconstructions of medieval to baroque instruments, Siobhán Armstrong performs and records early church-, chamber-music and opera with some of the most respected early-music directors, ensembles, orchestras and opera companies in Europe, and collaborates with significant traditional musicians in Ireland. In Irish music, she places herself where ‘historical’ meets ‘traditional’: for more than 25 years, she has been exploring the neglected repertory, playing techniques and idiom of the early Irish harp. This is also the subject of her PhD (Middlesex University London, 2021, forthcoming). In 2015, Siobhán located a ‘lost’ historic Irish harp, and in 2016 she commissioned the first ever 3D-laser scan of a musical instrument at The National Museum of Ireland. Sharing her discoveries is now at the heart of her artistic and educational work. She is the author of Singing to harp accompaniment in medieval to early modern Ireland in The Oxford Handbook of Irish Song (Oxford University Press, 2022). With her ensemble, The Irish Consort, she has begun a unique recording series to document music in Ireland 1500—1800. In 2021 Siobhán became an Occasional Lecturer at the School of Music, University College Dublin.