A treasury of Italian madrigals - Gesualdo Six
Event 10
Saturday 15th October, 8.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Love, longing and death

This is an archived event from the 2016 Programme.

Owain Park director   Guy James, Alex Chance countertenors   Joseph Wicks, Josh Cooter tenors   Michael Craddock baritone   Sam Mitchell bass

Musicians in late 16th century Italian courts found powerful new ways of expressing words in music through madrigals and the newly-invented form of opera. Monteverdi and his contemporaries created beautiful, dramatic and moving ways of conveying not only the passions aroused by love, longing and death, but also anger, despair, war and grief – new themes for composers. Plangent chromatic dissonances evoked extreme emotions – pain, anguish, guilt, torment – especially among later madrigalists like Gesualdo.  This new expressiveness was applied to sacred as well as secular music.

Gesualdo Six explore this great musical treasury, finding gems by seldom heard composers as well as by familiar stars like Monteverdi.

“The coolest vocal group around…revel in the gorgeous sounds, the spellbinding music… Don’t miss them. I guarantee you’ll have the best evening ever” (John Rutter)

Gesualdo Six, an impressively accomplished young vocal sextet directed by Owain Park, specialise in Renaissance polyphony. Last year they became St John’s Smith Square Young Artists. 

“The six voices… blended beautifully in the stunning setting of King’s College Chapel to create a truly outstanding concert” (Varsity)

“They sang with utter conviction, perfect intonation, impeccable blend, just balance – and even a little humour... The blend is superb; but the line-up consists of soloists who will surely also appear as Evangelists, lieder singers or lute-song recitalists in time” (The Tablet)

This year, the group successfully curated their first Composition Competition, supported by St John’s Smith Square and the Music Sales group of companies. The judges (John Rutter, Stephen Layton, Kate Johnson and Owain Park) were amazed by the number of entries and the extremely high standard of work; in the end there were over 170 entries spanning six continents.

Concert sponsored by Alan Hedges