for solo bass clarinet and vocal quartet
Jeff Reilly, bass clarinet
Suzie LeBlanc, soprano | Andrea Ludwig, mezzo-soprano
Charles Daniels, tenor | John Potter, tenor
In his work Responsio composer Peter-Anthony Togni reflects, comments, refutes, challenges and embellishes the bare medieval voice of Guillaume de Machaut and his medieval masterpiece the Messe de Nostre Dame. Responsio is scored for solo bass clarinet and vocal quartet, and includes the entire Messe de Nostre Dame within the fabric of a 55 minute work. Juxtaposing bursts of bass clarinet improvisation against through composed choral material, Responsio casts the role of the bass clarinettist into that of a time traveller, bringing forward Machaut's beautiful 14th creation into the heart of the 21st century. Responsio (premiered 2013) won the 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award.
Along with the wide ranging creative expression of bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly, Responsio draws upon the full resources of four singers who are among the very best in the world. The British tenors John Potter, past member of the Hilliard ensemble, and one of the singers in the very successful Officium project by Jan Garbarek, and Charles Daniels, famous for his work with the Kings Consort and his extensive discography. This recording also features Canadian singers Suzie LeBlanc, equally at home in early and contemporary music, and Andrea Ludwig, a true rising star in opera and contemporary concert performance. These amazing artists give this project a very special weight.
Togniís music is spiritually rooted and contemplative, ranging from the ethereally quiet to the explosive outer limits of contemplation. One of Canadaís busiest contemporary composers, the Juno-nominated Togni has toured internationally and his music is regularly broadcast worldwide. He is also a well-known Canadian broadcaster and a former CBC radio host. Originally from Pembroke, Ontario, he currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches at Acadia and Dalhousie Universities.
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