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Daniel Taylor and The Theatre of Early Music
Touring Programs

Dido and Aeneas

2 violins, viola, gamba, lute, baroque guitar, doublebass, harpsichord 9 soloists and 6 semi-chorus

Honouring the genius of Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas is based on a story from the fourth book of Virgil’s Aeneid of the legendary Queen of Carthage and the Trojan refugee Aeneas. When Aeneas and his crew are shipwrecked in Carthage, he and the queen fall in love. However, Aeneas must soon leave to found Rome. Dido cannot live without him and awaits death.

Purcell's Dido and Aeneas performed to perfection
"... countertenor Taylor, who sang the deliciously evil role of the Sorceress. When he sang in trio with the two witches, Meara Conway and Alexandra Hill, the results were most gratifying...Aeneas has less stage time, but bass Alexander Dobson made the most of what there was. His gloriously dark and powerful voice was one of the highlights of the production. Leblanc was in top form. The Theatre’s orchestra played with consummate skill and understanding, making a significant contribution. The opera was preceded by a short concert of early music featuring vocal and instrumental works. The highlight of these was O Nata Lux by Thomas Tallis and the Theatre Choir sang it beautifully."
Ottawa Citizen

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A Triumph of Love: Purcell's Odes

2 violins, viola, 2 oboes, 2 recorders, cello, lute, doublebass, harpsichord/organ, SSATB semi-chorus of 15

Henry Purcell, the "great Master of Musicke", is herein represented by a number of charming and celebratory programs. Solo consort voices in hypnotic melody supported by declamatory winds and glorious strings lift this music to the heavens. "Come Ye Sons of Art" was the Ode for Queen Mary that became the favorite of all early music lovers with "Sound the trumpet", "Strike the Viol" and the beckoning chorus of "Come Ye Sons of Art Away". "Welcome to all the Pleasures" brings us "Beauty, thou scene of love" - a beautiful triumph of Purcell’s genius.

"The most accomplished vocal artist Canada has produced shares his love of English song from Purcell’s time: Taylor guides the solo pieces, duets and choruses written for the theatre and for celebratory odes by the Orpheus Britannicus himself. A very worthy band of instrumentalists complete the programme with a choice selection of "ayres" in a glorious theatrical evening."
Classical Magazine

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Aus der Tiefen: Bach’s Early Cantatas
(Weimar, Leipzig, Mulhausen)

2 violins, viola, 2 oboes, flute, 2 recorders, cello, lute, gamba, organ, violone, SATB 4 soloists or choir of 13

Dedicated to the early work of Bach, these are austere yet deeply felt profound cantatas that lead us on individual spiritual journeys.

Cantatas include: BMV 4 (Christ lag), BMV 12 (Weinen, Klagen), BMV 106 (Gottes Zeit), BMV 131 (Aus der Tiefen) and BMV 182 (Himmelskonig)

"No one should miss these musicianly and moving performances."
Goldberg Magazine

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The Coronation Anthems: Purcell

2 violins, viola, 2 oboes, 2 recorders, cello, lute, doublebass, harpsichord/organ, 4 soloists and choir of 14

Honouring the remarkable tradition of the Anglican repertory, consort soloists and choir supported by chamber orchestra on period instruments embrace the spirit of Purcell’s praise to royalty and to love.

"Pure emotional power"
Montreal Gazette

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Requiem: Palestrina, Cordoso and Guerroro

Choir of 18

The Spanish baroque and the glory of Palestrina marry in a striking and deeply moving concert of unaccompanied compositions that bring emotional intensity through the stark beauty of each moment.

"This was a heart-breaking, profound journey."
Barcelona National

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Miserere

Choir of 18, 5 - 15 dancers

An event faithful to baroque aesthetics, yet bringing echoes of the ancient into modern times, a program which includes Allegri’s forbidden "Miserere Mei Deus" and Taverner’s "Hymn to the Mother of God". An evening offered in collaboration with the award-winning Dance Company of Coleman & Lemieux and featuring the choreographic interpretations of David Earle and James Kudelka.

"... the superb performance by Ottawa countertenor Daniel Taylor and the choir of his Theatre of Early Music will rank as another of my festival highlights this year. I couldn’t have asked for a more soul-soothing performance. Taylor has assembled a group of superb singers, who blend and shape their sounds with precision under his direction.
In Allegri’s Miserere, five dancers from Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie performed a quietly expressive piece by choreographer David Earle. The performance included a superb vocal quartet ... the sound was angelic, even in the highest and most difficult passages. There were two standing ovations...this was superb music-making, and it wasnít surprising to see the audience on its feet."

Ottawa Citizen

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The Path to Paradise

Choir of 18

Hear the pure voices of the Choir of the Theatre of Early Music in a program of choral works that convey the sufferings of life and death and a vision of the paradise beyond. Tallis, Taverner, Byrd, Britten and Gombert are featured in this compelling evening.

"The public of the Quebec Sacred Music Festival were floating on clouds as they exited the opening concert offered by countertenor Daniel Taylor and his Choir of the Theatre of Early Music. Before intermission, listening to the 20 pure angelic voices had already moved many to tears. Daniel Taylor directs as he sings, this is to say with an ease and economy of gestures. The result is a most moving ensemble that could not be more supple, more pleasing. Every moment spoke to the audience and answered perfectly, providing it seemed what the audience was searching for. At a concert entitled "The Path to Paradise", apparently many had found their path."
Le Soleil, Québec

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Bach's St. John Passion
(Premier Version)

2 violins, viola, 2 oboes, cello, lute, gamba, organ, violone, SSAATTBB

The Passion according to St. John is the earliest extant Passion of Bach, an intimate setting which allows the listener to identify with Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice through music. The Passion is magnificent in its own right and through this setting with 6 soloists and 12 choristers, we transcend and reach the desolation of the human condition. The final chorus is the emotional culmination of this Passion: "Rest well, rest well, Beloved, sweetly sleeping. That I may cease from further weeping, and let me too, rest well."

"The Theatre of Early Music really gets to the heart of Bach’s style...Daniel Taylor shows his flexibility by directing and performing...the Theatre of Early Music will give rare pleasure to their listeners."
Opera Canada

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Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri

2 violins, 2 gambas, cello, violone, lute, organ, SSATB

Buxtehude’s "Membra Jesu Nostri" is a cycle of seven cantatas for five voices and single strings chamber orchestra based on mystical devotional Latin poems by Bernard of Clairvaux. Each cantata pays devotion to the crucified Messiah’s body: heart, face, feet, knees, hands, side and breast. The emotional line of the work is sustained by gestures of awe and reverence, revealing the magnificence of Buxtehude’s phrasing and profound expression in his search for the grace that Christ’s suffering brings.

"Buxtehude was on the program. It featured the fifteen-voice Choir of the Theatre of Early Music, which turns out to be a disciplined and wonderfully musical ensemble. Taylor expertly conducted the enterprise... it was a fine and moving performance."
Montreal Gazette

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The Lark and the Nightingale:
An Ode on the Death of Henry Purcell

2 violins, viola, 2 recorders, lute, gamba, organ, 2 countertenors

The mood of this setting for two countertenors, recorders and group of continuo instruments is gentle and affectionate, and it was beautifully captured by John Blow’s composition in honour of his friend and teacher Henry Purcell. Set for two countertenors that "warble their florid ways upwards", this program also includes celebrated Purcell duets including "Sound the Trumpet".

"Two of today’s finest countertenors join for a lovely and well-thought-out program of solo and duet music by Henry Purcell.......the real interest here is the sensitive singing that brings a properly soulful pleasure..."
Classics Today

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Stabat Mater: Pergolesi, Vivaldi and Bach

2 violins, viola, cello, lute, organ, doublebass, soprano and countertenor

The Virgin Maryís miraculous life followed a divine trajectory in which the joy of the miraculous nativity was starkly juxtaposed with an unbearable heart-rending sorrow caused by the crucifixion of her son. Virgin, protector, mother, comforter, protector - these are the many faces of Mary which have defined her image over the centuries.

"Kirkby and Taylor are able to exploit a bewitching spectrum of tonal colours. Taylorís direction of the Theatre of Early Music players gives full measure to Bachís dancing tempos and together they and the vocalists lay bare all the Psalm’s range of human emotions. This is an inspired and unusual compilation of Baroque sacred music, truthfully recorded with an intimacy which allows the singers to communicate directly with the listener. Selfless and inspiring music-making, despite its often poignant tone."
SA-CD.net

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Handel Love Duets

2 violins, viola, cello, oboe, flute, lute, organ, doublebass, soprano and countertenor

These famous duets are brought to passionate life here in a dramatic and expressive duet by the countertenor and soprano voices. Hear highlights from a masterful grouping of Handel’s great operas.

"Soprano Suzie LeBlanc, countertenor Daniel Taylor and the instrumentalists of Taylor’s Theatre of Early Music took the stage at the MacMillan Theatre and enchanted their audience. Both singers were in top form. Both have technique to burn, but they use it entirely to serve the music they are singing. Both are impeccable musicians, and their musicianship encompasses not only the drama inherent in their operatic material but also the blessed alleviation of quietness when it suits.
Taylor’s performance of the ravishing Cara sposa from Rinaldo was profoundly lyrical and moving, and his rapt pianissimo at the return of the main melody imprinted itself on our susceptibilities as nothing else could have done.
The team ended the evening, with all instrumentalists in a deft and diaphanous reading of the Duet Scherzano from Rinaldo, blending their nuances as though they came from a single mind, meeting both the music's rhythmic imperatives and its need for the most refined dynamic flexibility.... The house erupted. What a concert!
"
The Globe and Mail, Toronto

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Tears of the Muse

2 gambas, lute, organ, soprano and countertenor

In Robert Burton’s "Anatomy of Melancholy" 1621, it was said that voices and instruments have the power to carry the soul beyond the fear of death. Music serves to express the soul’s moods, to extend pleasure and to heal our sorrows. Dowland, Jones, Campion, Purcell are our guides for this emotional journey.

"Canadian Daniel Taylor (who recently made a big impression in this country singing Handel at Glyndebourne) is the star of these releases of music by two of England’s greatest song composers. His interpretative approach to them is one of eloquent simplicity; there are no tricks or surprises here and not even much ornamentation, just a technically assured and spellbindingly controlled, fluid countertenor voice superbly well suited to Dowland’s long-drawn lines and the clever but memorably affecting tunefulness of Purcell. "
Gramophone Magazine

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On the Muse's Isle

2 violins, viola, gamba, lute, organ, soprano and countertenor

An intimate homage to the genius of Purcell, this program is a collection of Purcell’s finest solo songs and duets which further offers a glimpse into the talented yet overshadowed work of Purcell’s contemporaries of the English Renaissance period.

"A remarkable achievement! This recording gives an intimate portrait of Purcell’s music offered with simplicity and offering great pleasure. Taylor has a grace and honesty to his performances and expresses a thoughtfulness which suits Purcell’s melodies perfectly. The charm and value of this recording was recognized with the Opus Prize for the finest Renaissance recording of the year. "
Voir Magazine

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Stille Nacht

2 violins, 2 gambas, cello, violone, lute, organ, SSATB

A celebration for the Season capturing the first versions of the oldest and most famous carols. Music for Advent and Christmas by 17th-century composers from the German and English Schools.
One night in 1328, the German mystic and Dominican monk Heinrich Suso had a vision in which he joined angels dancing as the angels sang to him "Nun singet und seid froh" In Suso’s autobiography, it was written:
"Now this same angel came up to the Servant [Suso] brightly, and said that God had sent him down to him, to bring him heavenly joys amid his sufferings; adding that he must cast off all his sorrows from his mind and bear them company, and that he must also dance with them in heavenly fashion. Then they drew the Servant by the hand into the dance, and the youth began a joyous song about the infant Jesus, which runs thus...."

""There is no rose", performed with deep sensitivity, a sense of style and taste with masterful accompaniment and full-blossomed sound add up to a musically satisfying and entertaining recital. "
Classics Today

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