Armonia Celeste will perform a program titled "Udite Amanti - Lovers Beware!" on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 as part of Houston Early Music's Emerging Artists Series. The pre-Valentine's Day concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church and feature rarely heard music from the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque eras.
The Barberini court flourished during the first half of the 17th century, when Maffeo Barberini sat on the papal throne as Pope Urban VIII. Great patrons of the arts in Rome, the Barberinis gathered around them some of the finest composers of their day, including Luigi Rossi, Giacomo Carissimi and Pietro Marc'Antonio Cesti.
Many of the works on the program were written for soprano trio, a musical grouping that first appeared in late-16th-century Italy and became especially popular at the Barberini court.
This configuration of musicians is particularly appropriate for Armonia Celeste, a relatively new ensemble with three female singers at its core. The group, which first came together in 2008, consists of singers Rebecca Beasley, Dianna Grabowski and Sarah Griffiths, accompanied by Lyle Nordstrom on lute, theorbo and Baroque guitar, along with Paula Fagerberg, who plays a modern copy of the famous Barberini triple harp from 1635.
On the diverse program are vocal trios, duets and solos, as well as instrumental works, mostly focusing on the dangers of love, though some of the music celebrates love's pleasures.
Armonia Celeste was one of five finalists in the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos Recording Competition, in which more than 100 new and emerging early music groups vied for the chance to record a CD for the Naxos label. The group plans to release its debut album in 2013.
Armonia Celeste will present "Udite Amanti -Lovers Beware!" on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, 6221 Main St., Houston, Texas 77030. A pre-concert talk with ensemble members begins at 6:45 p.m.
Exploring history through music is a Houston Early Music hallmark. The group presents the world's finest period ensembles and soloists, bringing to life music from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the Baroque and Classical periods and providing unique programming and concerts performed with historical instruments and styles true to the period.
Individual tickets are available at www.HoustonEarlyMusic.org and are $35, $30 for seniors, and $10 for students, and admission is free for children under 15. For more information, email info@HoustonEarlyMusic.org or call 281-846-4222.