Harry McDoggus
June 20, 2021
TENET Vocal Artists Caps Season with Surprise Offering

TENET Vocal Artists concludes season with surprise stream, Songs of the Trouvères
A journey to medieval times

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Stunning new recording of Monteverdi's
Vespers of 1610 chosen for Grammy entry by
New Focus Recordings


TENET Vocal Artists, for thirteen years a major voice among American early music interpreters, has announced Songs of the Trouvères, a surprise offering for the conclusion of its 2020-2021 season. This final concert - the 25th TENET has offered since September - is designed as a fundraiser and will be available from June 3rd through the 30th as streaming video on the TENET website.


TENET's co-founder and artistic director, soprano Jolle Greenleaf, says "Like every other performing ensemble in this most extraordinary and difficult of all years, we initially despaired of being able to keep TENET going in the midst of a pandemic. But we found the path to streaming videos and so we have put together some extraordinary concerts for our audience and patrons, who of course were happy to enjoy us from the comfort and safety of their homes."


As for TENET's newest offering, as the group's website explains, Songs of the Trouvères embraces "the many aspects of love - high love, country love, comic love, abandoned love, and love on the dance floor. Stories are told through song and improvised accompaniment". The concert features singers Jolle Greenleaf, Virginia Warnken Kelsey, and Jason McStoots along with instrumentalists Grant Herreid, Priscilla Herreid, Robert Mealy, and Charles Weaver.


TENET's extraordinary 2020 recording of Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, or Vespers of 1610, brings the group full circle. It was the 400th anniversary of the Vespers which served as the impetus for Ms. Greenleaf's initial collaboration with violinist Scott Metcalfe to form the Green Mountain Project ("green mountain" a tribute to "Monteverdi") in 2010. Mounting a production of Monteverdi's seminal work on the occasion of its 400th anniversary was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Ms. Greenleaf. "I couldn't let such a momentous milestone go by without pulling out all the stops to create the best production of this beautiful work we possibly could, and we were fortunate to be able to record it as well in 2011." Both the performance and the recording were enthusiastically received by audience and critics alike. "So the Vespers became part of the DNA of TENET" reports Ms. Greenleaf. "It has served not only as a musical linchpin but as an inspiration to us all for now over a decade. Our new recording of the Vespers brings TENET's Green Mountain Project to a very meaningful close." The performance in 2020 took place at New York City's Church of St. Jean Baptiste, then Ms. Greenleaf arranged for the Green Mountain Project's final performance of the Vespers to take place at Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, bringing dozens of TENET's patrons with them for the momentous occasion. The group's recording of the Vespers has been chosen by New Focus Recordings as an entry in the deliberations for winners of the 2022 Grammys. About this final recording of the Green Mountain Project, Early Music America says "Their moving performances have earned them critical acclaim for more than a decade...Their sympathetic blend allows for organic transitions in feel and texture...The instrumentalists get a chance to shine in the Sonata sopra Sancta Maria...their open, airy sound and regular phrasing give this multi-sectional instrumental an ethereal quality...The Vespers have rightly earned many versions in the catalog. The Green Mountain Project has the experience and affection for this music to let it unfold naturally. It may be bittersweet to hear their final recording, but they leave behind an important and inspiring legacy." For more critical reception to TENET and Green Mountain Projects initiatives, go here.


Upcoming projects for TENET Vocal Artists are in the works for the 2021-2022 season. "We're very excited to be opening our fall season with Fayrfax @ 500, a concert on Saturday, October 23rd noting the 500th anniversary of the death of one of England's most prominent Renaissance composers Robert Fayrfax, whose vocal music inspired and delighted King Henry VIII himself! Closer to holiday time we will perform Händel's Messiah with 12 singers, all of whom sing both solos and choruses. Concerts planned for the remainder of the season include evenings devoted to the music of Praetorius, Charpentier, Schütz, and in April of next year we will perform - both in the U.S. and on tour in the UK - music of Renaissance Welsh composer Thomas Tomkins (1572-1626). It looks to be a wonderfully rewarding year to come."


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