S2. EP.17 Enlivening A Cappella Music: Gesualdo Six
April 27, 2022
Owain Park of Gesualdo Six joins us to discuss the origins of the ensemble. We chat about the many traditions for a vocal consort, from the sacred elements associated with a cappella music to the members' conventional training as pianists and organists and backgrounds working at cathedrals. We talk about their recent pandemic-inspired projects recording Héloïse Werner's Coronasolfège and their new(ish) podcast, G6. We speak a bit about their composition competition, and the typical challenges associated with composing for an a cappella ensemble.
The Gesualdo Six is an award-winning British vocal ensemble comprising some of the UK’s finest consort singers, directed by Owain Park. Praised for their imaginative programming and impeccable blend, the ensemble formed in 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories in Cambridge and has gone on to perform at numerous major festivals across the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. Notable highlights include a concert as part of the distinguished Deutschlandradio Debut Series, debut at Wigmore Hall in 2021, and collaborations with the Brodsky Quartet, London Mozart Players, Luxmuralis, William Barton and Matilda Lloyd.
The ensemble integrates educational work into its activities, regularly holding workshops for young musicians and composers. The Gesualdo Six has curated two Composition Competitions, with the 2019 edition attracting entries from over three hundred composers around the world. The group have recently commissioned new works from Joanna Ward, Kerensa Briggs, Deborah Pritchard, Joanna Marsh, and Richard Barnard alongside coronasolfège for 6 by Héloïse Werner.
Videos of the ensemble performing a diverse selection of works filmed in Ely Cathedral have been watched by millions online. The group released their debut recording English Motets on Hyperion Records in early 2018 to critical acclaim, followed by a festive album of seasonal favourites in late 2019, Christmas, and an album of compline-themed music titled Fading which was awarded Vocal & Choral Recording of the Year 2020 by Limelight. A programme celebrating the 500th anniversary of Josquin des Prez titled Josquin’s Legacy followed in late 2021, and Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday was released in Lent 2022.
LISTEN & LEARN:
Full Episode on Anchor