Hesperus
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Hesperus

Band Classical Folk

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Music

Press


"Washington Post"

"Engaging stage presence, backed by programs put together with exceptional imagination... Irresistible!" - None


"San Francisco Examiner"

"Hesperus may be the most affable, entertaining purveyors of obscure early-repertory on the current concert scene." - None


"Fanfare"

"Hesperus picked out a little collection of gems and they shine here." - None


"Albany Times Union"

"Hesperus breezed into the city Saturday for a program of medieval music as vital, appealing, and free from pedantry as could be imagined. Hesperus convinced a sizable audience that swing wasn't born yesterday." - None


"The Indianapolis Star"

"Chancey drew eloquent music from the tiny three-string rebec.... Reiss turned to an instrument requiring a far different sort of virtuosity, the hammered dulcimer, which he played with fleetness and clarity." - None


"Arizona Star"

"The ultimate crossover group ... a postmodern medley of fun." - None


"Dirty Linen"

"Hesperus never ceases to astonish." - None


"Mittelbayerische Zeitung"

"A perfect and often downright virtuosic performance, and a relaxed and entertaining presentation." - (Regensburg, Germany)


"El Deber"

"The concert created an atmosphere of celebration and joy, a universe of sounds." - (Santa Cruz, Bolivia)


"The Evening Post/News Courier"

"Their approach gives early music a vibrant excitement. They obviously have fun mixing early and old time country music, and their enthusiasm is contagious." - (Charleston, SC)


Discography

Colonial America - From the first colonists to the American Revolution and the birth of our republic, Hesperus' music reflects a time of new ideas, freedom and vitality. In town and village, parlor and ballroom, from the Appalachian mountains to the great concert halls hear the musical pulse of early American music performed on a wide variety of fok and early music instruments.

The Banshee's Wail - Scott Reiss's tour-de-force on recorders and Irish whistle, with the legendary percussionist Glen Velez, consummate guitar and bazouki player Zan McLeod, and virtuoso early/traditional string player Tina Chancey.

My Thing is My Own - Bawdy songs from Thomas D’urfey’s collection Pills to Purge Melancholy. D’Urfey wrote original words to common tunes. Some were political or topical, but these explore the full range of love, sex, and seduction in the 18th century.

Food of Love - Renaissance instrumental music from the British Isles. Dances, ayres, divisions and variations, featuring HESPERUS’ trademark ­— improvisation.

Dancing Day - Traditional Christmas music from the British Isles, Italy, and Germany spanning the Middle Ages to the 18th century with Rosa Lamoreaux.

Spain in the New World - Spanish and Native American music from New Spain, 16th to 18th centuries.

Baroque Recorder Concerti - Concertos by Telemann, Vivaldi, Graupner, Naudot, and Babel featuring recorder virtuoso Scott Reiss.

Celtic Roots - Award-winning recording of Scottish and Irish traditional music from the earliest written sources.
Luminous Spirit: Chants of Hildegard von Bingen
Soprano Rosa Lamoreaux sings the chants of the 12th-century abbess, to the improvisational accompaniment of Scott Reiss (recorder and hammered dulcimer) and Tina Chancey (vielle and kamenj).

I Love Lucette - Songs and instrumentals from the French Renaissance theater, with Rosa Lamoreaux.

Unicorn - The medieval/Appalachian fusion of the HESPERUS crossover trio (Scott Reiss, Tina Chancey and Bruce Hutton) is expanded to include Scandinavian and African world music, joined by award-winning Old-Time fiddler Bruce Molsky.

Neo-Medieval - Medieval polyphony and improvisations on lute, recorder, vielle, saz, dombek, kamenj, dulcimer and vielle with Scott Reiss, Tina Chancey, and Grant Herreid.

Barthelemy de Caix: Six Sonatas for two Pardessus de Viole - The Duo Guersan, Tina Chancey and Catherina Meints, perform this remarkable collection of duets for the rarest of rare early instruments, the pardessus.

Early American Roots - Tina Chancey, Scott Reiss and Mark Cudek explore a cross-section of the most vital popular music from Colonial and Federal America.

Patchwork - A re-issue of HESPERUS’ popular crossover CD For No Good Reason At All, a fusion of medieval, Renaissance, Appalachian, ragtime, vaudeville and the blues, all on more than 25 early and traditional instruments.

Photos

Bio

“The most fascinating crossover group in the whole world”
DOLOMITEN, Bolzano, Italy

“A postmodern medley of fun”
THE ARIZONA STAR

Hesperus, innovative, historically informed and multi-cultural, specializes in fusions of historic and living traditions. Founded in 1979 and named for Venus and the West Wind, the four member group comprises several ensembles with overlapping membership that perform three kinds of programs: cultural portraits featuring early and traditional music from a single culture, crossover fusions of European medieval and Renaissance music with American traditional styles such as Appalachian, Cajun, vaudeville and the blues, and single-genre early music programs of medieval, renaissance and baroque music.

Hesperus has toured nationally and internationally for more than two decades. Recently, the ensemble revisited the Misiones de los Chiquitos Festival in Bolivia and the Tage Alte Musik Festival in Regensberg, Germany. Hesperus has also made a five-week tour of the Far East for the United States Information Agency. Nationally, Hesperus has traveled from Maine to Hawaii with performances at the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum, the Winter Park Bach Festival, Spivey Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Ryman Auditorium, and for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. In 2003, HESPERUS represented the Smithsonian Institution for Long Beach, California’s annual Smithsonian Week Festival. For three seasons, Hesperus was a resident ensemble at the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, California, giving outreach concerts throughout the Monterey Peninsula.

In the Washington, DC area, Hesperus continues to appear regularly at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, where it was an ensemble in residence from 1989 to 1996. Last season the ensemble was featured at the Library of Congress for a special American Christmas Concert. Currently the group is in its fifth year as an ensemble-in-residence in Arlington County, Virginia, after additional residencies at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland - College Park. A frequent visitor to virtually every museum on the Mall, Hesperus also performed for the President and Mrs. Clinton’s State Department dinner honoring the 250th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth. In 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003, the Washington Area Music Association awarded Hesperus a WAMMIE Award.

Hesperus can be heard regularly on PRI and NPR, CNN and CBS’ Nightwatch, the Voice of America and the Canadian Broadcasting System, as well as a score of international public radio stations. Highlights of the ensemble’s film work: selections from Spain in the New World were used on the international PBS special on Columbus’ voyage, The Buried Mirror. Portions of the CD American Roots can be heard on the Paramount film Sleepy Hollow. More recently, HESPERUS provided medieval music for the Hallmark Channel films, Reluctant Saint: Francis of Assisi, (broadcast on Easter Sunday, 2003), and Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland (March, 2004).

The ensemble’s awards include the Baltimore Chamber Music Award, The Elizabeth Campbell Award from the Arlington Chapter of the AAUW, and the Music and Humanity Award from Gretna, PA.

Hesperus’ goal is to educate as well as to entertain. Hesperus presents formal and informal concerts, lecture demonstrations, teacher training workshops, school informances, and residencies specializing in programs tailored to minority and young audiences. In recognition of these efforts, Hesperus was named the first winner of the annual Logan Chamber Music Award for Outstanding Educational Programming.

Hesperus has recorded fifteen CDs for the Maggie’s Music, Dorian Discovery, Golden Apple and Koch International labels. The ensemble’s most recent CD, Colonial America, was released in September 2003.

TINA CHANCEY

“Beautiful in warmth, focus and expressivity, the pardessus sang like a human voice in Chancey’s sensitive hands.”
CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

“Chancey, her every phrase beautifully shaped, stretched the music’s refined vocabulary to the limit: musicianship aside, it was technically a virtuoso performance.”
WASHINGTON POST

TINA CHANCEY, a founding member and Director of HESPERUS, is also a former member of the Folger Consort, the Ensemble for Early Music and the New York Renaissance Band. A multi-instrumentalist specializing in early bowed strings from the rebec and vielle to the kamenj, viol and lyra, she has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to support solo performances on the pardessus de viole at the Kennedy Center and Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has performed with the National Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonia, with Victoria de los Angeles at the Me