New York Polyphony presents a program of English Tudor Polyphony that spans a period of approximately 50 years during the reigns of the Tudor Kings Henry VII and Henry VIII. This florid polyphony represents the pinnacle of English composition before the restraining practices of the Reformation took hold. In contrast, the ensemble presents a commissioned work by English-born composer Andrew Smith. A setting of the well known text of the Song of Mary, the Magnificat, the work follows the centuries old practice of alternating plainsong with polyphonic choral writing as is heard in a much more elaborate setting by John Taverner.
With historical copies of 19-century clarinet, fortepiano, and cello, the Grenser Trio explore classical and early-romantic chamber music as it sounded to its first audiences. In their program, "Beethoven Straight-up," which presents Beethoven's Trio in B-flat, Op. 11, audiences can hear Beethoven between two eras as he pushes classical expression into a new age.
Ex Umbris (Out of the Shadows) is widely recognized for unique and evocative performances of Renaissance and medieval music. Their program, "Dancing in the Shadow of the Cross: Music of Renaissance Spain" highlights the musicians virtuosity and versatility on early strings, winds, percussion and voice to enliven the finest art music of the past. Their imagination, improvisational skills, and affinity with many styles of traditional music inspire explorations and reconstructions of the lost and unwritten traditions of early music.