Release Date January 13, 2017
Catalog #: NV6069
Cappella Clausura | Amelia LeClair Director
01 O Deus (from Ordo Virtutum) Hildegard von Bingen
A cappella, women
02 The Moor Hilary Tann
A cappella, women
03 Contemplations 8,9 Hilary Tann
A cappella, women
04 Contemplations 21,22 Hilary Tann
A cappella, women
05 Rex noster promptus est Hildegard von Bingen
arr. Amelia LeClair
A cappella, men & women; Elijah Blaisdell bass
Exultet Terra Hilary Tann
06 I. Exultet Terra
chorus & reeds, soli: Fausto Miro tenor Eric Perry tenor Janet Stone soprano
Elise Groves soprano
07 II. Trio of Descent
Peggy Pearson oboe Jennifer Slowik oboe Barbara Lafitte English horn
08 III. In Sanctis Eius
chorus; Peggy Pearson oboe
09 IV. Trio of Ascent
Barbara Lafitte English horn Stephanie Busby bassoon Sally Merriman bassoon
10 V. Iubilate Domino
chorus & reeds
Cappella ClausurA ENSEMBLE
Director Amelia LeClair
Sopranos Elise Grove, Adriana Repetto, Annie Simon, Janet Stone
Altos Teri Kowiak, Elizabeth Mitchell, Caroline Olsen, Claire Shepro
Tenors Fausto Miro, Eric C. Perry, Peter Schilling, James Williamson
Basses Elijah Blaisdell, Albert Craig, Anthony Garza, Will Prapestis
Double Reed Quintet
Oboes Peggy Pearson, Jennifer Slowik
Bassoons Stephanie Busby, Sally Merriman
English horn Barbara Lafitte
Recorded June 2016 at Futura Studios in Roslindale MA
Recording Session Engineer John Weston
Recording Session Producer Heinrich Christensen
Produced by Amelia LeClair and Cappella Clausura
Patagonia © by Garrow Throop
Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Brandon MacNeil
Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Production Engineer Lucas Paquette
Art & Production Director Brett Picknell
Graphic Design Emily Roulo
Marketing Scott Murphy
CHORAL MUSIC OF HILARY TANN
AMELIA LECLAIR, DIRECTOR
Navona Records welcomes Cappella Clausura, directed by Amelia LeClair, to the family with their new release of the choral works of Hilary Tann, entitled EXULTET TERRA.
For the first half of the album, LeClair and Tann juxtapose Tann’s works for women’s voices, a cappella, with pieces by Hildegard von Bingen, in soaring arrangements by LeClair. The second half is the Exultet Terra suite of five movements for double choir and double reed quintet of English horn, oboes, and bassoons. Tann uses a double choir to provide occasional antiphonal effects, and chooses the double reeds for their “earth-like combination, since reeds are like grasses.” Tann is known for taking inspiration from nature in her works.
Tann cites Hildegard von Bingen, recognized as one of the first female composers, as a special influence on these compositions: the responsory O Deus is from von Bingen’s medieval opera Ordo Virtutum; the chant begins with two consecutive fifths, rising immediately to the 9th of the mode. Such leaps were unheard of in that era, and in chant repertoire in general. Tann quotes that first phrase of O Deus in some form in all works here but The Moor. In addition to paying homage to one of the first female composers, Tann sets texts by Anne Bradstreet, widely considered North America’s first published female poet, for both Contemplations (8, 9) and Contemplations (21, 22).
Tann follows a theme of setting texts by poets of her native Wales. The second track, The Moor, is a setting of a poem by Welsh poet R. S. Thomas, along with phrases from the Bible. The Welsh hymn Rheidol by Ieuan Gwyllt is echoed as a coda to the piece. Exultet Terra, translated as “Let the Earth Be Glad,” allowed Tann to set her favorite biblical verses and combine them with three favorite poems by the Welsh metaphysical poet and Anglican priest, George Herbert (1593-1633).
This combination of Tann’s drawing inspiration from old texts to create these ethereal choral works and LeClair’s unique arrangements and passionate interpretations, makes Amelia LeClair & Hilary Tann’s collaboration supremely beautiful and unique.
Amelia LeClair is currently a Resident Scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory and Composition from UMass/Boston and her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from New England Conservatory, studying with Simon Carrington.
LeClair’s early interest in composition and conducting was frustrated by the limited opportunities for women in these fields. She was later inspired and motivated by the work of musicologists in the 1970s who dedicated themselves to researching the history of women in classical music.
Cappella Clausura was founded by Amelia LeClair in 2004 to research, study and perform the music of women composers, and to bring engaging performances of this music to today’s audiences, thereby bringing women composers into the classical canon.
The ensemble’s name honors the music written by 17th century Italian nuns who were cloistered, in clausura (covered or hidden away, segregated from public life). Cappella Clausura takes the name as a metaphor for the cultural obstacles faced by women composers throughout history.
Welsh-born composer Hilary Tann is the John Howard Payne Professor of Music at Union College, Schenectady, NY. Acclaimed for its beautiful lyricism and formal balance, her music is influenced by a strong identification with the natural world.
Tann has previously worked with Navona Records in creating a recording of her orchestral cello work Anecdote, which she wrote for Ovidiu Marinescu.
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