Not Your Normal Stereotype

On the occasion of  “a night at the museum”, an event in which museums open their doors late in the evening to welcome and encourage people to visit them, various concerts were held throughout our part of the world last Saturday.

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We opted to go for the Stereotipi concert in the parish church of San Cassiano in our area of the Controneria. The church is an austere Romanesque building with equally austere acoustics. Organist Enrico Barsanti sometimes complains about its lack of resonance but I love the directness of the sound which gives clarity to even the most complicated Bach fugue.

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For a cappella singing the acoustics are even more miraculous and with such an exquisite group of singers as I Stereotipi the effect is heavenly.

I Stereotipi is a group of singers who also excel in instrumental music. They model themselves on such pioneer English groups as the King’s singers (some have even studied with them) and their sound has all the clarity of Rooley’s consort of music. There is absolutely no vestige of operatic delivery in their timbre and everything is focused on producing a crystal-clear sound authentic to the language of the period in which the group sings.

And that period can be quite extensive. The evening‘s recital ranged from Palestrina through other great high renaissance polyphonic composers such as Vittoria to include Purcell anthems (sung with quite an acceptable English diction)

Here is the programme:

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In the second half of the concert contemporary repertoire was tackled with some fine pieces by composers from Eastern Europe, one of which had been specially written for the vocal group.

I have been to several of this virtuoso ensemble’s concerts. One of them was at the ancient Pieve of Loppia, mentioned in my post at

https://longoio.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/immaculate-a-capella-at-loppia/

There’s another of my posts on them with some recordings at:

https://longoio.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/despair-and-hope/

We even sang with I stereotipi at Borgo a Mozzano’s Christmas concert, described in my post at

https://longoio.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/good-news-at-borgo-a-mozzano/

The Stereotipi are also much in demand as adjuncts to larger choral works where they perform specialised roles. On of these works was Mendelssohn’s second symphony, mentioned in my post at:

https://longoio2.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/another-choral-symphony/

Do I have any recordings of the concert we attended on Saturday? Plenty. But which one to choose? That’s the difficulty!

Here’s one piece I particularly enjoyed, however: Palestrina’s “Sicut cervus”, better known in English “As pants the hart”.

This joyful Purcell piece was also a welcome item:

We shall certainly look forwards to further concerts by this very talented vocal group with much pleasure.

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