Review: A diverse and surprising program was devoted to the obscure music of 15th-century Austrian Oswald von Wolkenstein.

By Kyle MacMillan, Submitted by Lawrence B. Johnson While some unexplored or at least under-explored crannies of Baroque, Romantic or even modern composition can still be found, the music of the Middle Ages remains filled with buried treasure. For a set of concerts that ran Jan. 13-15, the ever-intrepid, ever-imaginative Newberry Consort delved into this rich ...
Kyle MacMillan

Review: Newberry Consort pays homage to the versatile Count von Wolkenstein

Sat Jan 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm By Tim Sawyier The Newberry Consort performed music of Count von Wolkenstein Friday night at the Newberry Library. The Newberry Consort presented the second program of their 30th anniversary season Friday night at the Newberry Library’s Ruggles Hall. Entitled “The Count,” the concert was devoted to music of Count ...

Evening of scholarly clowning opens 30th year for early-music masters the Newberry Consort

Newberry Consort playing Elizabethan-era theatrical jigs, with Steve Player as the Shakespearean entertainer Jack Kemp, here with actress Ellen Hargis "The wife" on Friday. (Brian Jackson / Chicago Tribune)
Review: A program of bawdy Elizabethan amusements performed by the Newberry Consort and period comedian Steven Player. By Lawrence B. Johnson For the perennially devoted followers of the Newberry Consort, which this season celebrates its 30th anniversary of presenting concerts of music from the Middle Ages to the Baroque, the concert experience is a beguiling paradox: ...
Lawrence B. Johnson

Newberry Consort opens 30th season with delightful “stage jigs”

Tim Sawyier – Chicago Classical Review above – Steven Player performed in the Newberry Consort’s season-opening program Friday night at Ruggles Hall. Friday night in Ruggles Hall the Newberry Library hosted the opening performance of its eponymous Consort’s 30th anniversary season. The program, entitled “The Clown: Kemp’s Jig,” compellingly explored late 16- and early 17-century stage ...
Tim Sawyier
Chicago Classical Review

Newberry Consort sings the bawdy electric in spirited season opener

Newberry Consort playing Elizabethan-era theatrical jigs, with Steve Player as the Shakespearean entertainer Jack Kemp, here with actress Ellen Hargis "The wife" on Friday. (Brian Jackson / Chicago Tribune)
Early music groups come and go in Chicago, but the ensemble that started it all continues to thrive, setting an example of artistic integrity and sound management for the groups that have followed in its wake. Having survived a serious funding crisis in 1997 and the retirement of founder Mary Springfels, the Newberry Consort soldiered ...
John von Rhein, Contact Reporter

NEWBERRY CONSORT REVEALS SOARING MUSIC FROM MEXICAN CHOIR BOOKS

The Newberry Consort is completing its season this weekend by returning to the Newberry Library’s collection of choir books from the Convent of Our Lady of the Incarnation in Mexico City for a program of vespers music by Mexican Baroque composer Juan de Lienas. To say he is little-known is an understatement. Beyond the Newberry ...
Alan Artner
freelance critic

A SPLENDID EVENING WITH THE NEWBERRY CONSORT

Lots of concerts are presented under an umbrella title that attempts to both accurately describe the links among the various works performed and offers an appealing concept to the public. But usually the concept is over-broad (“Love and War”) with the music unable to effectively support the dramatic idea. The Newberry Consort, on the other ...
M.L. RANTALA
Classical Music Critic

Newberry Consort brings scholarship and horse sense to delightful “Le roman de Fauvel”

The Newberry Consort brought the medieval Le Roman de Fauvel (“The Tale of Fauvel”) to life in a stellar production at the Logan Center for the Arts on Saturday night. The evening’s fourteenth-century romp was a showcase of rarified musicianship, meticulous scholarship, and humor running the gamut from genteel to obscene. Le Roman de Fauvel, ...
Chicago Classical Review

Ten New Classical Albums

Featuring Chicago Talent Newberry’s nuns highlight recent classical albums “Musica Celestial from the Covent of the Encarnacion.” (Newberry Consort): The manuscript source of this attractive program of Renaissance and baroque rarities for women’s voices, organ and other instruments is six valuable choir books preserved at Chicago’s Newberry Library. Written for the singing nuns of the ...
John von Rhein
Chicago Tribune

The Newberry Consort Unveils Rare Spanish Treasures for BEMF

In certain medieval manuscripts, music and image combine to evoke powerful religious feelings. Take, for example, the sources for the Cantigas de Santa Maria, where colorful drawings of musicians, saints, and nobles frame music and poetry that tell of miracles performed by the Virgin Mary. Gazing at the manuscript, one can catch a glimpse of ...
Boston Classical Review

Newberry Consort full of spirit, polish with program of rediscoveries

Two decades ago this month the Newberry Consort was among the first historically informed performing groups in the United States to revive the music of Baroque composer Johann Rosenmuller. But some artists successful in their own time nonetheless require periodic revival thereafter, and as consort co-director David Douglass said at Friday night’s concert opening the ...
Alan Artner, freelance critic
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Smooth control of the phrasing and fine communication with the singers, effects that seemed to lay each song in a feathery bed of accompaniment

In certain medieval manuscripts, music and image combine to evoke powerful religious feelings. Take, for example, the sources for the Cantigas de Santa Maria, where colorful drawings of musicians, saints, and nobles frame music and poetry that tell of miracles performed by the Virgin Mary. Gazing at the manuscript, one can catch a glimpse of ...
Boston Classical Review

Sounds of autumn: A 2014 music preview

The Newberry Consort, affiliated with the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, draws on the library’s vast music collection and assembles local and international artists to perform music from the 13th to the 18th centuries. The Consort also serves as an ensemble-in-residence at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. It has been a ...
M.L. RANTALA, Classical Music Critic
Hyde Park Herald

Newberry Consort’s Singing Nuns

Choral music from an earlier period and of a far more specialized sort made up the season finale of the Newberry Consort. Co-director Ellen Hargis and colleagues presented the second in a series of programs devoted to music from the trove of musical manuscripts at the Newberry Library known as the Mexican choirbooks. These priceless ...
John von Rhein
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune: Review Feast of the Pheasant

Friday night at the Newberry Library the Newberry Consort celebrated one of the most spectacular and outlandish banquets in history. Almost 460 years to the day, the ensemble presented a 90-minute program of music, projections and narration to commemorate the Feast of the Oath of the Pheasant. This party, given by Philip, Duke of Burgundy, ...
Alan G. Artner, Special to the Tribune
Chicago Tribune

Feast of the Pheasant

“…spiritedly played and sung… early music at its committed best.”
Alan Artner
The Chicago Tribune

Early Music America – Fall 2013

A highlight of the (BEMF) festival was a superb multimedia presentation by the Newberry Consort in Jordan Hall on Thursday afternoon drawn from the 13th-century Cantigas de Santa Maria,a manuscript attributed to Spanish ruler and arts patron Alfonso X. This stellar Chicago ensemble, directed by David Douglass (vielle and rebec) and Ellen Hargis (soprano), performed ...

“Celestial Sirens” at the Church of the Covenant

The overlapping musical talents and resources of Cleveland’s early music community were in full multi-tasking mode at the Church of the Covenant last week — with some help from Chicago and Tennessee. The occasion was one event in celebration of the church’s magnificent new tracker organ, modeled on north German 17th-century organs. The organ was ...
Nicholas Jones
ClevelandClassical.com

‘Cantigas’ Bloom Like Roses at Boston Festival

There are few places on earth where an audience can enjoy a purely magical performance of Medieval song in a glorious hall. The Boston Early Music Festival is on that short list. The music: Cantigas de Santa Maria, by Alfonso X. The performers: the Newberry Consort with the vocal ensemble Exsultemus. The place: New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. The Cantigas de Santa Maria consists ...
Ken Keaton