Anonymous 4 kicks off Amherst Early Music Festival

Anonymous 4 performs Tuesday.
Anonymous 4 performs Tuesday.

Out with the old old and in with the new old. It's a changing of the guard for early music festivals, as the Connecticut Early Music Festival ends its three-week run and the Amherst Early Music Festival moves into Connecticut College for two weeks of medieval, Renaissance, and baroque music

Kicking off the concerts Tuesday will be the acclaimed a cappella quartet Anonymous 4, which gained international attention in the 1990s for their performances and recordings of the music of 12th-century mystic Hildegard of Bingen. The New York-based quartet will perform at Connecticut College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, offering a program of 13th-century motets and secular songs from its new recording (the ensemble's 23rd CD) "Marie et Marion, Music from the Montpellier Codex."

Anonymous 4 sets the stage for the festival's theme of "Music of France and the Low Countries," presenting 15th-century settings of Dutch tunes, and Baroque suites by Charpentier and the Couperins, among others. On Friday, July 11, the festival will stage Jean-Philippe Rameau's opera and dances "Les Indes Galantes."

For the curious or the aficionado, early instrument makers and dealers, music publishers, and organizations will exhibit their material and meet the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 12, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 13, at the Crozier Student Center at Connecticut College.


Amherst Early Music Festival schedule

All concerts will take place in Evans Concert Hall at Connecticut College. Admission is $20, $15 for students and seniors;

Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. - "Marie-Marion": The vocal quartet Anonymous 4 performs late Medieval sacred motets and secular love songs.

Thursday, July 10, 7:30 p.m. - "Liberté, Fraternité, et Inégalité": Amherst Baroque Soloists perform music from Paris and Amsterdam.

Friday, July 11, 8:00 p.m. - Jean-Philippe Rameau's "Les Indes Galantes": Fully staged opera performed by festival student singers, dancers, and orchestra.

Saturday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. - "Musique de Joye": Amherst Early Music faculty concert

Monday, July 14, 7:30 p.m. - "Isabela la Católica": The Belgian ensemble Flanders Recorder Consort creates a musical portrait of Spain's queen Isabela.

Thursday, July 17, 7:30 p.m. - "Fiddlesticks": String music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance performed by festival faculty.

Friday, July 18, 7:30 p.m. - "Music from the Age of Vermeer": 17th-century music for brass, reeds and keyboard performed by faculty and students.

Saturday, July 19, 7:30 p.m. - "Musique de Joye": Amherst Early Music faculty concert II


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