The Banchieri Singers, March 1997

  • A week's course with the Banchieri Singers turned out to be a lively affair. Their vivacity and sense of humour were always present, and they radiated so much energy that I was never tired - at least until the end of the week, which culminated in a concert at which the whole town seemed to be willing them on to success a quite memorable evening!Alastair Thompson
  • Their common background of the Kodaly system has stood them in good stead: they listen well and like to make music, not just Singers noises. I saw it as my task to encourage this musicianly approach, and to give them some hints on how to make the sounds they wanted without distorting their bodies and voices in the process. We also thought about the interpretation of different styles of music, and about what I can best describe as "orchestration": when a full group sound is required, or when some voices need to stand out while others melt into the background: how to create a string sound, a double bass or bass guitar or whatever, achieving the maximum effect with the minimum effort. They learned quickly, as young, intelligent people always do; and their concerts will always give a great deal of pleasure to many people.

 

 

To whom it may concern:

  • The seven days this past summer during which the Banchieri Singers and I worked on the music of Josquin des Prez were among the most fruitful and enjoyable I have ever had with such an ensemble. Although the music was difficult and I required that they sing from mensural notation and out of one choir book, they had studied the music well beforehand and were entirely open to the many new ideas with which they were confronted. In turn their high level of ensemble performance and their obvious love of music and music-making made my "job" completely pleasurable.Rebecca Stewart
  • In addition to the notation (which gave them few problems and the merits of which the Banchieris fully appreciated) we worked on Josquin's Frenchness - his French sound and phrasing -, on polyphonic techniques such as linear development, the art of giving and taking, the preparation of cadences and changes of meter, text placement and musica ficta. Considerable time was also devoted to the practicing of those specific vocal techniques most needed for this type of music. And lastly, because the Banchieris are a most lively and sympathetic group of musicians, we worked on the mental attitude needed to make this often misunderstood music come alive for the listeners of today.
  • I wish the Banchieri Singers many fine years together, as musicians and as people. They more than deserve it.

Yours sincerely,

Rebecca Stewart
("maestro di cappella" Cappella Pratensis)


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