Agnew shocks and awes with Gesualdo’s sacred madrigals

Posted on Oct 21, 2019 in Artist News, News, Paul Agnew, Reviews | No Comments
Agnew shocks and awes with Gesualdo’s sacred madrigals

“Leading it all from his place in the semicircle of singers was Paul Agnew, who gave the most minimal of cues during the performance. Yet his musical direction was evident in the great variety of timbres and effects achieved by his ensemble, and in its secure navigation of this composer’s tortured harmonies….

“Superbly attentive to one another, well matched in clear tone without vibrato, the singers wove a contrapuntal fabric that blended into rich, organ-like sonority at some moments and splintered into six-way conversation at others….

“At times director Agnew pushed the musical boundaries to speech-like inflections, as when a tumult of semi-shouted phrases illustrated Jesus’s words to the disciples, “You will take flight.” And if it is possible to attack a note scornfully, that is what the sopranos did on the words “Judas, the most evil merchant.”

Read more at New York Classical Review