Critic’s Choice

Wed Jan 09, 2019 at 11:24 am

ARTEK-large-group-web

Artek is one of the finest and longest-standing early music ensembles in New York City. Though their name is an acronym for the “art of the early keyboard,” the group is best known for their presentations of large, mixed ensemble works—their recording of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo is one of the most compelling on disc.

This Thursday and Friday at Corpus Christi Church on the Upper West Side, Artek will play more Monteverdi. As the culmination of their latest recording project, the ensemble will present the composer’s complete Madrigals, Book VII. More than songs, Book VII is a complete concert and dramatic work in and of itself, mixing solo voices and small vocal ensembles with instrumental accompaniment. As a whole, this is one of Monteverdi’s most intimate and emotionally rich works, and concludes with an integrated, full scale dramatic ballet, “Tirsi e Clori.”

Concert performances of the entirety of Book VII are few and far between, and that rarity coupled with Artek’s experience and quality makes this one of the most notable events on the early music scene.

Artek plays Monteverdi’s Complete Madrigals of Book VII, 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at Corpus Christi Church. artekearlymusic.org


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