Vox Lucens Performing “On the Edge of Baroque”


Vox Lucens Performing “On the Edge of Baroque” by Kathleen Fink

The beautiful a capella voices of Vox Lucens will again grace the sanctuary of the Park Avenue Congregational Church in Arlington Heights. This concert will take place May 17th, at 4:00 p.m. and is the fourth in the 2014/2015 PACC Concert Series to benefit the Church’s Organ Restoration and Music Program. Tickets in advance are $15 adults and $10 seniors and students: and at the door $20 and $12. A post-concert artists’ reception will take place in the Parish Hall where Vox Lucens’ CDs will be available for purchase. Call 781-643-8680 to reserve tickets that will be held for you at the door. For more information visit www.pacc-ucc.org/events/concertseries.

The seventeenth century was a time of musical experimentation and change, a transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque. Composers from this period are now remembered for their later and more experimental works, but many of them also wrote beautifully at the beginnings of their careers.

Vox Lucens will explore early works by the seventeenth-century masters Sweelinck, Monteverdi, Gesualdo, and Schütz. From Sweelinck (now remembered for his keyboard works), they present a lovely “Regina caeli” written in the old style; from Gesualdo (easily the most experimental composer of his generation), three solemn church motets, and from the German Schütz, three lively Italian madrigals. The group will also be performing a work by the great innovator Claudio Monteverdi, a stately and beautifully crafted mass that pays homage to the works of the high Renaissance.

Vox Lucens is a small (currently 13-member) vocal ensemble that came together in 1998 to explore the Renaissance sacred and secular a capella repertoire. Under the direction of Jay Lane, they perform popular favorites as well as lesser known works, often in their own editions. They have performed locally in concerts and church services as well as with dance and theater groups.
The singers come from diverse backgrounds. Many have advanced musical training, and other singing affiliations. Members of the group have performed in musical styles ranging from opera, folk, and Celtic, to Gilbert and Sullivan. The singers make clear their love for singing with Vox Lucens in their own words below:

Mary Briggs of Lincoln, is a surgeon who says, “To me, singing Renaissance music has a magical quality – and not just as a figure of speech. When we sing a capella, somehow a beautiful new creation arises from everyday household objects like reasonable singing voices. In my mind’s eye, each voice creates a liquid beam of sound with others to construct a magnificent cathedral of harmony.”

Although Barry Goldberg of Melrose has sung many styles not only in rehearsals but “while in the shower, driving in his car, working at his computer and walking down the street…he eventually discovered that the close-knit harmonies and small ensemble dynamics of early music provided him with the most soul satisfying experience.”

Diane Taraz of Arlington explains, “Singing early music is my team sport. We work together to create something none of us can do on our own, and we pass the key phrases from part to part like a soccer ball heading for a goal. By enjoying our own parts and responding to the others, we achieve a wonderfully satisfying artistic victory.” Diane is also a songwriter with many CDs to her name (see www.dianetaraz.com).

Laurie Francis of Arlington writes, “We get together and create beautiful harmonies on a regular basis. Some people do yoga, some people meditate – I sing early music with a group of terrific people…”

Jessica Raine of Somerville speaks of many types of learning, “Rehearsing with Vox is an ongoing education, not only in music, but in history and historical context and language; we all come together because of our common interest in differing aspects of this material, and we’re all learning from each other, all the time. It’s amazing.”

See www.voxlucens.net for more information about the group.

Park Avenue Congregational Church is located at 50 Paul Revere Road at the intersection of Park Avenue and Paul Revere Road, 1 block from Mass. Avenue, in Arlington Heights. The church is handicapped accessible and on MBTA bus route #77. For more information about the series, please call the Church Office at 781-643-8680 or visit www.pacc-ucc.org/events/concertseries.