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Free Early Music Festival at the Clark November 13

For Immediate Release

November 03, 2004

 Five different ensembles will perform at the Early Music Festival at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Saturday, November 13, beginning at 1 p.m. Performances will be offered continuously from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and again from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Scheduled to perform are the Frye and Lightning Consort, Exultemus, the New England Waites, Concordia, and the Brewster Village Consort. The program is offered in connection with the current exhibition Medieval Mystery: Who Is the Master of the Embroidered Foliage? Admission is free.

The Frye and Lighting Consort will begin the festival at 1 p.m. The five musicians perform Medieval and Renaissance music, particularly that of the Sephardic Jews and the British Isles. Ensemble members are Dennis Murphy (bassoon, string bass, viola da gamba, flute, whistle, recorder, percussion and vocals), Steven Light (string bass, lute, viola da gamba, recorder, shawm, cornetto, krummhorn, percussion, and vocals), Kathy Munson Light (harp, recorder, krummhorn, and vocals), Ellie Hayes (vielle, recorder, whistle, and vocals), and Bruce Chalmer (vielle, recorder, percussion, and vocals).

At 2:30 p.m., Exultemus will perform a vocal program of early German music. The eight singers in the Boston-based group span the Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque periods. They are modeled after small estate and chapel choirs, performing without a conductor and relying on each other for musical cues and phrasing. Exultemus is committed to historically accurate intonation and pronunciation.

The New England Waites will take the stage at 4 p.m. The quartet is an early brass ensemble. Members are: Michael Collver, cornetto; John Faieta, alto sackbut; Mack Ramsey, tenor sackbut; and Brian Kay, bass sackbut.

Following a break, the program will resume at 8 p.m. with a performance by Concordia. The countertenor and recorder ensemble will perform a program of German music before the time of Bach. Based in Boston, Concordia has performed at historic King's Chapel, the Concord Museum, Middlesex Community College, and other venues. Members are Audrey Benevento, Mark Malden, George Mastellone, Mary Lou Repucci, Brian Warnock, and Sheila Beardslee.

The final performer will be the Brewster Village Consort at 9 p.m. The quartet is a viola da gamba consort. Ensemble members are: Sarah Mead, treble and tenor viols; Janet Haas, treble and bass viols; Mai-Lan Broekman, tenor viol; and Rosalind Brooks Stowe, bass viol.

Medieval Mystery is on view through January 2. The 15th-century Netherlandish painter known only as The Master of the Embroidered Foliage is best recognized for his panel paintings of the Virgin and Child. The virtually identical compositions depict Mary in voluminous robes, seated on a throne while the Christ child in her arms leafs through an illustrated manuscript. The backgrounds of these detailed panels vary greatly from landscape to city streets. All are rich in palette and pattern and are finely painted with great detail. Medieval Mystery brings together for the first time four of these works from public and private collections in the United States, Belgium, and France, including the painting from the Clark's collection. An innovative presentation encourages visitors to participate in solving the mysteries of this artist.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Gallery admission is free through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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