Ars Lyrica Houston and the Houston Chamber Choir are celebrating their latest CD releases.
Ars Lyrica, which performs Baroque music on period instruments, last week released Domenico Scarlatti’s La Dirindina on the Sono Luminus label. Mezzo Jamie Barton, baritone Brian Shircliffe and tenor Joseph Gaines sing the leads in the musical farce, with the Ars Lyrica ensemble conducted by harpsichordist Matthew Dirst, the group’s artistic director. The disc also includes Scarlatti’s cantata Pur nel Sonno, sung by soprano Celine Ricci, and two Scarlatti sonatas for mandolin and harpsichord, performed by Richard Savino and Dirst.
Ars Lyrica received a Grammy nomination for its 2010 world premiere recording of J.A. Hasse’s Marc Antonio e Cleopatra.
La Dirindia is available at amazon.com, ariama.com and other classical music retailers.
Houston Chamber Choir’s world-premiere recording of Giovanni Paolo Colonna’s Psalmi ad Vesperas on MSR Classics will become available Sept. 18, the same day as the choir’s season-opening concert, Soul Music of Tchaikovsky, Tavener and Gorecki, at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. On the CD, founder and artistic director Robert Simpson leads the choir, soloists and string orchestra.
Colonna’s Vespers, composed in 1694, sat for centuries in the archives of Westminster Abbey and the Central Library of Zurich, until it was brought to light recently by Greek musicologist Pyrros Barnichas. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the chamber choir’s Houston performance in October was the work’s first in modern times. Music scholar Anne Schnoebelen collaborated on the project.
“Colonna’s music was prized throughout Europe during his lifetime,” Simpson says. “After 300 years of neglect, it’s a thrill for all of us to bring this music back to life for modern listeners.”
The Houston Chamber Choir will hold a CD-release party at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at FreshArts ARC Gallery, Studio B11 of Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter. For information, call 713-224-5566.