Faye Newton (soprano)
Jamie Savan (director & cornetts)
Helen Roberts (cornett)
Oliver Webber (violin)
Theresa Caudle (violin & cornett)
Steven Devine (organ & harpsichord)
The Gonzaga Band was formed by cornettist Jamie Savan in 1997, with a mission to explore the intimate relationship between vocal and instrumental performance practice in the Early Modern period. The ensemble takes its name from the ducal family of Mantua: the Gonzagas were powerful and influential patrons of the arts in the late Renaissance, who employed Claudio Monteverdi as their maestro della musica at the turn of the seventeenth century. Monteverdi wrote some of his most innovative music for the Gonzagas: his third, fourth and fifth books of madrigals, the operas Orfeo and Arianna, and of course the Vespers of 1610.
Performing most often as a chamber ensemble with a core of soprano voice, cornett and keyboards, and expanding on occasion according to the particular requirements of each programme, The Gonzaga Band is thus able to perform in a variety of combinations, ranging from a trio to a full period-instrument orchestra and vocal consort. The Gonzaga Band is renowned for its innovative programming, underpinned by cutting-edge research, which continually shines new light on the repertoire and its interpretation. The Gonzaga Band has previously released two albums on the Chandos label to international critical acclaim: Sacred Garland (2009) and Chamber Vespers (2011).
‘Faye Newton sings delightfully, and the players – especially Savan on the cornett are impossible to fault’
‘Savan and company have an instinctive feel for this repertoire, their persuasive performances delivered with terrific flair and panache’
BBC Radio 3 CD Review