La Morra, la merrier: Early music ensemble bound for Bates

Michal Gondko and Corina Marti of La Morra.

Michal Gondko and Corina Marti of La Morra.

La Morra, a Swiss early music ensemble known for evocative and engaging concerts, performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29, in Olin Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at batestickets.com. For more information, please contact 207-786-6135 or olinarts@bates.edu.

Earlier that day, La Morra offers a half-hour performance at 1 p.m. as part of the “Rollin’ to Olin” arts series for grade-school pupils. The concert is open to the public at no cost.

Early music refers to music spanning the late medieval and early Renaissance eras. Within this genre, La Morra pays particular attention to the secular art song, sacred para-liturgicals and instrumental music. The group is praised for thoroughly researched and skillfully interpreted performances. As Early Music Magazine wrote, “To hear La Morra is to be reminded why one fell in love with this music!”

The ensemble hails from Basel, Switzerland. Under the artistic leadership of Corina Marti and Michal Gondko, the group consists of up 10 vocalists and instrumentalists, depending on the project. Since 2000, La Morra has toured internationally and appeared in diverse early music festivals.

The most recent La Morra recordings, both released in 2011, are Johannes Ciconia: Opera Omnia, a collection of secular music (Ricercar), and Armoniae Celestes, Carmina Suavissima, comprising works composed for 15th-century church councils held in Basel (Musiques Suisses).

Also in La Morra’s catalog: Flour de Beaulté, late medieval songs from Cyprus (Ramée, 2006); Ex Libris Doctoris Amerbachii, music by the Basel composer Bonifacius Amerbach (Musiques Suisses, 2006); Dame de Deuil, musical offerings for Marguerite of Austria (Etcetera/Codaex, 2005); and Le Jardin de Plaisance, songs from late 15th-century French manuscripts (Raumklang, 2003).

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