The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Exploring the English Renaissance with The New Consort

St. Ann's Episcopal Church, Old Lyme
Saint Ann's Episcopal Church
82 Shore Road, Old Lyme
Old Lyme, CT 06371

On Saturday, April 6th, Saint Ann’s Parish in Old Lyme is delighted to welcome nationally-acclaimed vocal ensemble The New Consort, directed by baritone and Lyme native Brian Mummert, back to its concert series. The professional quintet will present Subtler Than Light: Music of the Dow Partbooks, a concert exploring the music written during the reign of Elizabeth I. These works have been immortalized by 16th century calligrapher Robert Dow in the Dow Partbooks: a set of manuscripts, each containing only the musical line of the singer reading from it, that assemble some of the most important works of the Tudor era. Preserved within these books, one finds a snapshot of exemplary artists struggling to make sense of the world through the lens of their Christian faith; from Robert White’s Lamentations to William Byrd’s Laetentur coeli, these Elizabethan masters endeavor to capture the scope of human emotion.

“We’re very lucky that Dow had impeccable taste,” explains Artistic Director Brian Mummert. “The music of composers like Byrd and Tallis is some of the most beautiful ever written, and Dow chose what I’d argue are the best pieces by each of them. I’m so excited to pair these works that have withstood the centuries with two world premieres on similar themes, and inspired by the Partbooks’ musical language, written specially for The New Consort by two important young composers: Rossa Crean and Ethan McGrath. This concert is all about balance - warding off despair for our imperfect world with hope, and seeking an equilibrium between sombre contemplation and joy.”

Saint Ann’s is proud to be producing the concert as part of our Live@SaintAnn’s concert series. Admission is a suggested donation of $20 in advance and $30 at the door, with a $10 senior/student discount; tickets are available for purchase at bit.ly/partbooks or by calling 917-740-9694. The performance will begin at 4:00, with doors opening at 3:30. A reception will follow the performance, at which guests are encouraged to examine facsimiles of the partbooks and meet the performers.

Winners of the American Prize in Chamber Music, The New Consort was founded in 2015 and has quickly made embracing stylistic contrasts one of its hallmarks. Musical variety is an integral part of the ensemble's identity: from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary & non-classical works, nothing is off-limits. By embracing contrasts and drawing diverse works into conversation, The New Consort attracts new audiences to classical music and encourages them to forge connections with unfamiliar genres of musical expression. The ensemble has appeared in venues including Trinity College, Cambridge; The Walters Art Museum's First Fridays series; The Bach Store, an NYC pop-up concert hall; High Hopes' Music Under the Stars (CT); Spectrum NYC; and at churches and schools throughout the Northeast. Members of The New Consort have appeared as soloists and conductors with some of the world’s best-respected ensembles from Carnegie Hall to Kuala Lumpur, but relish the opportunity that the ensemble presents to collaborate as chamber musicians. For more information on The New Consort visit www.newconsort.org.