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Huelgas Ensemble; Paul van Nevel

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Founded by Paul Van Nevel, the Huelgas Ensemble has emerged as one of Europe’s premiere vocal ensembles dedicated to the performance of music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Combining academic erudition with extraordinary skill and verve, the Huelgas Ensemble brings to life long-forgotten works of music that all too often have lain mutely in dark corners of archives and libraries across the European continent. Their most recent recording, La Pellegrina (SK 63362), features music from a sixteenth-century wedding in the Medici family.

At the heart of the group’s interpretative style is the recognition of the symbiotic relationship that stood among the arts in the medieval and Renaissance mind. Bringing together everything from Albertus Magnus’ study of temperaments to the “memory theatre” of Giulio Camillo and the oratorical techniques espoused by rhetoreticians of the period, the Huelgas Ensemble offers performances that are at once surprising and yet singularly apt.

The resultant record of achievement is an impressive one. Among their numerous critical prizes, the Huelgas Ensemble has garnered the Cannes Classical Award for their recent recording Pipelare: Missa “L’homme armé” (SK 68258), the Diapason d’or for their critically acclaimed recording Utopia Triumphans (SK 66261), the Edison award, the de Caecilia award, and the Snepvangers award of the Belgian Music Press. The list of awards extends back to their first Sony VIVARTE recording, La Dissection d’un homme armé (SK 45860), which won First Prize of the CD Compact Records Awards 1991.

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