Sunday, June 20, 2010
Four Nations at Arts & Ideas Sunday
Sprague Hall at Yale provided a lovely backdrop for a satisfying baroque concert by the Four Nations Ensemble Sunday night.
The lightly attended International Festival of Arts and Ideas event took place in the cool performance hall on a muggy and warm Father's Day evening.
The mostly sublime 90-minute program featured outstanding vocals by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Houtzeel, an expressive complement to bass, harpsichord, two violins and small baroque guitar and flute.
Also expressive ensemble Director and harpsichord player Andrew Appel was asked to put together the program in association with the Yale University Art Gallery exhibit of Italian Paintings from the Richard L. Feigen Collection.
He led off the program by saying he was inspired by two paintings in particular, with Mary Magdalene and a Greek goddess in roughly the same pose as they portrayed different emotions.
The Four Nations Ensemble is also composed of Charles Brink on flute, Krista Bennion Feeney and Andrew Fouts, violins; Loretta O'Sullivan, cello; and Daniel Swenberg, the orbo.