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Allegorical fights between earthly desires and the purity of belief contained great musical variety, especially when the two excellent singers were accompanied by instrumentalists who were just as strong.
Joel Frederiksen mastered the huge range and coloratura of the virtuosic "O vos omnes" by Giovanni Felice Sances excellently. Robert Crowe, representing the other extreme of the male voice (soprano)...in the piano sections round and expressive.
Frederiksen is at the moment the only one that masters the art of self-accompanying to the lute at the highest level. He has at his disposal amazingly many styles and vocal registers and styles. The most impressive were the big, theatrical monodies of Giulio Caccini: easily over two and one-half octaves, virtuosically ornamented and with powerful diction...truly amazing.
The evening was based on perfect solo performances. The crystal clear soprano of Lydia Brotherton was faultless and equally as excellent was the alto Deborah Rentz-Moore. The tenor Timothy Leigh Evans...mastered both the fast songs and the sacred and choral repertoire...but the deus ex machina of the whole project was the bass Joel Frederiksen, who prepared the dramaturgy of the program, sang and also played the guitar.
The audience was literaly thrilled and did not allow the performers leave sooner than after three encores.
"The Rose of Sharon" at the Prague Spring International Music Festival, May 2010
The concert at the Prague Spring International Music Festival, May 2010.
Ensemble Phoenix makes ancient music come alive (concert 14.2. 2010 Munich, Between Mars and Venus)
Museums are places of discovery and in the Bavarian National Museum for over two years there has been a wonderful concert series founded by an American with Danish roots, Joel Frederiksen. The accomplished lutenist with a superb bass voice collects early music profis with his Ensemble Phoenix Munich and lets Renaissance and Baroque music in "Between Mars and Venus" rise again.
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Project "Amarillis, My Love" in Stadtheater Luzern
It was a true surprise to hear the voice of a bass in this early English repertoire! The singing was remarkably supple with excellent intonation and an astonishing discreet expressivity.
"O felice morire", Ambrasser Schlosskonzerte in Innsbruck, Austria
Available in German. Please see the PDF.
With virtuosity Frederiksen plunged from the highest high to the deepest deep and played simultaneously also brilliantly on the lute. A marvellous love-evening—although not completely, because with Batailles “Qui veut chaser une migraine” a drinking song was also performed.
Award from the Munich Evening News for the Classical Music Star of the Year
eMusic Pick / EDITOR'S PICK
“It’s tempting to skip straight to the Drake covers and marvel at how beautifully Frederiksen treats them. Drake’s mumbling delivery on record can make deciphering his obtuse lyrics a bit of a struggle, whereas Frederiksen’s crystal-clear diction is a joy. The discreet backings on lutes and theorbo are unfailingly sensitive.” – The Arts Desk
ROAD TRIP PICK: During the last few days, as I drive hills and dales of the Hudson Valley viewing the dappled sunlight and burgeoning green, I've been listening to the album ‘Requiem for a Pink Moon.’ Frederiksen and his ensemble have created an almost seamless album in which Dowland and Drake illuminate one another… I turn these quiet sounds up loud in the car, immersed in the delicacy of thoughtful, ageless songs.” - David Garland, WQXR
“I seriously doubt that I will hear another recording this year which will come close to matching the power and grace Requiem for a Pink Moon. In my opening sentence I called this a ‘nearly flawless recording.’I should remove the qualifier, for if there is such a thing as a flawless album, this Requiem is certainly it.” - SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER
“An idea that’s so spot-on it’s a wonder nobody thought of it before.” - NEW YORK MUSIC DAILY
"A stunning Elizabethan tribute to Nick Drake. Elizabethan meets contemporary classical? Joel Frederiksen is joined by the Ensemble Phoenix Munich to pay more than fitting tribute to the late British troubadour Nick Drake. Hearing these baroque pieces, with Gregorian texts next to ‘Road’ or ‘Which Will’ is a testament to the brilliance of Frederiksen, few true artists would have dared to take such an incredible roll of the musical dice and wind up with results that border on stunning." - CRITICAL JAZZ