"Treat yourself to some exquisite gloom."
(Independent on Sunday)
"Concordia commissioned the British poet Glyn Maxwell to write a series of poems linked to English music from the period leading up to the Civil War. The result is Crye, a bewitching CD from Metronome exploring the period's obsession with madness and paranoia."
Concordia was founded in 1992 to apprise the large repertoire of music touching upon viols of all shapes and sizes. Under the direction of Mark Levy, the group attained some memorable successes in the late 1990s, delving into the depths of English consort music.
Concordia’s regular members are Mark Levy, Emilia Benjamin, Alison McGillivray, Reiko Ichise, Markus Tapio and Joanna Levine (viols), Gary Cooper (organ and harpsichord) and Elizabeth Kenny (lute).
The group expanded its corpus by incorporating increasingly different repertoires to their work, rediscovering celebrious ensembles of lutes, viols and voices that shaped European music in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Concordia is often found working with guest artists on other instruments and particularly with singers. They have countless collaborations with baritone Peter Harvey, tenor James Glichrist, countertenors Robin Blaze and James Bowman and soprano Rachel Elliott.
Concordia emphasizes the links with the other arts. As well as the enchanting English music of the Golden Age and a wide range of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire from Italy, Germany, Spain and France, the innovative programming of Concordia has resulted in mixed performing arts showcases, involving contemporary dance, poetry and drama.
Concordia’s associations included the poet Glyn Maxwell and Will Kemp of the Adventures in Motion Pictures dance company. Among Concordia’s numerous recordings, concert appearances and radio broadcasts linked to major exhibitions, their involvement with the National Gallery’s successful Titian exhibition spawned two recordings and a major touring programme dedicated to the work of Andrea Gabrieli and his contemporaries, all across the United Kingdom.
Concordia is now one of the most active British chamber groups and appears regularly at major British music festivals including Brighton, Bath and Cheltenham, and other major venues across Europe. The group has appeared at Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall, where they played in the first South Bank Early Music Festival.
Concordia’s exploration of Orlando Gibbons’ music has been praised and received numerous awards, including a Fono Forum in Germany, a Diapason d’Or, Choc de Musique and 10 de Répertoire in France, an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and Outstanding rating from BBC Music Magazine in the UK.