Archive for Paula Fagerberg

Bringing “The Rebel Queen,” Armonia Celeste’s second recording, to life

Posted in Programs and repertoire, Recordings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2015 by armoniaceleste
Queen Christina as Minerva Unknown artist, 1700s

Queen Christina as Minerva
Unknown artist

As you may recall, Armonia Celeste recorded its second CD last fall.

Sarah, Dianna, Rebecca, Lyle, and Paula convened in Silver Spring, Maryland, to make the recording. An all-star cast was brought in to help: UK-based producer Malcolm Bruno oversaw the festivities, and guest artists Cynthia Roberts and Madeline Adkins on baroque violin and Allen Whear on baroque cello supplied bowed-string color (and brilliant panache) on a couple of the selections.

The ensemble was able to record all the music, but must raise money to finish the editing and post-production processes before the recording can be submitted to the record label for distribution. (Yes, in these dark days of the music industry, musicians must fund the costs of their recordings on their own.)

Armonia Celeste needs your help to raise $6000 by August 2 in order to finish this historically and musicologically important recording and release it to the public.

And what wonderful music comprises this CD? Music from the chapels and courts of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689), who was enamored of Italian musical, religious, and political culture–so much so that she abdicated the Swedish throne and moved to Rome to set up court, where she patronized the finest composers and performers of her time. Armonia Celeste’s The Rebel Queen features haunting sacred and stirring secular music from such musical lights of the era as Mazzocchi, Rossi, Carissimi, Pasquini, and the harpist-singer Marazzoli, exquisitely sung with the ensemble’s signature blend, and accompanied with verve and style on period instruments.

drottning kristina igen

“King Christina” with sword and crown, 1650. 18th-century copy after the lost original by David Beck

By all accounts, Queen Christina of Sweden was a strong-willed, mischief-making, and rule-breaking woman. Her shocking exploits included cutting her hair short, wearing men’s clothing, and chatting flippantly with common merchants and beggars. We delve more into her mold-breaking character and remarkable life here and in the video below.

You’ll also hear a preview track from the album: La Corista by Lelio Colista, featuring our guest artists on bowed strings and Lyle and Paula on plucked-string continuo (theorbo and baroque triple harp).

Have a look and a listen to the delights that await you and the 21st-century audience if Armonia Celeste succeeds (with your help) in bringing this recording to the public! As always…many thanks for your support.

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