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Love Songs from 15th Century Europe

"...intimate and deeply communicative...meltingly beautiful..."
~ The New York Times

Programs
Audio & Video
Press
Biography
Contact/Booking

AsteriaSylvia Rhyne, soprano & Eric Redlinger, tenor and lute


PROGRAMS

A Rose of Such Virtue

Sacred and Secular Love
in the Waning Middle Ages

Much of the courtly poetry from the 12th to the 15th centuries can be summed up, as Robert Morton does in his exquisite chanson from the latter 15th century, with one phrase: “Vive Ma Dame!” The Lady, the absolute, flawless, most worthy object of chivalric desire, is surely one of the most mysterious and intriguing elements of medieval art. Her frequent portrayal as a flower, particularly a thorny rose, only emphasizes the cost of granting her one’s devotion. But the symbols of the lady and the rose are simultaneously also images for the virgin mother. Asteria explores the dual nature of these themes with beautiful English and French music from the early 15th century. (download program PDF)

Music for a Rash Prince

Music at the court of Charles the Bold of Burgundy (~1460-1470)

Music for a Rash Prince brings together works from three of the most lauded composers of the late Middle Ages: Busnoys, Hayne and Morton. Incredibly, these masters of their art were all actively employed at the same time and at the same court under Charles, duke of Burgundy. This program highlights their output at the apex of ducal power and influence, and features some rarely heard works written by the duke himself! (download program PDF)


Un Tres Doulx Regard

The Blossoming of the Burgundian Spirit in Song, 1390-1440

Largely drawn from anonymous or unattributed compositions from the last decade of the 14th century and very beginning of the 15th, this body of work constitutes the generation of “Dufay’s teachers”, and contains many of the elements that will later be the hallmarks of the mature Burgundian style that swept Europe during of the middle of the 15th century (download program PDF)


AUDIO & VIDEO

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS

"Intimate and deeply communicative . . . meltingly beautiful."
~ The New York Times


"An exquisite feast for the eyes, the ears, the mind and the heart."
~ Miami Bach Society


"Magical and mesmerizing..."
~ Mark Cudek, Peabody Conservatory


"Asteria brings audience to tears with ancient love songs."
~ Kelly J. Anderson, Washtenaw Voice


BIOGRAPHY

Acclaimed by the New York Times for their “deeply expressive, intimate and often haunting interpretations,” the early music duo Asteria brings a “delightful sweetness” and “a profound knowledge of the repertoire” (Goldberg Magazine) to the music of courtly love.

Asteria takes its name from the Greek word for stars, and indeed the stars aligned when Sylvia Rhyne (soprano) and Eric Redlinger (tenor and lute) first sang together. They immediately captured the 2004 “Unicorn Prize,” the highest honor in Early Music America’s first Medieval and Renaissance Performance Competition, launching a career that has taken them across the United States and around the world.

Semi-staged and sung from memory, Asteria’s performances create an indelible impression, transporting the audience to the age of chivalry with radiant love songs of timeless appeal. The duo’s four CDs feature a range of late medieval music from the better-known Vergine Bella and Se La Face Ay Pale to re-discovered works gleaned from original source material, bringing to life songs rarely, if ever, heard since the 15th century.

They have given concerts in France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, England, Mexico and Japan and have performed at festivals and venues including Tage Alter Musik in Regensburg, Festival Meridiennes in Tours, Musée de Cluny in Paris and Chartres Cathedral, to name a few.

In the United States, Asteria has given concerts and lecture-demonstrations at the Dallas Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Art, San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum, the Chicago Cultural Center, Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, Hollins University, Holy Cross, York College and Carleton College. They have performed in New York City at Bargemusic, the Times Center, the Cloisters and the Frick Collection.

Sylvia and Eric serve as artists-in-residence at the Chateau de Germolles in Burgundy, France, every spring, where they continue their research into the medieval music they so deeply cherish.


CONTACT/BOOKING INFO

For booking inquiries, please contact Shirley Hunt, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (415) 340-2621

 

GEMS Live! is a unique not-for-profit booking agency representing a roster of New York's world-class early music ensembles: Asteria, East of the River, House of Time, Parthenia, and Pomerium.