About Tudor Voices
Tudor Voices, under the new direction of William Gorton, is Millikin University’s premiere ensemble for early choral music. As an undergraduate ensemble working at a graduate level, Tudor Voices performs regularly in the Decatur and Champaign areas of Illinois, while serving as the chorus for Millikin’s Baroque opera productions. They perform a capella, as well as with period instruments, such as lute and harpsichord, covering an array of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music. Their most recent recording, In a Vale of Tears, is available through Millikin’s very own First Step Records.
About the CD, In a Vale of Tears
In a Vale of Tears is the debut recording by the Tudor Voices ensemble. It features two major works, the Stabat Mater by Domenico Scarlatti, and the Musikalische Exequien by Heinrich Schütz, both which are deep and moving reflections of death, grief, and acceptance. Scarlatti’s work is scored for ten vocal parts and continuo, using dissonances, suspensions, and coloratura passages to depict the profound pain felt by the Mother Mary weeping at the Cross. Schütz’s requiem is comprised of three sections, combining Biblical and poetic texts. The final section poignantly depicts the soul being brought to heaven by two angels. Dr. Daniel Carberg directed the select vocal ensemble for the recording, joined by harpsichord and cello.
“‘The Sabat Mater is very emotional whether you’re religious or not. ‘The different elements of the piece, made up of 10 separate vocal parts, represent pain, fury and the unimaginable whirlwind of emotions. Thus, it requires a strong set of mature, self-reliant singers, which Carberg is confident he found in this group.’ ‘With such powerful music, it’s difficult not to be affected emotionally by (the Musikalische Exequien). ‘I don’t think you can sing that music the way they sang it without a strong connection,’ Carberg said. ‘There are moments on there that rival some of the professional recordings that I’ve heard, which is amazing considering that this in an undergrad choir.’ With First Step Records, Tudor Voices was able to record a beautiful and heartbreaking CD at St. James Catholic Church in Decatur and released top-notch, powerful music to the campus and the community.” – Margaret Eby, the Decaturian