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Czech conductor Marek Stryncl founded Musica Florea in order to provide authentic performances of early music. It was courageous of the young man to bring the complex Zelenka opera to Munich because there are no role models on which he could have oriented himself. And yet Stryncl decided to perform it on-stage, before a critical German audience, and conducting some of the world's best early music soloists. You've got to hand it to the young man: he has guts!

Marek Stryncl. Photo © Europamusicale
Marek Stryncl. Photo © Europamusicale

All of thirty years old, Stryncl, a former cellist, helped his ensemble to become one of the most talked about early music ensembles in Europe. He leaves his orchestra every freedom imaginable and this places a high level of individual responsibility on each musician. Encouraged by their award for the CD, Musica Florea and Musica Aeterna played with confidence and the sense of proprietary pride that happens when an orchestra takes part in the unfolding of music history, be it with newly discovered pieces, world premières or whatever. The high profile soloists worked with them for the first time but, if anything, they enriched the piece even further as they blended well with the orchestra and music.

Nancy Argenta. Photo © Nikky Johnston/Europamusicale
Nancy Argenta. Photo © Nikky Johnston/Europamusicale

Canadian-born Nancy Argenta is a renowned specialist in early music and performs with Hogwood's Academy of Ancient Music in London, where she has been living for many years. A velvety timbre and immense stage authority are some of the trademarks of this exceptional soprano. Her colleagues praise Argenta's reliability and professionalism, which, in combination with her unique voice, is why she has sold countless solo CDs and won many awards all over the world.

Flavio Oliver, who is known as the modern day Farinelli, was awesome, as could be expected of one of the world's foremost male sopranos. He has a crystal clear voice and never sets a note wrong, which points to an excellent technique. Oliver's reputation precedes him, and many audience members bought their tickets especially to see him perform. He sang the part of Religio (Devotion). Since devotion is an abstract concept, the ambivalence expressed by the contrast between the male air of the performer and his female-type voice works perfectly as an abstract vision of religious myth.

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Copyright © 9 June 2004 Tess Crebbin and Sissy von Kotzebue, Germany


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