Press Release - American Bach Soloists New CD



Contact: Jeff McMillan
(415) 621-7900 ext. 204

Beloved ABS collaborator sings dazzling program
that includes Handel’s Silete venti and Gloria

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 14, 2013—The American Bach Soloists are pleased to announce the imminent release of "Handel: Laudate pueri Dominum” featuring Mary Wilson. ABS music director Jeffrey Thomas directs the orchestra of ABS—“some of the greatest period-instrument players in the world” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and one of their most cherished collaborators, the sensational American coloratura soprano Mary Wilson, in a program of bravura works by George Frideric Handel.
"Handel: Laudate pueri Dominum" features three challenging works for soprano and chamber ensemble that place extraordinary demands of virtuosity and expressiveness on soloist and orchestra alike. Written in 1707 when the composer was living in Italy, Laudate pueri Dominum is a startling example of Handel’s ability to absorb and make use of foreign traditions to fuel his unique vision and compositional voice. The psalm setting is a veritable catalogue of Italian musical forms, all masterfully employed by Handel. The Gloria for coloratura voice, two violins, and basso continuo is also from Handel’s early period. Discovered in 2001, this exquisite liturgical work is at times expansive and elegant, but its vigorous sections for the soprano soloist are what often amaze hearers. The composer’s thrilling virtuoso motet Silete venti (“Silence, ye winds”) comes from later in Handel’s career when he was living in London and writing operas for the lyric stage. Opening with what appears to be a typical French ouverture, the soprano makes her entrance in the work by bidding the winds—elemental and instrumental—to be silent so her Christian soul can peacefully enjoy its repose. In May 2013, Wilson’s performances of Silete venti with ABS astonished audiences with the breathtaking ease and precision of her singing. Maestro Thomas was commended for programming the overlooked gem with an ideal interpreter like Wilson: “Silete venti is a wonderful work, and the fact that it is a misfit for modern-day concert programs makes its absence from the repertoire a shame. Thank goodness for ABS!” (SFCV)
"Handel: Laudate pueri Dominum" featuring Mary Wilson is the latest recording to join ABS’s critically lauded discography of nineteen titles, including a 6 volume series of cantatas by J.S. Bach, full recordings of the St. Matthew Passion and Mass in B Minor, and recordings concentrating on the music of Corelli, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schütz. Handel: Laudate pueri Dominum featuring Mary Wilson will be released nationally December 3 and available for pre-sale on iTunes on November 15.

WilsonVRMARY WILSON (soprano) is one of today's most exciting singing artists. Cultivating a wide-ranging career in chamber music, oratorio and operatic repertoire, her “bright soprano seems to know no terrors, wrapping itself seductively around every phrase” (Dallas Morning News). 
Hailed by the Arizona Daily Star as “simply amazing, with a voice that induces goose bumps and a stage presence that is mesmerizing,” Wilson made her ABS debut in 2003 in Handel’s Messiah at Grace Cathedral. She has since appeared with the ensemble on several occasions, offering dazzling performances of the music of Bach, Pergolesi, Charpentier, Vivaldi, and, most of all, Handel. “She is a fresh-voiced singer and a direct communicator,” offered the San Jose Mercury News, “she loops and embellishes, executing Handel’s tricky flights with seemingly little effort.” A tremendously popular artist in the Bay Area’s vibrant early music community, Wilson is also an accomplished performer on the nation’s operatic and concert stages performing works by a wide variety of composers from Mozart and Verdi to Philip Glass and Jonathan Dove.
During the 2012-2013 season, Wilson performed Handel’s Silete venti, Apollo & Dafne, and Messiah with American Bach Soloists, and also appeared with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Boston Baroque, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Santa Fe Symphony, and sang a performance of Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. In high demand on the concert stage, she has most-recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Orchestra, St, Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Detroit Symphony, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Dayton Philharmonic, VocalEssence, and at the Hollywood Bowl. She has worked with conductors including Jeffrey Thomas, Bernard Labadie, Nicholas McGegan, Martin Pearlman, Martin Haselböck, JoAnn Falletta and Leonard Slatkin. An exciting interpreter of Baroque repertoire, especially Handel, she has appeared with American Bach Soloists, Musica Angelica, Boston Baroque, Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Bach Society of St. Louis, Baltimore Handel Choir, Florida Bach Festival, and the Carmel Bach Festival.
On the opera stage, she is especially noted for her portrayals of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susannah in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Gilda in Rigoletto. She has created leading roles in North American and World premiere performances of Dove’s Flight (Controller), Glass’ Galileo Galilei (Grand Duchess Christina) and Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick dit L’Elephant Man (Le Colorature). She has appeared most-recently with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Minnesota Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Dayton Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera, Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Goodman Theatre. For more information:
The American Bach Soloists engage and inspire audiences through historically informed performances, recordings, and educational programs that emphasize the music of the Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic eras. Founded in 1989, the ensemble has achieved its vision of assembling the world’s finest vocalists and period-instrument performers to bring this brilliant music to life. For more than two decades, Jeffrey Thomas has brought thoughtful, meaningful, and informed perspectives to his performances as Artistic and Music Director of the American Bach Soloists. Fanfare Magazine proclaimed that “Thomas’s direction seems just right, capturing the humanity of the music…there is no higher praise for Bach performance.”


Renowned for his experience, knowledge and sensitivity for the music of the Baroque, Jeffrey Thomas’s preparation of the major works of the repertory such as Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St. Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Messiah have led to inspired, definitive performances that have become synonymous with the ensemble he has led with such distinction, American Bach Soloists. San Francisco Classical Voice said, “Jeffrey Thomas is still pushing the musical Baroque envelope.”
Before devoting all of his time to conducting, he was one of the first recipients of the San Francisco Opera Company's prestigious Adler Fellowships. Cited by The Wall Street Journal as “a superstar among oratorio tenors,” Mr. Thomas's extensive discography of vocal music includes dozens of recordings of major works for Decca, EMI, Erato, Koch International Classics, Denon, Harmonia Mundi, Smithsonian, Newport Classics, and Arabesque. He is a Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis, where he holds the Barbara K. Jackson Chair in Choral Conducting. Mr. Thomas currently hosts two shows on one of the nation's premiere classical music radio stations, KDFC, the most recent major commercial classical station in America to make the transition to public radio. Through worldwide streaming audio, he brings his experience and love for baroque and choral music to a global audience. [more...]


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