RESPONSIO, by Peter-Anthony Togni
A contemporary response to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Nostre Dame
RESPONSIO is Peter-Anthony Togni’s extensive musical commentary on Guillaume de Machaut’s medieval masterpiece the Messe de Nostre Dame. Juxtaposing the contemporary sound and performance practice of a bass clarinet against the timeless sonorities of a world class vocal quartet, Responsio brings Machaut’s beautiful 14th century creation into the heart of the 21st century.
Responsio will be released internationally in the fall of 2015 on the Montreal based label ATMA Classique, and the original performers will present a concert tour of the work across the USA and Canada in April of 2016. Responsio is represented by Latitude 45 Arts Promotion based in Montreal.
On November 19th, 2014 it was announced that Responsio is the recipient of the prestigious $25,000.00 Nova Scotia 2014 Masterwork Award, selected from 5 finalists competing for the grand prize. This honour identifies Responsio as a truly significant work of contemporary creation, and is the only musical composition to ever receive the distinguished award.
Responsio was performed 4 times in Nova Scotia in the summer of 2013, culminating in a dramatic and beautiful performance at All Saints Church in Halifax.
The entire piece was recorded immediately after this performance and the CD will be released in the fall of 2015.
Drawing on the resources of over 1,000 years of music making, Responsio exploits the full potential of the world class performers involved. It is a dynamic, fluid and powerful live performance work.
In concert Responsio runs just over one hour in length, and is performed in 12 movements:
3) Response one
5) Response two
7) Offertorium, Ave Maria
9) Response three
10) Agnus Dei
11) Response four, Ave Verum Corpus
12) Ite Missa Est
More movements of Responsio can be heard here. The full CD can be heard on request.
Along with the wide ranging creative expression of bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly, Responsio draws upon the full resources of 4 singers that are among the very best in the world. The British tenors John Potter (past member of the Hilliard ensemble, and one of the singers in the very successful Officium project on ECM records) and Charles Daniels (famous for his work with the Kings Consort and his extensive discography) along with Canadians Suzie Leblanc (one of Canada’s most celebrated sopranos, equally at home in early and contemporary music) and Andrea Ludwig (a true rising star in opera and contemporary concert performance) gives this project a very special weight.