Amy Haworth, a London-based soprano who performs with the renowned Tallis Scholars, joins the Madison Bach Musicians on Saturday, Oct. 6, for an opening concert of Baroque vocal works.
Haworth’s appearance will cap a tightly scheduled week of recording in Milwaukee with Trevor Stephenson playing harpsichord and Anna Steinhoff on viola de gamba, a Baroque string instrument similar to a cello. The trio will release a CD (in a short run) in time for Saturday’s concert.
Haworth, who sings in a pure, unadorned style, will perform a variety of pieces this weekend, including an aria from Handel’s “Alcina,” excerpts from Bach’s “Anna Magdalena Notebook,” and works by Monteverdi, Caccini and Caldara (“Sebben, Crudele”).
Haworth recently spoke with 77 Square:
How did you first connect with the Madison Bach Musicians?
Trevor (Stephenson, the Bach musicians’ artistic director) got in touch with me last year. I was singing a concert with the Tallis Scholars in Boston. Trevor said, “I really liked the way you sang, would you like to come and work with us?” So when I was in the states in December, we met up.
You made a small recording with Stephenson in December. What did you record then, and is it similar to the Baroque music you’ll be recording and performing this time?
The stuff we did then (was) some Bach songs, some Handel and a bit of Monteverdi as well. We are doing more of that, but adding in some Purcell and some Schubert songs. The concert is … all early Baroque music.
I specialize in either early music or really modern music — about 80 percent of my time is early music, and then 20 percent is kind of contemporary bits and bobs.
Do the two styles of music have anything in common, the very early and the very recent?
I think (it’s) the sound they require for singing, the straight, pure sound. Those 200 years in the middle, people sing with much bigger voices and more vibrato. Contemporary composers have gone back to wanting the purer sound. It’s not about the big tunes, it’s more about the textures of the music.
Most singers have straight voices they create the vibrato on top of. Sometimes the vibrato happens naturally, other times it’s a kind of created sound. A voice ends up naturally where it is … some people will end up with big vibratos and some people won’t..