The Magdalena consort, founded in 2008 by baritone Peter Harvey, is acclaimed for its virtuoso chamber performances of sacred vocal music from Monteverdi to J.S. Bach.
The group aims to use the vocal and instrumental forces for which this music was originally written; the instrumental band varies in size from single strings to a small chamber orchestra, while choral movements are frequently sung by the soloists alone - 'one voice per part'. It is this which gives the Magdalena Consort its distinctive sound: an intense choral texture with strong contours in the individual musical lines.
The singers associated with the Magdalena Consort are well established as international soloists, besides having considerable experience of ensemble singing, and the instrumentalists are drawn from some of the world's best-known period instrument orchestras and chamber groups.
'I have never heard the choruses sung like this - the four solo singers achieved such a transparency of line, responding to each other in every subtle nuance, and their enthusiasm for the music was completely infectious - it was unknown territory for me and I was totally captivated. This was a world-class performance.'
As well as public concerts, the Magdalena Consort gives small-scale informal performances in hospices, free of charge: a charitable initiative known as 'Musical Offerings'.