Montserrat Figueras 1942 - 2011
short biography

Montserrat Figueras - soprano - was born in Barcelona, where she studied singing and acting. At a very early age, Montserrat Figueras gave her first concert with the Catalan Early Music ensemble, ARS MUSICAE. In 1968 she left for Basle and studied early and modern music at the Schola Cantorum Baseliensis and the Conservatoire. She worked under Kurt Widmer, Thomas Binkley and later with Eva Krasznai. Six years later, Jordi Savall (her husband since 1968), Montserrat Figueras, Lorenzo Alpert and Hopkinson Smith founded the ensemble HESPERION XX. In 1987 Jordi Savall founded the vocal and instrumental ensemble LA CAPELLA REIAL of which Montserrat is a member. Montserrat Figueras has developed a most personal conception of the interpretation of early vocal music, especially from Spain and Catalonia.

Montserrat Figueras received several awards: Edison Klassiek , Grand Prix of the Nouvelle Académie du Disque and Grande Prix of the Académie Charles Cross, to mention a few.

© 1997 Mike Heemskerk

 

"About her performance: The effect is tremendous. Figueras' sense of time is elastic; she floats above and around the beat, giving priority to the rhythm of the words she sings but never without reference to the drum's meter. Memelsdorff answers her in improvised counterpoint, Lester Young to her Billie Holiday. Estevan holds his ground, and the slow and stiff meter he marks only seems to provoke Figueras and Memelsdorff to ever more freely stretch and contact their phrases. When the drum finally stops, and the last notes of the song die away, there is a moment of stunned silence before the church bursts into applause."

Quotation from: Damon Krukowski Not Just Plain Folk

 

"Les plus beau des XVIIes siècles possibles est làm chanté par Montserrat Figueras avec une sencibilité somptueuse, soutenue d'à peine la guitare de Rof lislevand et l'arpa doppia d'Arianna Savall. C'est simplement miraculeux, une heure d'encantement absolu."

Quotation from: André Tubeuf About CD Tonos Humanos-José Marín Le Point (25 Avril 1998)

 

"Every so often, an artist brings out a recorded program of such exquisite taste and beauty that it becomes an instant legend. Such was Montserrat Figueras's Cant de la Sibylla discs (...) Add Ninna Nanna to the list (...) This disc makes a charming gift, one for yourself and one for someone you love."

Quotation from: J.F. Weber About CD Ninna Nanna Fanfare (July/August 2003)

Copyright © 1997-2013, Mike Heemskerk

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