We are thrilled that EXAUDI has been awarded a Deutschen Schallplattenkritik prize for the ensemble's latest disc Gesualdo: Madrigali on Winter & Winter. This critically acclaimed disc, which is EXAUDI's long-awaited first early music recording, won the Choral Music Category with high praise from the jury:
"His madrigals describe the fickleness of the soul, the instability of the heart, the illusions of the senses. The intonation of this eccentric music is tricky. It's amazing how the Exaudi Vocal Ensemble captures these ghostly sounds. Even after a short listen you can say: It is perfect. It stays that way."
- Wolfram Goertz, for the jury (You can read the full review here)
This is, however, just one of many fantastic reviews that the disc has received from the critics:
"They focus more on the melodic lines and the exquisitely agonising harmonies of his later, crazily intense madrigals - and yet they capture certain feelings which other groups miss, like the yearning for peace which seems to come over the music at times, as if all the passion is just too much...it's the emotional wisdom as well as the beauty of EXAUDI's disc which gives it the edge" - Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph
"EXAUDI's one-to-a-part approach stands comparison with the finest continental specialists in this repertory...their Gesualdo is finely etched, monumental and closely considered...The unanimity of purpose and the sense of engagement with Gesualdo's rigorous caprice sustains and richly rewards repeated listening. These are deeply intelligent and attractive performances." - Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone
"sung with blazing intensity and total precision by EXAUDI" - Rebecca Franks, BBC Music Magazine *****
"a different kind of sound from the sound that one normally hears from a specialist early music ensemble that's performing this kind of repertoire...richer and rounder and fuller...they move so beautifully as an ensemble" – Katy Hamilton, BBC Radio 3 Record Review
"The voices of EXAUDI are superbly attuned to each other, but are also characterful as individuals and highly responsive to the texts. Inner tensions are explored with selective use of vibrato to give ornamental and expressive weight, and there is a breathtakingly wide spectrum of colour and dynamic shading...What makes EXAUDI special to my ears is the red-blooded way in which they tackle this kind of text, line-editing their response and changing their expression within phrases to deliver maximum effect." - Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International
"The vocal ensemble EXAUDI, directed by James Weeks, has selected works from the Fifth and Sixth Books of Madrigali a superb new disc (Winter & Winter). They sing with impeccable definition and accuracy, letting each dissonance burn and scorch until the ear longs for release." - Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
You can listen to excerpts of the CD through the links below or the full disc is available to stream on Spotify.