In Responsio Peter-Anthony Togni reflects, comments, refutes, challenges and embellishes the bare medieval voice of Guillaume de Machaut and his medieval masterpiece the Messe de Nostre Dame. Responsio is scored for solo bass clarinet and vocal quartet, and includes the entire Messe de Nostre Dame within the fabric of a 55 minute work. Juxtaposing bursts of bass clarinet improvisation against through composed choral material, Responsio casts the role of the bass clarinettist into that of a time traveller, bringing forward Machaut’s beautiful 14th creation into the heart of the 21st century.
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.