Arts & CultureMusic

Vox Resonat bringing ancient but special kind of music to Eugene

If there is one thing director and founder Eric Mentzel@@[email protected]@ promises for Friday’s Vox Resonat@@[email protected]@ concert, it is a new variety of music.

The program “Candens Lilium,” which literally means “White Lily,”@@[email protected]@ features music from the years 1150 to 1450 from countries like France, Spain, England and Italy that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. @@[email protected]@The program will be sung by a group of 10 singers who do vocal music mostly from the Medieval Renaissance and Baroque periods. Vox Resonat explores a diverse collection of music, which includes medieval Italian laude, English Renaissance carols and French Baroque liturgical chant.

Mentzel founded Vox Resonat in Germany in 1998 where he specialized in early music. However, this will be the first year the group has performed this program in Eugene.

“I think it will be a treat for anyone who is looking for something different or something beautiful,” he said. “It will open their ears to new sounds, especially if they are interested in different cultures.”

The concert will feature early music, including Gregorian chant and medieval music, which has been improvised with extra highly virtuosic vocal lines.

“Pretty much all of the medieval religious music is based on some pre-existing simple thing like chant, which has been added by hot shot singers,” Mentzel said.

Because this kind of music has never been performed in Eugene, he assures his future audience this contemplative music will be nothing but striking, clear and a special particular sound.

“This kind of ensemble is the ensemble you need for a large swath of music going over 100 years,” he said. “It will be a treat for everyone because Vox Resonat is unlike any other group in the Northwest” — not to mention this kind of early music was only sung by the best singers who worked in the church.

“The best gig you could have would not be at the Metropolitan Theatre@@ but at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris@@[email protected]@,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of emphasis placed on the extremely sophisticated and virtuosic music for the Virgin Mary.”

Mentzel hopes that the concert will have the same effect on his audience as it did on him when he first heard the melodies.

“This program lets us perform music that other people cannot,” he said. “I’m thrilled to give Eugene a chance to hear this music for the first time.”

Tickets for the May 18th concert will be available for a suggested donation of $10 and $5 for students and senior citizens at the door of Central Lutheran Church@@ on East 18th Avenue and Potter Street. The show starts at 8 p.m. For more information, visit the Vox Resonat website,

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