About I Fagiolini
British vocal group I Fagiolini has combined rigorous performances of Renaissance and contemporary music with innovative ideas about how to present these repertories, including on stage and film.
The group was founded at Oxford University in 1986. The name, meaning "The Green Beans," has, the group says, "been misspelt, mispronounced, and misunderstood throughout the world." It quickly snared a top prize at the 1988 U.K. Early Music Network Young Artists' Competition and then launched a busy schedule of performances and recordings that has continued to the present day.
I Fagiolini performs some 50 concerts annually, often appearing at the BBC Proms and mounting performances as far afield as the U.S., South Africa (where it recorded the semi-improvised album Simunye with the SDASA Chorale of Soweto, subsequently touring with the group in Africa and Europe), and the Far East. Many of its international performances have been undertaken under the auspices of the British Council.
In 2007 I Fagiolini provided the music for the film The Full Monteverdi, an experimental drama about six couples who break up at the same time in the same restaurant, based on the texts (and, with I Fagiolini's contribution, the music) of Monteverdi's fourth book of madrigals. The music from the film was released on CD and DVD by the Naxos label.
Its performing and recording repertory has centered on solo vocal music of the Renaissance and contemporary periods. Often recording for Chandos or (since 2011, when it released a recording of Alessandro Striggio's Mass in 40 Parts) Decca, I Fagiolini has focused on Italian and English music of the Renaissance and Baroque. It has collaborated with the viol ensemble Fretwork, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Harmony of Nations, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Its 2017 recording Monteverdi: The Other Vespers assembled a new Vespers service from existing pieces by Monteverdi and his contemporaries. ~ James Manheim