Vox Luminis: Purcell’s King Arthur — Vox Luminis give a fresh take on the imaginative semi-opera

"Their performance of King Arthur, recorded live in Antwerp last January (music only, not the play), is delightfully fresh and subtle in its musicianship. By and large English performers prefer a more rumbustious take on Purcell, but Meunier’s lighter touch is well judged."

Richard Fairman, Financial Times
The best new classical albums: February 2019

"2012’s Recording of the Year winners Lionel Meunier and Vox Luminis bring us highly enjoyable Purcell of, at times elegance and grace, at others a lively spirit, with joyful singing throughout."

Martin Cullingford, Gramophone
Monthly Choice: Vox Luminis shines in Purcell's King Arthur

"This King Arthur is a giddy triumph for its artists. Blazing their way through the score, the performers set a new benchmark, delivering a production that’s equally gutsy and gorgeous. Director Lionel Meunier is the real star, with a soaring vision of Purcell’s music in a class of its own."

BBC Music Magazine
The Critics' Choice 2018: our favourite recordings of the year

"This year I was once again beguiled by Vox Luminis, now bringing their deep and focused expressiveness to motets by Buxtehude, an apogee of all the beauty, dignity and ingenuity of German 17th-century church music. With eloquent string sonatas added by Ensemble Masques, it does Bach’s great predecessor proud."

Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone
Vox Luminis buoys spirits in exemplary song

"One might imagine that a whole concert of funeral music would make for a fairly dull and sobering evening. But not when the performers are the Belgian vocal group, Vox Luminis, and the music is by masters of the Baroque."

Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal
Gramophone Shortlist: "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott"

"Programmatic flair is backed up by performances and a sound recording to match.... This must be a contender for my pick of the year to come."

Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone
Berkeley Festival Closes in Style with Bach & Company

"As a conclusion and culmination to the 2018 Berkeley Festival, nothing could be more appropriate and more appreciated than this concert by Vox Luminis, the world’s finest choral ensemble."

James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet
The week in classical: Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle; Arditti Quartet; Vox Luminis

"You could be forgiven for not noticing that this year is the 460th anniversary of the death of John Sheppard, one of the least well known and most adventurous of Tudor composers....  Tune in to Radio 3 in Concert on iPlayer and check out Media vita ('in the midst of life we are in death'), sung as part of Vox Luminis’s almost impeccable Cadogan Hall concert of early English music: some 20 minutes of the most serene, and soaring, Renaissance polyphony in existence. No exaggeration."

Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian
Brighton Festival review: Vox Luminis, Glyndebourne, May 6

"Ten voices, including the artistic director Lionel Meunier, worked seamlessly together, presenting a powerful sound far greater than their small numbers would suggest was possible."

Emily Angus, The Argus
Bach, Handel: Magnificat, Dixit Dominus CD review – gentle inflections, piercing precision

"Vox Luminis, with their distinctive approach to the 17th-century repertory, take their deft consort approach forward into these two brilliant 18th-century works.... the clarity of the ensemble shines through this most concise of masterpieces."

Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian
Musical levitation with Vox Luminis at the Bach Festival

"The second was vocal. The ensemble of twelve singers, an organist and a violist, led by bass Lionel Meunier, is perfectly balanced.... But the particularity of Vox Luminis is the mastery of sound spatialization."

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir
Vox Luminis and Freiberg Baroque Consort at Norwich Cathedral

"The thrilling and energetic performance was given by the dozen singers of the Vox Luminis ensemble from Belgium and the Freiberg Baroque Consort with its cornets, trombones and a theorbo that added rhythmic impetus. The sumptuous opening was deeply impressive, and the sequence of psalms was a kaleidoscope of voices and instruments in changing patterns. Two sopranos sang of beauty with intimate charm, and cherubim echoed one another with precision that commanded rapt attention. Every one of the countless ornaments and flourishes was crisp, every solo individualised and confident. When forces combined, the effect was overwhelming."

Christopher Smith, Norwich Evening News
Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 @ St John’s Smith Square, London

"With no conductor – other than some subtle indications of tempo from Lionel Meunier, Vox Luminis’ director (and one of its two basses) – the forces on stage provided a shining example of how musical communication and synergy can work at the highest level."

Barry Creasy, musicOMH
The bliss of Baroque lamentation

"The ensemble gave one of the best vocal performances of sacred Baroque music that I have heard in recent years, and their dedication to performing little-known compositions makes their concerts even more exciting."

Alison DeSimone,

"This means that the ensemble sound, like that of the organ, is robust, but open voiced rather than ‘produced’. Not everyone will like it, but (to me) it offers an unrivalled blend and clarity.

"This is great music-making, and the ease with which the sensible tempi changes are managed without any overt conducting as well as the cohesion and coherence of the style that make the texts the focus of the performances sets a new benchmark in the way we are learning to approach Bach Cantatas."

David Stancliffe, Early Music Review
Bach: Actus Tragicus – Cantatas BMV 106, 150, 131, 12 CD review – winning purity

"... Vox Luminis has a winning purity."

Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian
Fux & Kerll: Requiems

"No questioning the evidence here of the outstanding quality of Vox Luminis—nor of the talents of individual singers from the ensemble who tackle the plentiful solo passages which both works throw up.... the sound is immaculate, capturing the sense of space the venues offer but with detail never obscured."

Andrew Green, Early Music Today
Fux & Kerll: Requiems

"... the refinement of Vox Luminis is never anything less than sublime."

David Vickers, Gramophone

"Vox Luminis follow their conductor's unsentimental lead, sparing in their use of vibrato and eternally wedded to immaculate intonation and articulation.... Meunier and his musicians travel far beyond the bounds of studio recording to forge a strong impression of the ritual surrounding a royal burial."

BBC Music Magazine
Vox Luminis excel in Viennese double bill

"The excellent vocal ensemble Vox Luminis goes from strength to strength with its deftly inflected, pure, rather un-English singing."

Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian

"All Saints’ Church has played host to some remarkable performances over the years but surely none can be so deeply moving as Vox Luminis’ evening ‘Light and Shadow’.... The music was sublime and perfectly filled the lengthening shadows of the church."

Andy Warren, Bexhill-on-Sea Observer (UK)

"Performing songs from the time of Elizabeth I, Belgian choir Vox Luminis put on a melancholy show of evocative, haunting singing and startling technical ability."

Joe Fuller, The Latest (UK)
Light & Shadow: Vox Luminis at Cambridge Early Music Festival of the Voice

"Vox Luminis, without a conductor or even a leading note (although I did see a tuning fork, it only appeared once), created a warm and wonderfully balanced sound which easily filled the inspiring space of St John's College Chapel, which they used to its full extent, singing certain pieces from the back, or by standing in a circle on the sanctuary, as well as facing the audience in a traditional curve. With silken turns and supple endings to all their lines, the choir was utterly clear and articulate, without hammering (or hamming up) consonants. Timing was excellent, and a strong sense of team spirit, passion and communal enjoyment shone out in the singers' warm tone and confident flair."

Charlotte Valori, bachtrack
Exquisite Singing by Vox Luminis Lightens the Darkness

"Their artistry stunned the audience into silence before they eventually broke out into rapturous applause."

Roger Jones, Seen and Heard International
Vox Luminis - Light and Shadow, music at the time of Elizabeth I

"The group makes a rich, vibrant sound with individual voices very present. The sound is very particular and distinctive, especially combined with the group's preference for steady tempos and beautifully shaped phrases. The results lacked the sheer surface perfection of some groups, but replace this with a vibrantly numinous quality."

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
Vox Luminis Explores Bach’s Family Tree

"But Vox Luminis — which offered a revelatory program, 'The Bach Dynasty,' at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin near Times Square on Saturday evening as part of the Miller Theater’s Early Music series — seems to be taking a more systematic approach.

"No surprise, the performances were excellent. Many of these works ingeniously weave chorales through the fabric in one way or another, and the group constantly shifted shape and location to project the contrasting layers most effectively. Yet the singers — four women, seven men — blended beautifully when sheer harmoniousness was the goal."

James R. Oestreich, New York Times
Baroque choral music vividly performed by Vox Luminis

"With only a single voice for each of the 10 parts, Vox Luminis produced a grippingly dramatic performance. This was no stained-glass singing, but a bold, out-there realization of musical and emotional import."

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
Better than Brahms?

"A highlight of this year’s Boston Early Music Festival was a heart-meltingly beautiful performance of Prince Heinrich’s funeral music by Vox Luminis, the Belgium-based early music ensemble, in Jordan Hall on Friday night. Led by Lionel Meunier, their co-founder and artistic director, they gave an account of this music that reminded me why I love it so much.

"It was easy to see why Vox Luminis’s recording of the Musikalische Exequien (Ricercar ASIN B004S7ZZ5Q) won Gramophone’s Recording of the Year award for 2012. This repertory has been tackled by plenty of robust, muscular choruses, and also by quite a few that put their stress on blend and balance. However, I can’t recall the last time I heard brains and brawn brought together in just this way, with amazing cohesiveness and the heft of a much larger group from a band of only a dozen singers. Their intonation was impeccable, and their metrics were marvelously flexible, keeping step with all of Schütz’s rhythmic subtlety. Their German diction was so clear that I could almost have taken down the text in shorthand."

George Harper, Boston Musical Intelligencer
Vox Luminis at the Cathedral of St. John, Cleveland

"The founder of Vox Luminis, the French bass Lionel Meunier, led the group with subtle and effective gestures while singing in the ensemble. The singers are all of solo quality, but they consistently used their voices in ways that gave first priority to choral blend and produced a striking confluence of tone and mood."

Nicholas Jones, Cleveland Classical
Luminous voices indeed

"What a concert. Vox Luminis was simply astounding in its performance Friday evening for The Friends of Chamber Music. It was easily the best choral concert I’ve had the good fortune to hear. The program demanded attention from the first note of Martin Luther’s monophonic hymn Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin and did not relent its glory until the final strains of the concluding Bach set."

Lee Hartman,
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