The St. Paul-based Rose Ensemble is a world-renowned vocal group that has spent the dozen years of its existence combining extraordinary scholarship, a sense of adventure, and breathtaking technique to explore a wide range of early music. The ensemble's latest project is an unexpected foray to the South Seas, its exquisite voices tackling the immensely rich and surprisingly diverse music of Hawaii. Accompanied by a live band, the ensemble will kick off its concert season with Hawai'i Revealed: Music from the Soul of the Hawaiian Saga, which will coincide with the release of its new album: Na Mele Hawai'i: A Rediscovery of Hawaiian Vocal Music. It's the culmination of three years of research, rehearsals, and language lessons (nearly everything is sung in Hawaiian). A wondrous mix of soul and beauty, it includes the most famous Hawaiian song of all"Aloha 'Oe," written by Queen Lili'uokalanias well as Mexican-tinged paniolo cowboy songs, chants tied to once-suppressed hula traditions, hymns introduced by pesky missionaries, and subsequent Hawaiian variations, and even crooning Victorian parlor songs with Hawaiian twists.
Sun., Sept. 23, 7 p.m., 2007