The small Belgian vocal ensemble Vox Luminis specializes in Renaissance and Baroque music, cultivating a unique sound in which voices within the group are distinct and differentiated.
Vox Luminis was founded in the city of Namur in 2004 by Lionel Meunier, who has remained its artistic director. Members are drawn from the student body of the Royal Conservatory of the Hague and other schools. It performs about 60 concerts a year, in Belgium and far beyond. The group's size depends on repertoire, but a typical vocal group for a cappella choral music is 12. It has also collaborated with a variety of instrumental ensembles and maintained a small orchestra of its own. Whatever the forces, Vox Luminis, in the words of the group's website, "seduces as much through the personality of each timbre as it does through the colour and the uniformity of the voices." The group has appeared at major festivals in Belgium and abroad. It has appeared at increasingly prestigious halls such as London's Wigmore Hall, the Oratoire du Louvre in Paris, the Auditoria Nacional de Música in Madrid, the Centre for Fine Arts and the Flagey Radio House in Brussels, and the Belem Cultural Centre in Lisbon. The year 2017 saw Vox Luminis' debuts at the Philharmonie halls in Berlin and Cologne, and at the Bachfest Leipzig. It also began a residency at the Bruges Concertgebouw.
Among the factors bringing international recognition to Vox Luminis has been the group's growing catalog of recordings, which numbered 13 as of early 2018. Vox Luminis has recorded for a choice group of labels in France and northwestern Europe, beginning in 2008 with a recording of Domenico Scarlatti's Stabat Mater on the Ricercar label. It has continued to record for Ricercar, issuing Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott: Luther and the Music of the Reformation in 2017, but in 2016 it signed with France's Alpha label and released a widely well-reviewed album of Bach cantatas, Actus Tragicus. It followed up with a distinctive recording of Handel's Dixit Dominus, HWV 232, and Bach's Magnificat in D major, BWV 243; AllMusic.com praised the "smooth and even delicate," ten-voice recording of the generally splendor-laden Bach. In the late 2010s Vox Luminis planned to collaborate with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, an instrumental ensemble of similar orientation.
© James Manheim /TiVo