Amarcord is a popular male vocal ensemble devoted largely to Medieval- and Renaissance-era music. The group also sings works by contemporary composers and performs arrangements of songs from various periods.
Amarcord is an unusual ensemble in that it consists of just five singers who sing a cappella. There are two tenors, one baritone, and two basses. The sound is quite individual, imparting a mellow, somewhat Romantic approach to the vocal style, with the two tenor voices often singing the lead parts. Much of the early music repertory is from the sacred realm, consisting of chant, hymns, motets, and other religious genres. The group also sings madrigals, Christmas songs, and various secular works, including Classical, Romantic, and modern compositions, as well as pop and rock. Amarcord has made numerous recordings for several labels, including Raumklang, Ars Musici, and EuroArts.
Amarcord was formed in autumn 1992 in Leipzig. The five members -- tenors Wolfram and Martin Lattke; baritone Frank Ozimek; and basses Daniel Knauft and Holger Krause -- were previously singers in the Leipzig-based St. Thomas Boys Choir. Following its formation, the Amarcord singers took master classes from the Hilliard Ensemble and the King's Singers. The young ensemble then went on to win, or win prizes at, several prestigious choral competitions, including those in Tolosa, Spain; Tampere, Finland; and Pohlheim, Germany.
Amarcord's first recording appeared in 1998, a Christmas album entitled In adventu Domini, on Raumklang Records. In 2002 Amarcord won the German Music Competition in Bonn, giving the ensemble its most impressive competition victory. Already a well-known singing group throughout Germany and parts of Europe, it was in demand on the international scene now. Amarcord toured not only throughout Europe, but the U.S., Southeast Asia, and Australia. In 2006 Amarcord's pop CD, And So It Goes, was released by Raumklang. Containing arrangements of songs by Ray Charles, Billy Joel, the Beatles, Percy Mayfield, and other popular artists and groups, it became one of the group's more successful recordings.
Amarcord's concert schedule has remained a busy one: 2010 involved stops throughout Germany, France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and the U.S. Included are appearances at various European music festivals, like the Concentus Moraviae Festival (Czechoslovakia), Rheingau Music Festival (Germany), and the Festival de La Chaise-Dieu (France). Amarcord's later recordings include the 2009 Raumklang CD Rastlose Liebe (Restless Love), which contains songs by Mendelssohn, Schumann, and other notables.