REVIEWS of HESPERUS’ Film Soundtracks

“The 46th Indianapolis Early Music Festival ended in a blaze of glory with the four-member Hesperus group playing period music for a showing of the silent movie Robin Hood … Having created this extravaganza a decade earlier, Hesperus followed the action of this 1922-released film to a farthing, even supplying sound effects apropos to the screen action. Starring swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, the two-hour+plus feature offered a diverting mix of action, intrigue and comedy.”

“Much of the music was the light, graceful, catchy dance tunes characteristic of the period, but the group had some success in varying it with the dramatic situation. Tempos sped up for action scenes; drumbeats accompanied whacks to soldiers’ heads.  A highlight was Snaidas’ sweet, crystalline singing. English madrigals are almost always beautiful, but she sang them with tenderness and clarity.”

“On Saturday, the crowd at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church were rewarded with an absolutely delightful finale that, in keeping with the spirit of this festival, mingled the small-scale, the didactic and the unusual … Playing for an hour and a half without a break, in time to the onscreen action, is an endurance feat for musicians, and Hesperus’s three performers pulled it off with energy and conviction … The performance showed scholarship well used in the service of artistry and fun, and gave the Washington Early Music Festival’s die-hard audiences something to cheer about as they crossed the finish line.



“Perfectly done!”

“Simply fabulous! The music was enchanting and worked so well with the action.”

“This is how these movies were intended to be enjoyed.”

“The most frequent comment from our audience members was ‘Wow.’”

“When can you come back?”



“What a magnificent experience! The combination of your performance of music we truly love and a film of great emotion was and is something we will always remember! Thank you so much for sharing your artistry and vision with us!”

“It’s so amazing to listen to the music with the film and realize that the music was actually written and performed at the time of the movie’s story. Your music adds another dimension of life to Buster’s movie.”

“The musical content and timing enhanced the film and added a thematic authenticity that surpasses the organ or tinny piano that frequently accompanies silent films. Thoroughly enjoyable!”

“Last night at the Kimball was truly a wonder; your music throughout was perfect! I was constantly amazed at how well your choices of music fit the film, and even more so at your exact reactions to the action. One can expect that perfection from one performer, but from all four of you at once…”

“I must admit that while I was looking forward to seeing the classic “Hunchback of Notre Dame”, I had reservations about your music. Needless to say, I was most impressed. The explanation of the history of the instruments and their sound was well done, and the playing during the movie was outstanding.”