“Saturday’s performance featured a stellar cast of singers. As the minstrel, Gene Stenger sang with clarion tenor and a storyteller’s grace.” -The Boston Classical Review, Feb 2020
“The rest of the cast offered strong performances as well, with David Salsbery Fry as the Earl of Pembroke and William Hite as Henry Grey, and Gene Stenger as the show’s framing device minstrel standing out amongst the rest of the cast.” –Schmopera, Feb 2020
“The recording is luminous. The singers of TENET Vocal Artists, both solo and tutti, exude a sense of refined pathos and rhetorical gesture apropos for the work’s original intimate courtly setting. The instrumentalists of ACRONYM more than match them in emotiveness; the continuo is warm, resonant, and supportive, the full ensemble beautifully unified. The enthusiasm and sense of attack in the plucked strings, counterbalanced by the sweet melodic lines of the upper voices, and the full ensemble’s commitment to the different moods of each section, show the first interpolated sonata to be a real hidden gem.
In the pop-music world, a supergroup is a musical ensemble made up of artists well known for their other solo or ensemble work. Although named separately here, both TENET and ACRONYM are stars in early music. Both ensembles have consistently received the highest praise for both their engaging live performances and recordings, which have included everything from warhorses such as the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 to premiere recordings of works by Biber, Valentini, and now, Schmelzer. This album is TENET’s sixth recording, ACRONYM’s ninth, but their first together, and the combination is nothing short of “super.” A highly recommended album, and may we hope that these two ensembles join forces again.”-Early Music America, June 2019
“Overall, performances at the more intimate Christ Church by sopranos Sarah Yanovitch and MaryRuth Lown, mezzo-sopranos Liz Eschen and Kimberly Sizer Leeds, tenors Patrick Muehleise and Gene Stenger, and baritone Jason Steigerwalt had equaled or surpassed those I’ve heard on recordings conducted by Helmuth Rilling, John Eliot Gardiner, and Masaaki Suzuki.” –Classical Voice America, June 2019
“The one true cantata, Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4, ended the evening. The lower voiced soloists were the standouts. Tenor Gene Stenger was forthright and intense in the third verse.” –Cleveland Classical, April 2019
“The radiant-voiced Jolle Greenleaf, the artistic director of Tenet, shared soprano arias with the elegant Laura Heimes. The countertenor Doug Dodson and the mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken Kelsey shared the alto arias. Jason McStoots and Gene Stenger were the impressive tenors.” –The New York Times, March 2019
“With its own orchestral intro, the climactic tenor aria, “Nimm mich dir zu eigen hin” (“Take me to you as your own”), offered Stenger the chance to match Steigerwalt’s exploits, and he responded with his heartiest, most heartfelt singing of the evening.” –The Classical Voice of North Carolina, Feb 2019
“Aside from the well-shaped choral output, the most lasting moments came from Stenger whose German was clean and concise and easily heard above the chamber-sized orchestra” – The Virginia Gazette, Nov 2017
“Der Tenor Gene Stenger bewältigte mühelos die vielen koloraturartigen Ausschmückungen in seinen Arien “Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen” und “Geduld, wenn mich falsche Zungen stechen”(Gambenarie).” – Bergsträsser Anzeiger, March 2013
Translation: Tenor Gene Stenger effortlessly mastered the many coloratura embellishments in his arias “I will be with my Jesus watching” and “Patience, when false tongues sting me” (Aria da Gamba).
“The large cast was headed by Anna Caldwell, an impassioned, shining Emily, and Gene Stenger, who sang with sweet vibrancy as the Stage Manager.”-The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Feb 2010