Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today we did an emergency concert at St. James Cathedral's Music at Midday series, since one of the performers who were booked had to go and look after a sick mom. The concert went pretty well, especially considering we only knew we were doing it 15 hours earlier. The music we performed is below.

I explained how 'His golden locks' was for the retirement celebration for Sir Henry Lee, Queen Elizabeth I's champion at the Accession Day tilt games.

There is not a picture of us playing so here is a picture of me putting a new fret on my 7-course lute this morning. You tie the fret gut on a little down the neck, then burn the ends of the knot so they bunch up and get tighter, then slip the fret up to where it needs to go. As the neck widens towards the body the fret gets tighter, so that, theoretically, it doesn't slip around and go out of tune. I can do the upper frets OK, but have still not got the hang of tying the first fret (which doesn't have as far to slip up the neck) very tight. I think that luthier Michael Schreiner uses pliers, and though I am, as you see, willing to put an open flame next to my lute, I am strangely uneasy about wielding metal tools around it. Curious.

The matches, by the way, are from the house owned by American industrialist J.P. Morgan, which is where the memorial service in the last entry was held.

Here's what we sang at the cathedral:

Unquiet thoghts - John Dowland (1563-1626)
I saw my Lady weepe - Dowland
Come again - Dowland
So, so, leave off - Alfonso Ferrabosco the Younger (c.1575-1628)
Ancor che col partire (Lute solo) - Jean-Paul Paladin (d. 1566)
His golden locks - Dowland
In darknesse let me dwell - Dowland

Monday, July 26, 2010

On Sunday afternoon we sang a short set at the pre-Evensong concert at St. James Cathedral. The songs were from Harmonia Sacra, published by Henry Playford from 1688 and later expanded editions. It has all the Purcell sacred hits including the above and the Blessed Virgin's Expostulation etc. It would have been for domestic use; to sing at home on Sunday when you are feeling pious and penitent, after singing his booze and fart joke catches on Saturday night. We did some John Blow on the concert too. I played it on the theorbo. Here's a pic of that taken by Darryl Edwards (no relation).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chris, Hallie and I played this week at the funeral of our good friend Leah Robinson, who lived in Connecticut. We played 19th century American hymns accompanied on the Ashborn guitar. Amazing Grace, Ps. 23 to the tune Resignation, Jerusalem my happy home (because she always had a happy home when we were gigging in the New York area and stayed at her place) to Land of Rest and Shall we gather at the river. Here is a picture of Leah and her obit.

Leah D. Robinson, 87, wife of the late David E. Robinson of Norwalk, died Sunday, July 4, 2010, in the Norwalk Hospital.

Born October 31, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, she was the daughter of the late William and Mary Ruth Eaton. Mrs. Robinson attended art college in Vancouver and served in the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service in London during World War II. She married David Robinson on September 16, 1946. They moved to Norwalk in 1956. In the mid 1960s, she was librarian at Kendall Elementary School. She later worked with her husband in the family business in Danbury, CT. In 2004, she took responsibility for the business, Process Measurement and Controls Inc., when her husband died. Known for her generosity, she opened her home to young people from around the world who wanted to learn English and have the experience of living in America. Some of her most cherished memories were of frequent trips to Mexico and Britain and summers at the family cabin in the Canadian woods.

She is survived by her daughters Joan Robinson of Toronto, Ontario and Mary Susan Bosch, her husband Steven Bosch, and their three children, Leah, Carter, and William, of Redding, CT. She is also survived by her sister, Grace Amanda Cooper, of Surrey, BC.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Off tonight to play at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies' appreciation party for Prof. Jane Couchman, who has been acting director this past year. Since she does Renaissance French literature we are singing some Clément Marot poems set by Claudin de Sermisy published by Pierre Attaingnant, a Basse Dance set from an Attaingnant book, a poem by Philippe Desportes set by Adrian Le Roy and a Ronsard poem about Love being stung by a bee set to music by Guillaume Tessier. Later, Sir Philip Sidney wrote his 'In a grove most rich of shade', a song from Astrophel and Stella to the Tessier's tune. That poem was published in Robert Dowland's A Musicall Banquet in 1610. We'll start off though, with an anonymous poem that tells us to Venes mes serfs et Bachus adorons... set by Clemens non Papa published in a lute version by Pierre Phalèse. The picture above is in Konrad Eisenbichler's garden from another RefRen event.


Venes mes serfs et Bachus adorons by Clemens non Papa, from Hortus Musarum 2da Pars, Pub. 1553
Tant que vivray & Secoures moy by Claudin Sermisy, from Très Brève et familière introduction Pub. 1529
Ah Dieu! que c‘est un estrange martire by Adrian Le Roy, from Livre d'Airs de Cour miz sur le luth, Pub. 1571
La Magdalena-Recoupe-Tourdion by Pierre Blondeau from Dix-huit Basses Dances, Pub. 1530
Le petit enfant Amour by Guillaume Tessier, from Primo Libro d'Arie, Pub. 1582