Friday, February 17, 2012

Here's the program for When Tircis Met Chloris, 8PM, Feb. 18th 2012 at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. (near Bay Subway) at 8PM, Single tickets $25/$20 students & seniors.

Preludio Terzo Giovanni Kapsberger (c.1580-1651)
O come e cieco Amore   Bartolomeo Spighi (d. after 1641)
Questa tenera Angioletta Biagio Marini (1594-1663)
Consenti pur e ti pieghi Alessandro Grandi (1586-1630)
Troppo Sotto Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)
Preludio Decimo Kapsberger
Bel pastor Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Corrente - Sarabanda - Corrente Anon.
Piva Kapsberger
Quand'io volsi l’altro sera Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665)
Io non vò pianger più Grandi
Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla Nana Merula


Toccata III Chromatica Alessandro Piccinini (1566-c.1638)
Partite variate sopra la Folia aria Piccinini
Mai più durò d’Amor sì lunga guerra Grandi
Eri gia tutta mia Frescobaldi
O vagha Tortorella Marini
Dialogo a due, Pastor e Ninfa Giovanni Felice Sances (1600-1679)
Amor che deggio far Marini
Preludio Secondo Kapsberger
Dialogo Amoroso à 3 voci Sances

The Musicians in Ordinary
Named after the singers and lutenists who performed in the most intimate quarters of the Stuart monarchs’ palace, The Musicians In Ordinary for the Lutes and Voices dedicate themselves to the performance of early solo song and vocal chamber music. Soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards have been described as ‘winning performers of winning music’. A fixture on the Toronto early music scene for over 10 years, they have concertized across North America and lecture regularly at universities and museums. Institutions where MIO have performed range from the scholarly to those for a more general public and include the Renaissance Society of America, Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies, Grinnell College, the Universities of Alberta and Toronto, the Kingston Opera Guild, Syracuse, Trent and York Universities and the Bata Shoe Museum. They have been Ensemble in Residence at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Their CD of Elizabethan and Jacobean songs on the topic of sleep, Sleep Wayward Thoughts, is available at intermission.

Described by the Toronto Star as a “must-hear tenor”, Bud Roach appears regularly with such ensembles as the Toronto Consort, the Aradia Ensemble,  Soundstreams, Arcady, the Toronto Continuo Collective, and the Elmer Iseler Singers (as both a member of the ensemble and frequent soloist). Recent projects include roles for the Toronto Masque Theatre’s production Masques of Orpheus, performances of Bach’s St. John Passion (arias) with Mark Padmore at the Britten Pears School in Aldeburgh, UK, the premiere of Andrew Staniland’s Calamus 6 at the 2010 Nuit Blanche Festival in Toronto, Handel’s Judas Maccabeus and with the Bach Elgar Choir, and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the inaugural Canadian Bach Festival. Highlights for the 2011-12 season include appearances with the Aradia Ensemble, the Toronto Consort, Messiah with the London Fanshawe Symphonic Chorus and the Bach Elgar Choir, Schedrin’s The Sealed Angel with Soundstreams, Bach’s Cantata 147 with the Victoria Symphony,  appearances at the Frigid New York  Theater Festival in Musical Pawns, about the lost music of David Nowakowsky, as well as concerts with his early music ensemble Capella Intima.

Toronto based baritone David Roth has recently finished his performance degree at the University of Toronto, where he studied under the direction of Patricia Kern. Mr. Roth is the recipient of several academic awards offered by the Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Arts and Science. A veteran performer, David has sung in Canada, the U.S., and great Britain as both soloist and chamber musician with such organizations as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and the Toronto Masque Theatre. David has appeared as a featured soloist with Tafelmusik in the program Bach in Leipzig, the Durham County Chamber Choir in performance of Faure’s requiem and the Kitchener Symphony Orchestra in Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins. Some of David’s operatic roles include Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Olin Blitch in Floyd’s Susannah, Lindorff and Dr. Miracle in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann and Priest of Jupiter in Handel’s Hercules. David is also co-founder and artistic director of Cantores Fabularum, a volunteer choir that raises money for First Stop Woodlawn, a shelter for women administered by the YWCA.

After rehearsing at Hallie's place some relax while David Roth checks for important messages. 

Why are there so many bickering shepherds and nymphs on tonight’s program? Pastoralism, from the time of the Ancient Romans, had given a blueprint for perfect, magnanimous and wise princes, unbreakable bonds of friendship and shepherds who were faithful to their beloved nymphs in a way that real life lovers can never be. The dramatic Baroque style then gave a chance for composers a chance to express conflicts a little less fraught than the godly battles of Baroque opera.

Many of our composers had day jobs as church musicians to supplement their productions of books of secular music. Monteverdi was maestro di capella at St. Mark’s in Venice. His vice-maestro was Alessandro Grandi, a man with a large family who decided to move out to Bergamo, taking a job as maestro at Santa Maria Maggiore there. Sadly, he died the year he moved in an outbreak of the plague. He was replaced by Tarquinio Merula, who was sacked for ‘gross indecency’. Some things never change. Biagio Marini worked as a violinist at St. Mark’s but was very upwardly mobile, moving from court to court as he was offered more prestigious positions, and trading in his first wife for one that came with a title of nobility. Marini and Merula’s travels meant that they were instrumental in the export of the Baroque style north of the Alps, working at a succession of north European courts, so we can indirectly thank their personality defects for the German Baroque. Indeed, Schütz steals the rocking cradle effect of Merula’s Canzonetta Spirituale on the Blessed Virgin’s lullaby. (Shepherds were present at the event imagined in that song of course, perhaps playing a piva on their bagpipes.)

The Roman born Giovanni Felice Sances was maestro at the Imperial court in Vienna, though most of his music was published back in Italy. Giovanni Kapsberger was born in Venice, though he was called ‘Il Tedesco della tiorba’ but left for Rome before Monteverdi arrived and became the dominant musical force. Kapsberger worked for cardinals and moved in the same circle as Frescobaldi, whose keyboard toccatas he is thought to have influenced with his music for solo theorbo.

One etymology of ‘Baroque’ derives the word from one describing irregularly shaped pearls, or even one meaning ‘bizarre’. We can certainly hear that in the expressive strong dissonances and eccentric turns of phrase in some of the music we present. Dramatic impact and fidelity to the text are the artistic goals of the composer. The dialogue for three voices, where Tircis and his lover discuss who is going to get to die first had been set as a madrigal for several voices by Wert and Marenzio but  had been though they demonstrate that they can give us a whistlable tune for some more playful texts.

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