Monday, April 1, 2013

The program and notes from the concert we just did for the The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies and the conference of Shakespeare Association of America. Katie Larson was special guest star as the Ariel in the Eccho song, singing from the hallway.

The 2013 William R. Bowen Concert
The Musicians In Ordinary for the Lutes 
and Voices

A Thousand Times Better and More Glorious

Emmanuel College Chapel
Mar. 30th 2013

Music from The Tempest
First Musick - Introduction-Galliard-Gavot Matthew Locke (c.1621-1677)
Dear, pritty youth Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Second Musick - Sarabrand-Lilk Locke
Come unto these yellow Sands John Banister (c.1630-1679)
Curtain Tune Locke
Dry those Eyes Banister
The First Act Tune-Rustick Air Locke
Full Fathom five Banister
The Second Act Tune-Minoit Locke
Where the Bee sucks Pelham Humphrey (1647-1674)
The Third Act Tune - Corant Locke
Adieu to the Pleasures James Hart (1647-1718)
The Fourth Act Tune - A Martial Jigge Locke
Eccho song Banister
The Conclusion - A Canon 4 in 2 Locke

Curtain Tune from Timon of Athens Purcell

Music from The Fairy Queen
If love’s a sweet passion Purcell
The Plaint Purcell
Chaccone Purcell
See, see even Night Purcell
Thus happy and free Purcell

Much of the music heard tonight comes from a 1674 adaptation of The Tempest by Thomas Shadwell. The play as adapted by Shadwell, an eyewitness tells us, was ‘made into an opera’. Well, opera starved 1670s Londoners might have thought that, but it was by no means a continuous music-drama such as we have come to understand the word. Certain attributes of Locke’s instrumental music, though, are depictive in the way that shows a familiarity with, and an eagerness to imitate the French opera of Lully. The Curtain Tune, especially, imitates the obligatory tempest movement of French Baroque opera with its smooth opening which moves into disquieting harmonies Locke had found left over from the English viol repertoire of the early 17th century. With directions in the score like ‘lowder by degrees’ ‘soft and slow by degrees’ and even ‘Violent’ we can say that this is not just instrumental music for the theatre, but fully ‘incidental music.’ Locke does give us plenty of dances, though, because as much as Charles II loved actresses, he hated ‘fancy music…to which he could not tap his foot’. A masque was added towards the end of the play with songs by Humphrey, who had studied in France, Bannister, who had led the king’s violin band, and the less notable James Hart. Songs for Caliban and other instrumental music by Giovanni Battista Draghi is lost. Purcell’s Dear pritty youth appears to be from a 1695 revival and led to the music for a very operatic 1712 production, complete with the added masque songs, being attributed to him from 1786 when ‘Purcell’s’ Tempest score was printed to the second half of the last century. Indeed many recordings of ‘Purcell’s’ Tempest are available and many undergraduate bass voice recitals include ‘his’ Handelian Arise ye subterranean winds’, though Dear pritty seems to have been all Purcell composed for the play. Poor John Weldon, the real composer. We know that at Dryden and Davenant’s Tempest there were members of the King’s Four and Twenty Fiddlers and ‘harpsicals and theorboes to accompany the voices placed between the pit and the stage’ which seems to imply that the string band and the ‘continuo’ instruments did not play together. Additionally, in manuscripts and printed sources of theatre instrumental music there are no figures in the bass part to tell the theorbist or harpsichordist what chords to play.

Though we present only the Curtain Tune for Timon of Athens, or The Man Hater adapted by Shadwell, Purcell composed the music for a masque complete with Cupids and lovers and ‘a Symphony of Pipes imitating the chirping of birds’ inserted into this play. The opera-buffication of Shakespeare seems to have been increasing.

With The Fairy Queen though, we see Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream dwarfed by the contribution of Purcell and the anonymous ‘adapter’. As if there were not enough scope for musical display with the fairies and country bumpkins, Purcell and the librettist add characters such as a Chinese Man and Lady, Green Men and a Drunken Poet. This character’s stammer and bibulousness might identify him as playwright Thomas D’Urfey so that slander can probably rule him out as author. In Purcell’s score for The Fairy Queen we see the strings becoming more integrated with the voices and their accompanying theorbist, even taking that role themselves in See see even night.

While out for a drink with Samuel Pepys, impresario and actor Tom Killigrew boasted that ‘the stage is now by his pains a thousand times better and more glorious than ever heretofore.’ Might we think Restoration theatre ‘more glorious’ than we presently give it credit for being if we heard more of the original music played in those entertainments?

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, in 2012 MIO became Ensemble in Residence at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. 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.

Christopher Verrette has been a member of the violin section of Tafelmusik since 1993 and is a frequent soloist and leader with the orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University and contributed to the development of early music in the American Midwest as a founding member of the Chicago Baroque Ensemble and Ensemble Voltaire, and as a guest director with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. He collaborates with many ensembles around North America, performing music from seven centuries on violin, viola, rebec, vielle and viola d’amore. He was concertmaster for a recording of rarely heard classical symphonies for a recently released anthology by Indiana University Press, and most recently collaborated with Sylvia Tyson on the companion recording to her novel, Joyner’s Dream.

Patricia Ahern has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University, a Master of Music from Indiana University, and performer’s diploma from the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland. She taught baroque violin at the Freiburg Conservatory in Germany and Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and has given masterclasses at McGill, York University, Wilfrid Laurier, University of Windsor, Western, University of Wisconsin, Grand Valley State University, and University of Toronto. She has concertized throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and South America and performed with Milwaukee Baroque, Ars Antigua, Chicago Opera Theater, Kingsbury Ensemble, Aradia, I Furiosi, Newberry Consort, Musica Pacifica, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Tricia has recorded for Sony, Naxos, and Analekta, and joined Tafelmusik in 2002.

Eleanor Verrette studied violin in Toronto with Gretchen Paxson and Aisslinn Nosky, then viola in Montréal with Pemi Paull and Anna-Belle Marcotte. She graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from McGill; she was a member of the McGill Baroque Orchestra for several years, including their performance in the Young Performers' Festival at the 2011 Boston Early Music Festival.  In addition to appearing with the Musicians In Ordinary in Toronto, she has recently been featured on the newest album releases by Montréal folk-pop artists Corinna Rose and Lakes Of Canada.

The new Artistic Director of the Academy Concert Series and a recipient of the Margarita Heron Pine String Prize and the Beryl Barns Graduate Scholarship, cellist Kerri McGonigle graduated with a Masters of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Alberta. While studying in Paris, she won Premier Prix with unanimous distinction in violoncello and chamber music from the Gennevilliers Conservatory. Having completed an Advanced Certificate in Baroque Performance with Tafelmusik through the University of Toronto, Kerri is based in Toronto and performs regularly as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral cellist.

The CRRS Annual William R. Bowen Concert
During the Directorship of Renaissance music historian Professor Bowen, the CRRS expanded its operations in many new directions. The William R. Bowen Fund was established in his honour to create an endowment earmarked for an annual concert of early modern music.

The Musicians In Ordinary would like to extend their sincere thanks to the following:
Mike Schreiner for lute construction and maintenance
Alexandra Guerson for the MIO website design
Katie Larson for liasing
Lisa Wang for transportation.

The Musicians In Ordinary are supported by the Spem In Alium Fund of the Toronto Community Foundation.  

The Musicians In Ordinary are Ensemble-in-Residence at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, which generously supports MIO’s research and performance.

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