Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Year’s Day Concert - 2PM, Jan. 1st 2014 and 8PM Jan. 2nd at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. Single tickets $25/$20 students & seniors at the door from a 1/2 hour before concert time.
Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre by François de Troy
Vos mespris Michel Lambert (1610-1696)

IVe Suite from Livre de simphonies Louis-Antoine Dornel (c.1685-1765)
Ouverture – Sarabande – Gavotte – Chaconne – Ir Rigodon – IIe Rigodon

Pieces en Sol Mineur Jean-Henri d'Anglebert (1629-1691)
Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Passacaille

Ah! puisque la rigueur Lambert


Sonata Pour le Viollon   Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729)
(Prelude) – Presto – Adagio – Courante – Aria

Le Sommeil d'Ulisse – Cantate Avec Simphonie Jacquet de la Guerre
Simphonie – Recitatif – Air, Gracieusement et un peu louré – Recitatif – Tempêste, Vivement
Air, Gracieusement – Recitatif – Sommeil, Air lentement – Recitatif – 2e Recitatif –
Air, Gracieusement e loureé

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, last year 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, Syracuse, Trent and York Universities and the Bata Shoe Museum. They have been Ensemble in Residence at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. 

Chris, Philip and Hallie
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. 

Alison Melville by Colin Savage
Long recognized as one of Canada’s bright lights on historical flutes, Toronto-born Alison Melville began her musical life by playing the recorder in a school classroom in London (UK). Her career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician with many ensembles has taken her across North America and to New Zealand, Iceland, Japan and Europe. Alison is a member of the Toronto Consort, the Arctic fusion band Ensemble Polaris, and is artistic director of the mixed media Bird Project. She appears regularly with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and as a guest with other ensembles across North America. Some favourite career moments include playing for The Tudors and CBC-TV’s The Friendly Giant, Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter, solo shows in inner-city London (UK) junior schools, a recital last fall in southern Spain, and, oh yes, a summer of concerts in Ontario prisons.
Alison has been heard on CBC/Radio-Canada, BBC, RNZ, NPR and Iceland State Broadcast Service, and on over 50 CDs, including five critically acclaimed solo recordings. She was on faculty at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (USA) from 1999 to 2010. 
Philip Fournier is Organist & Music Director of the Toronto Oratory, Director of the Chant Schola & Oratory Children’s Choir. He specializes in Gregorian Chant, which he studied at Solesmes with Dom Saulnier. He gives solo organ recitals regularly at the Oratory, plays continuo and solo harpsichord and organ with various local groups, is guest cantor and organist for the Colby College Chant Seminar, and is active as a composer. 

“Philip Fournier’s ... original registrations, exquisite touch, his command of the instrument and musical projection showed his preeminence as one of the finest organists of his generation.”
- James David Christie, Holy Cross, Oberlin, Boston Symphony

Praised for her “stately, resonant and beautifully articulated” viol playing, Laura Jones enjoys a busy and multi-faceted career on both modern and period instruments. Laura has been a member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra since 1989; as well, she is the principal cellist/gambist of Nota Bene Baroque. As a chamber musician, she performs and records with both the Windermere String Quartet on Period Instruments and the Talisker Players. She has lent her talents as a gambist to the Winnipeg Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, and Orchestra London, as well as the Toronto Consort, the Toronto Chamber Choir, the Classical Music Consort, and the Elora Festival. Laura plays an Addison model bass viol by John Pringle.

Program Notes 
By 1689 the Italian style was already making inroads into France. Perhaps that is why Michel Lambert, the leading composer of airs de cour from the 1640s on, chose that year to publish his re-written solo songs with appended ritournelles for two unspecified treble instruments. The trio sonata texture Lambert imitates is Italian, but he has the one treble weave a countermelody to the singing tune in a quite non-Italian way.  Though he wrote for early ballets at the Sun-King’s court, poor Lambert could only get comic roles in the operas of his son-in-law Lully.  This was because, according to a contemporary, ‘it is not only that he makes faces when he sings, he is also extremely ugly even when he is not making faces.’  Lambert was the leading singing teacher in France teaching, as well as technique, his very baroque style of decorating the melody to the accompaniment of his theorbo.  Lully sent his singers to him, though some came back with a few too many ideas for the his taste.  ‘Those ornaments you can leave to my father-in-law.’ he said.
Nausicaa, daughter of King Alcinous, finds the napping hero, by Pieter  Lastman
Jacquet de la Guerre’s cantate on the Sleep of Ulysses takes as its subject an episode from Book V of The Odyssey where Ulysses has escaped from Calypso on his improvised raft.  Her cantates were among the first printed in France so we can say Élisabeth was, as it were, instrumental in importing the exotic Italian cantata to France.  Neptune’s stormy ire, the intercession of Minerva (who is often depicted as or with an owl) and the hero’s slumber all provide scope for Jacquet de la Guerre to integrate French operatic pictorial movements into the Italianate cantata.  No French opera from the period would be complete without a movement representing a tempête, bruit de tonnerre, bruit infernal etc. and Lully’s sleep movement from Atys, which we might think Jacquet de la Guerre had in mind while composing her Sommeil, is a show-stopper.  One wonders, too, if there might be a secret message of thanks for her patron Louis XIV in the emphasis in the text on the protection of Minerva, the goddess of music and poetry, and her prophecy of the magnanimity of the great King Alcinous, the hospitality of whom Ulysses is about to receive. Jacquet de la Guerre’s publication of violin sonatas (or are they?) have on the title page the designation Pour le Viollon et pour le Clavecin, though they specify violle from time to time when the continuo bass part splits.  Perhaps she is keeping the scoring options open for the performer. 

Anglebert’s harpsichord works however, are completely untouched by Italianisms.  His manuscript keyboard works include his arrangements of the French lutenists Mezangeau and both Gaultiers (inventors, we might say, of the ‘French Suite’) and of dances from the operas of the ubiquitous Lully.  Anglebert began his career as a church organist in Paris, but by the end of his life he was working in the household of the Dauphin of France and his wife and that of the king. His collection of suites in Pièces de clavecin was printed in 1689. 

Dornel, too worked as an organist, at Ste. Madeleine-en-la-Cité, where he beat Rameau to the job by being more accommodating to the church authorities, and at the Abbey of Sainte-Geneviève, the bells of which provides the repeating bass for Marais’s famous trio, known to all French Baroque music fans. Unlike the keyboard-centric Anglebert, Dornel published airs, chamber music for  violin and flute solo and together in trios with oboe, and cantatas  as well as books of keyboard music, so appears to have had a large public willing to snap up his works and indeed, though he is not well known today, the 18th century music writer Laborde wrote that Dornel ‘avait beaucoup de réputation dans son temps.’ Perhaps part of Dornel’s appeal was that he also kept scoring options open for his consumers. This suite is from a ‘Livre de simphonies contenant six suittes en trio pour les flutes, violons, hautbois, etc….’ 

Translations by Eleanor Verrette

Ah! puisque la rigueur
Ah! because the extreme harshness
Of the ingrate whom I love
Removes from me all hope of healing:
Love, what counsel should I follow?
I cannot see her without dying,
And without seeing her I cannot live.
Michel Lambert - Hot or not?
Vos mespris
Your disdain each day alarms me a thousandfold,
But I cherish my lot, though it be harsh:
Alas!  If in my pains I find such charms,
I would die of pleasure if I were any happier.

Le Sommeil d'Ulisse
Recitatif:  After many adventures, the indefatigable Ulysses had irritated Neptune and was trying to hide his vessel.  But his efforts were in vain, for this god wanted him dead and a gaping crag be his tomb.
Air, Gracieusement et un peu louré:  On a deep and stormy sea he saw him guided by Zephyrs, sailing at the will of his desires, and reigning over the waves.
Recitatif:  He shuddered: an unjust madness took away his senses and replaced them with horror. 
Tempêste, Vivement:  To get rid of this warrior he gave to his anger loud thunder and flashing lightning so that he made the air growl wand glow, and the universe, alarmed, fears, another shipwreck, all the winds, unleashed, battle against the waves, the vessel overturns, surrenders to the terrible storm, disappears, and the sea swallows this hero.

Winter by Nicholas Poussin
Air, Gracieusement:  Come kind Minerva, you who takes care of his days, hurry, powerful goddess, fly, fly to his rescue.  Since he saw the immortal band of gods at Troy divided, he has always been faithful to your lessons, and bowed before your laws.  Come kind Minerva …
Recitatif:  Our wishes are fulfilled: that such a dear one escapes the storm.  A delightful haven from Neptune renders the god's ire useless.  By a magic slumber the goddess soothes Ulysses's pains. 
Sommeil, Air lentement:  Sleep, sleep!  Do not be offended by a sleep so full of charms.  Ah! how the rest has such charms when it follows  such struggle.  It is good that a hero should take on laborious tasks, but also sometimes this same hero must rest.  Sleep, sleep ...
Recitatif:  But what thought mixes with this enchantment?  Minerva presents to him a vision of destiny on the form of a laughing face, who told him this:  

2e Recitatif:  Alcinous, this king that the universe admires, in these happy places rules his empire.  In vain, many enemies, in their fits of jealousy, have tried their hardest to defeat him.  He took but his thunder to keep the world at rest, this monarch, for the good of mankind, pleases himself by protecting the rights of sovereigns.  Of the afflicted he has the firmest hope; your wishes shall be fulfilled by his magnificence, despite the Fates' attempt to destroy you, and he shall restore you triumphant to your beloved people.
Air, Gracieusement e loureé:  Ulysses, whom glory calls, triumphs in these friendly places.  He sees finished the quarrel that for so long has for so long has troubled the gods.  When a hero pursues knowledge and uses it as his support, everyone is interest in his cause and fights for him.  Ulysses, whom glory calls ...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Here's the program from the St. Michael's College concert for Advent and the end of term, Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, 2013, 7:30pm

Concerto for Violin in D Major, Op. 3 No. 9 Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Allegro Christopher Verrette, Solo Violin

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Ouverture (Chorale)
Recititative Marcos Ramos, tenor
Aria Marcos Ramos, tenor
Recititative Christian McConnell, bass
Aria Hallie Fishel, soprano

Cantata – Mariae Heimsuchung Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Arie: Meine Sel’ erhebt den Herrn Hallie Fishel, Soprano
Rezitativ: So schön
Arie: Erquickende Quelle des Labsals in Jesu

Magnificat, RV 610/611 Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Chorus: Magnificat
Chorus: Et Exultavit Hallie Fishel, Soprano, Irene Gaspar, Alto, Adam Miceli, Tenor
Chorus: Et misericordia eius
Chorus: Fecit Potentiam
Chorus: Deposuit
Duet: Esurientes Hallie Fishel, Kara Dymond, Sopranos
Chorus: Suscepit Israel
Solo: Sicut locutus Irene Gaspar, Alto
Chorus: Gloria Patri
Michael O'Connor
In the notes to our Michaelmas concert, we expressed surprise that Vivaldi’s choral music was completely forgotten till the middle of the 20th century, including the now very famous Gloria we performed that night. The Magnificat we hear tonight is not so well known, but in its day it was clearly performed a great deal: it survives in several versions, each re-working the movements for the resources that the girls of the Pietà—the orphanage and music school which was Vivaldi’s main employer—could provide that year. One source even has the names of the girls who would sing the solos written in the score (Albetta was the alto, Apollonia, Chiaretta and Maria the sopranos and Ambrosina the tenor!). We follow the lead of the Red Priest by putting together a Magnificat from his several variant versions, using one choir and no oboes. Vivaldi uses the harmonic palette of the hair-raising moments from his Gloria, some of the string idioms from his “Winter” concerto, and an altogether peculiar effect of tutti unison to depict the mighty being deposed from their thrones.

Vivaldi’s Op. 3, titled L’Estro Armonico, was one of the most widely distributed sets of concertos in the early 18th century. Both Bach (who transcribed this particular concerto for keyboard) and Quantz used it as the model for concerto form. Vivaldi is said to have been excused from saying Mass due to his habit of breaking off and going out to jot down a melody if one occurred to him in the middle of the proceedings. His infectious melodies always convince us that he never let one get away. 

In his Cantata for the First Sunday of Advent Bach cantata uses the “royal” image of the French Overture with the chorale tune superimposed. (Louis XIV, “le Grand”, for whom the French Overture was developed, was still around when Bach wrote Nun Komm BWV 61, though John Churchill had straitened his circumstances.) The chorale overture and tenor aria call on Christ to come; in the bass recitative, we hear the reply, as pizzicato violins portray the effect of Jesus knocking on the door of our hearts. The last movement uses part of the chorale tune Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern instead of title chorale, taking the violins up near the dwelling place of the morning star for an emphatic ending.

The Telemann cantata we offer tonight, which interpolates the Magnificat text, is for the feast of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth where Mary first feels Jesus “quicken” in the womb. This cantata is from the “annex” to his Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst and, as we discussed in the last program, this collection offers flexible scoring since Telemann was never sure what forces would be hanging around at each the five churches in Hamburg for which he provided music after the hours long Lutheran sermon. We act on his recommendation in the preface to double the violins with ripieno players “where there are sufficient players.” 

This concert celebrates the end of term, and the beginning of a new church year brought by a baby, as we look forward and backward, like the god Janus. He, and the early morning classes on frosty mornings he’ll bring, are not here for a few weeks though. 

May we wish you all a blessed Christmas and a joyful and peace-filled 2014. 
John Edwards and Kerri McGonigle
1st Violins
Chris Verrette, Rona Goldensher, Emily Eng
2nd Violins
Paul Zevenhuisen, Rezan Onen-Lapointe
Emily Eng, Eleanor Verrette
Kerri McGonigle
Erin Rose MacLeod
Philip Fournier
John Edwards

Suzanna Attia, Sana Bathiche, Kara Dymond, Hallie Fishel, Catherine Hamilton
Cindy Dymond, Ana Iorgulescu, Irene Gaspar, Mekhriban Mamedova, 
Annemarie Sherlock, Ann Marie Tedesco
Adam Miceli, Marcos Ramos
Christian McConnell, Paul McGrath
Rehearsal Pianist
Mekhriban Mamedova

Bach, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland 
1. Ouverture
Now come, saviour of the gentiles,
revealed as the child of the Virgin, 
at whom all the world marvels
that God decreed such a birth for him.

2. Recitative
The saviour has come, and has taken on himself our humble flesh and blood
and accepts us as his blood relations. 
O highest goodness of all, what have you not done for us ? What do you not do even daily for your people?
You come and let your light
shine with full blessing.
Hallie Fishel and Kara Dymond
3. Aria
Come, Jesus, come to your church
and grant us a blessed new year!
Increase the honour of your name,
Preserve sound teaching
and bless pulpit and altar! 

4. Recitative
See, I stand at the door and knock. 
If anyone will hear my voice and open the door, I shall go in and have supper with him and he with me. 

5. Aria
Open wide, my whole heart,
Jesus comes and enters within.
Though I am only like dust and earth,
he does not want to scorn me
but to see his pleasure in me
so that I become his dwelling.
Oh how blessed I shall be!

6. Chorale
Amen, amen! Come, you beauteous crown of gladness, do not tarry! 
I await you with longing.

Telemann, Mariae Heimsuchung 
Visitation of the Virgin
1. Aria
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices;
Heaven! I honour the proof of your mercy;
Earth! Rejoice to honour me gloriously; 
Who is more blessed than I?

2. Recitative
So beautiful, so tenderly sounded Mary’s joyful hymn,
since Gabriel called her Mother of God,
Elizabeth also honours her as Blessed.
Oh, my soul, embrace you also this Son of God, and seek to soar with him in thanksgiving, praise and song, to the immeasurably high throne!

3. Aria
Refreshing font of balm in Jesus,
water and refresh my longing heart!
Give yourself then to my most burning desires, 
Oh fairest of creatures, to love me forever! 
Ah, soothe the homesickness, the most tender pain.
Archangel Gabriel and Blessed Virgin Mary

Vivaldi, Magnificat
1. Magnificat
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. 

2. Et Exultavit
And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on his lowly servant. 
From this day all generations will call me blessed. 
The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. 

3. Et misericordia eius
And his mercy is on those who fear him, in every generation. 

4. Fecit Potentiam
He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 

5. Deposuit
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. 

6. Esurientes
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. 

7. Suscepit Israel
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy.

8. Sicut locutus
As he spoke to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children for ever. 

9.    Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.