Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The program and notes for tonight's concert:

Pergolesi Stabat Mater
Biber Confitebor Tibi and Litaniæ Lauretanæ

The Musicians In Ordinary
Hallie Fishel-Soprano, Charlotte Burrage-Mezzo-Soprano
Led by Christopher Verrette

St. Michael’s Schola Cantorum
Directed by Michael O’Connor

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014  7:30pm

Sonata V from Armonico Tributo     Georg Muffat (1653-1704)
Passacaglia (Grave)

Litaniæ Lauretanæ       Heinrich Biber (1644-1704)
Hallie Fishel, soprano; Charlotte Burrage, Mezzo; Adam Miceli, Tenor; Christian McConnell, Bass

Confitebor tibi Domine      Biber
Hallie Fishel, soprano; Charlotte Burrage, Mezzo; Adam Miceli, Tenor; Christian McConnell, Bass

Stabat Mater     Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)

This concert marks and celebrates the culmination of this year’s doings at St. Michael’s College. How exciting it is for us, then, to perform for you two pieces from Biber’s collection of Vespers music, published in Salzburg in 1693. Throughout the past year The Musicians In Ordinary have presented Christopher Verrette performing Biber’s Rosary sonatas, with contemporary motets in Madden Auditorium. Biber’s choral works dedicated to his employer the Archbishop of Salzburg offer a fascinating contrast to the rhapsodic and contemplative sonatas.

As you can see from the title page of the collection, it contains all the psalms one might need for Vespers throughout the year and a litany for four voices to which, if you please, you can add a choir and even brass at places marked in the score.

In the prefaces to his books of instrumental music Muffat thoroughly details this kind of ”additive” scoring. He tells us that you could play his pieces with a little trio of two violins and a bass, to which you can add a theorbo or keyboard, and then “insofar as you may have a greater number of musicians at your disposal you may assign additional players... To make the harmony of the bass more majestic, a large double bass will prove most serviceable.” Again, Muffat provides solo and tutti markings for the “light and shade” contrasts so beloved of Baroque painters, as well as musicians. Muffat continues, “For by exactly observing this opposition of rivalry of the slow and the fast, the loud and the soft, the fullness of the great choir and the delicacy of the little trio, the ear is ravished by a singular astonishment, as is the eye by the opposition of light and shade.”

Traditionally it has been said that Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater was commissioned by the Confraternità dei Cavalieri di San Luigi di Palazzo to replace, or ‘soup up’ a similar setting by Alessandro Scarlatti, their former maestro di capella, which uses only two violins, soprano and alto soloists, and continuo. Scarlatti’s setting was performed on every Friday in Lent. Pergolesi wrote the Stabat Mater in the spa town of Pozzuoli where he was trying, unsuccessfully, to recover from tuberculosis.

It is hard to tell how much the romantic tale of the young genius struggling to complete his masterwork as he coughed out his last breath played a part in the astonishing popularity the Stabat Mater had in the following decades. Bach adapted it for a German cantata, Alexander Pope wrote an ode to fit the music, versions for solo keyboard and even violin solo versions of the fugal movements were adapted. Perhaps it was the decline of castrato singers, particularly in church, in the early 19th century that inspired an arrangement for four-part male chorus. Certainly the 19th century operas on and a “biography” of Pergolesi’s life contain much fiction.

The Stabat Mater imports from the opera a direct and dramatic harmonic vocabulary which had a great influence on the Classical style of Mozart and Haydn. Perhaps the tale of the composer penning his great sacred work on his deathbed influenced the biographers of Mozart as well.

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, MIO became Ensemble in Residence at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto in 2012. They have concertized across North America and lecture regularly at universities and museums. MIO have performed at a range of institutions, from the scholarly to those for a more general public, including the Shakespeare Society of America; the Renaissance Society of America; Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies; Grinnell College; the Universities of Alberta, Toronto and California at San Diego; 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.

Originally from Woodstock, Ontario, Charlotte Burrage is a COC Ensemble Studio member and placed third in the COC Ensemble Studio Competition. Credits include Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Kevin Mallon in Italy and Christopher Verrette in Toronto; Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (Vancouver Opera in Schools); Dorabella in Così fan tutte (Banff Centre and Jeunesses Musicales); and the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon (University of British Columbia). She also performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under Bramwell Tovey and was the alto soloist in the Bach Magnificat at UBC. She holds a Master of Music in voice performance from the University of Toronto and graduated from UBC’s opera diploma program. This season she sang with Orchestra London in Handel’s Messiah and made her COC mainstage debut singing Dorabella in the Ensemble Studio performance of Così fan tutte.

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. He 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 d’amore, viola, rebec, and vielle. He was concertmaster for a recording of rarely heard classical symphonies for a recently released anthology by Indiana University Press and collaborated with Sylvia Tyson on the companion recording to her novel, Joyner’s Dream.

St Michael’s Schola Cantorum is an ad hoc group drawn from staff, faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students of the University of St Michael’s College, as well as members of St Basil’s parish choir.

Michael O’Connor has been Director of Music at St Basil’s Church since 2010, and is an Associate of the Royal School of Church Music. He teaches in the college programs at St Michael’s and runs a weekly singing club on campus. His academic scholarship and practical music-making overlap in the theory and practice of liturgical music.

Litaniæ Lauretanæ
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins.
Mother of Christ.
Mother of divine grace.
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste.
Mother inviolate.
Mother undefiled.
Mother most amiable.
Mother most admirable.
Mother of our Creator.
Mother of our Saviour.
Virgin most prudent.
Virgin most venerable.
Virgin most renowned.
Virgin most powerful.
Virgin most merciful.
Virgin most faithful.
Mirror of justice.
Seat of wisdom.
Cause of our joy.
Spiritual vessel.
Vessel of honour.
Singular vessel of devotion.
Mystical rose.
Tower of David.
Tower of ivory.
House of gold.
Ark of the covenant.
Gate of heaven.
Morning star.
Health of the sick.
Refuge of sinners.
Comforter of the afflicted.
Help of Christians.
Queen of Angels.
Queen of Patriarchs.
Queen of Prophets.
Queen of Apostles.
Queen of Martyrs.
Queen of Confessors.
Queen of Virgins.
Queen of all Saints.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Confitebor tibi Domine (Ps. 110)
I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; in the council of the just: and in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord: sought out according to all his wills.  His work is praise and magnificence: and his justice continueth for ever and ever. He hath made a remembrance of his wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord: He hath given food to them that fear him. He will be mindful for ever of his covenant: He will shew forth to his people the power of his works.  That he may give them the inheritance of the Gentiles: the works of his hands are truth and judgment. All his commandments are faithful: confirmed for ever and ever, made in truth and equity. He hath sent redemption to his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and terrible is his name: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding to all that do it: his praise continueth for ever and ever.

Stabat Mater
The sorrowful Mother stood
beside the cross weeping
while her Son hung there.

Soprano Aria
She whose grieving soul,
compassionate and sorrowful,
a sword pierced through.

O how sad and afflicted
was that blessed
Mother of the Only-begotten!

Alto Aria
She who mourned and grieved
and trembled to see
the punishment of her glorious Son.

Who is the man who would not weep,
if he beheld the Mother of Christ
in such suffering?

Who could not feel sorrow,
contemplating the devoted Mother
suffering with her Son?

For the sins of His people
she saw Jesus in torment
and subjected to scourging.

Soprano Aria
She beheld her sweet Son
dying forsaken
as He gave up His spirit.

Alto Aria
O Mother, fount of love,
make me feel the force of sorrow,
that I may mourn with you.

Make my heart on fire
with love of Christ God,
that I may please Him.
Holy Mother, grant this:
fix the wounds of the Crucified
firmly in my heart.

Your wounded Son,
who deigned to suffer so much for me:
share with me His punishment.

Make me truly to weep with you,
sorrowing with the Crucified,
for as long as I live.

To stand with you beside the Cross,
and willingly share
in your mourning, this I desire.

Virgin of Virgins most renowned,
do not be bitter to me now.
Make me mourn with you.

Alto Aria
Make me bear the death of Christ,
make me a sharer in His passion,
and recall His wounds.

Make me wounded with His wounds,
inebriated by this cross,
for the sake of your Son’s love.

Inflamed and kindled
by you, Virgin, may I be defended
in the day of judgment.

Let me be protected by the cross,
safeguarded by the death of Christ,
and nurtured by His grace.

When my body dies,
grant that my soul may be given
the glory of paradise. Amen.

St Michael’s Schola Cantorum

Suzanna Attia, Sana Bathiche, Kara Dymond, Laurel-Ann Finn, Hallie Fishel, Emily Sherlock

Charlotte Burrage, Irene Chan, Cindy Dymond, Irene Gaspar, Ana Iorgulescu, Mekhriban Mamedova, Annemarie Sherlock, Connie Tsui

Reid Locklin, Antonio Manco, Adam Miceli

Eric Charron, Christian McConnell, Paul McGrath

Rehearsal Pianist – Mekhriban Mamedova

The Musicians In Ordinary Orchestra

1st Violins
Christopher Verrette, Elizabeth Loewen Andrews, Michelle Odorico

2nd Violins
Emily Eng, Rezan Onen-Lapointe

1st Viola
Charlene Yeh

2nd Viola
Eleanor Verrette

Laura Jones

Calum McLeod

Lysiane Boulva

Theorbo and Archlute
John Edwards

We hope you enjoy the program this evening celebrating the end of this academic year. Public academic and cultural events such as this are made possible by donations from Alumni and Friends of the University of St. Michael’s College.

To ensure a vibrant community on campus,
please consider making a donation.

Three convenient ways to give:
1.     Go online at https://donate.utoronto.ca/stmikes
2.     Call us at 416-926-7281 or 1-866-238-2339
3.     Mail us at 81 St. Mary Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1J4

To learn more about future public events available at the University of St. Michael’s College, please visit our website at: http://stmikes.utoronto.ca/

Thanks to -
Mike Schreiner for lute construction and maintenance,
Tafelmusik Orchestra and Thomas Linken for the use of chamber organ,
Alexandra Guerson for the MIO website design,
Rev. Lisa Wang for the translation of the Stabat Mater
Fr. Chris Valka CSB for the use of St Basil’s Church this evening.

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