Tuesday, September 29, 2015

View or download the St. Michael's College Michaelmas Concert program. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Principal’s Music Series at St. Michael’s College

The Musicians In Ordinary for the Lutes and Voices


Fr. Madden Auditorium, Carr Hall, St. Michael’s College
Sep. 25th, 2015
Lecture 7:30PM, Concert 8PM

Jouyssance vous donneray      Claudin de Sermisy (c.1490-1562)
In illo tempore accesserunt   Jean Mouton (c.1459-1522)
La Magdalena, Basse danse P.B./    Pierre Blondeau? (fl.1520-1530s)
Gabrielem archangelum            Anon.
Pavane (Bel Fiore)/Sauterelle/     Blondeau?
Galliard (Romanesca)
Alma redemptoris Mater      Jacob Obrecht (1457/8-1505)
La Roque/Galliard         Blondeau?
O genitrix gloriosa     Loyset Compère (c.1445-1518)
Gentilz Galans                 Anon.
Prelude/Secoures moy/          Claudin/Blondeau?
Tant que vivray/Jouissance
Ave Maria            Josquin des Prez (c.1450-1521)
Pavane P.B./Sanserre, Basse dance/                  Blondeau?
Branle gay
Sicut lilium inter spinas              Antoine Brumel (c.1460-1512/3)

Please turn off your cell phones. No photos or recording please.
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 Shakespeare Society of America, the Renaissance Society of America, the Shakespeare Association of America, Grinnell College, the Universities of Alberta, Toronto and at 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.
Elisabeth Hetherington has performed as the soprano soloist Orpheus Choir, the Talisker Players, Toronto Masque Theatre, the Toronto Chamber Choir and the Elixir Baroque Ensemble. Last season she made her Opera Atelier début in their production of Alcina, and in 2012 played Countess Rosina in the Canadian premiere of Darius Milhaud's La Mère Coupable with the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. In December 2010 she made her solo début with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alain Trudel singing the role of Tilly in Howard Blake’s The Bear. She continues her education toward a Master's of Early Music Voice Performance degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

An oboist by profession, Gillian Howard also enjoys singing Early Music. She is a member of Schola Magdalena, a group of women dedicated to the performance of medieval vocal music, and has sung with the Gallery Choir at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene for longer than she can remember. In the past, she has performed with Aradia Ensemble and Studio Sixteen. Gillian holds Masters degrees in Historical Performance and in Musicology from the University of Toronto.

Winnipeg born mezzo soprano Laura McAlpine has been acclaimed for her ‘mellifluous singing and flashes of wit’ (Opera Canada), an ‘impressive voice that jumps off the stage’ (Classical 96.3 FM), and an ‘expressive voice with fine artistic sensibility’ (Whole Note Magazine). Laura was the alto soloist in the North American premiere of Krystof Maratka’s VABENI, for choir and orchestra with Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, she sang in the world premiere of Christopher Mayo’s Under Dark Water, with Esprit Orchestra under the direction of Alex Pauk. Laura has also been a soloist with Victoria Symphony Orchestra and conductor Alain Trudel. Upcoming performances include, alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, with the Elmer Iseler Singers, and Spirit Dreaming (Ravel’s Chanson Madécasses, and Sculthorpe’s Island Dreaming), with Talisker Players.

Christopher Jääskeläinen is a tenor, violinist, and recording engineer, originally from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. He has been a member of the Kammermusik String Quartette, the St. James Singers, the Evestrum World Music Ensemble, the Goulais River Rats, and was also a TTC busker for two years. The Sault Symphony Orchestra has featured Chris as a soloist, both as a vocalist and a violinist. He was a choir lead with the Church of St. Timothy from 2004-2011, and a member of The Nathaniel Dett Chorale since 2004 and sings at the Anglican Cathedral of St. James.

Graham Robinson is a bass-baritone hailing from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Receiving his Bachelors of Music in Voice at the University of Victoria, Graham was a much sought after soloist during his time in B.C. Now based in Toronto, he has been featured with the Elmer Iseler Singers, Tafelmusik, La Chapelle de Québec, the Elora Festival Singers, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale as well as many others. Graham is a devoted supporter and patron of aesthetics who strongly believes that creativity will take us anywhere we want to go. ‘Putting one’s soul into any discipline is art. It is in those times one learns to fly.’ When not making music Graham further extends his passion for the arts community through film and videography.
Program Notes
It would seem to be a great irony of the ‘historically informed performance movement’ that in trying to find just what voices and instruments were used in the early modern period it’s been discovered that they were much more open minded about switching, mixing and matching than we are. The title pages of printed books of Masses and motets tell that we can play them on viols if we like. ‘Viols’ might mean violins. ‘Viola’ might mean a lute. Lutes accompanied motets and Mass movements, and played them as solos. Was it a free for all back then?

We know that if we were hearing Autumn Leaves at a big dinner club in New York in the 1940s that in the big band there’d be a number of saxes in various sizes, a couple of trumpets and trombones, a piano, drums and bass and maybe a guitar. The sax players might double on flute, but rarely and as a special effect. There might be a clarinet, but not usually. If we went to a smaller club later for some after-hours cocktails the be-boppers would be an alto or tenor sax and/or a trumpet, piano, bass drums and maybe a guitar. French horn and a tuba may be heard on Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool in the late 50s, but we wouldn’t hear them in a 40s club. So the scoring of a jazz standard in a given period is not specific, yet not just whoever turns up with a horn, and differs according to context.

The manuscript from which we perform music tonight would appear, from its contents, to be almost all church music, and so to be sung by a choir made up of men and boys. But its layout and the attractive decorations of initial letters show it is clearly not for the same purpose as the workaday candle wax and coffee stained partbooks of the men of a chapel choir. In this manuscript these motets, written to be inserted or replace parts of the liturgy, are for private chamber devotions. 

The manuscript is associated with the youth of the French princess Marguerite of Alençon and seems to have been given by her to Anne Boleyn when the young English girl was her lady in waiting, a common placement for courtly training for a well placed young woman at the time. Anne’s name and her diplomat father’s motto appear on one of the pages. The songbook’s contents seem to be tailored for the spiritual education of a young lady, with a large number of texts about the Virgin Mary, and emphasizing motherhood. (O genitrix gloriosa and Gabrielem Archangelum.) What teenage girl doesn’t like a love song? The manuscript includes several settings from the Song of Solomon, usually interpreted as adoration of the Virgin Mary. (We sing Sicut lilium), Even the drinking song Gentilz Galans (possibly added later) has a sacred and a feminine connection as the long suffering hostess is about to be stiffed for the bill with a Credo, both an IOU and a part of the Mass. Given Anne’s later effect on the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon we couldn’t resist the ‘let no man put asunder’ text. 
‘Make us a lute that is two steps higher than the viola you made for us, which we find a little low for our voice.’ Isabella d’Este ordered her instrument maker about the same time as this manuscript. To transpose up we use a little high-pitched lute like that being played by Mary Magdalene on the cover (The jar of ointment beside her is her emblem.). When one puts ones fingers in the same place as on a big lute, hey presto the music goes up to where women in a courtly living room might sing.

Jouyssance vous donneray
I will give you joy, my beloved,
and will lead you where your hopes incline.
While living, I will not leave you;
and still, when I am dead,
the spirit will have remembrance.

If about me you have doubts,
for you I have no less:
love should make you understand it.
But if it grieves you to be so, soothe your transfixed heart;
all who can wait come to the point.

In illo tempore accesserunt
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him,
Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, 

that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother,
and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Gabrielem archangelum
We know the archangel Gabriel addressed you by divine knowledge, 
we discuss how your womb was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. 
Shame on the unfortunate Jew who said Christ was born from the seed of Joseph.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.

Alma redemptoris Mater
Loving Mother of the Redeemer, who remains the gate by which we mortals enter heaven,
and star of the sea, help your fallen people who strive to rise:
You who gave birth, amazing nature, to your sacred Creator:
Virgin prior and following, taking from the mouth of Gabriel that Hail! have mercy on our sins.

O genitrix gloriosa
O glorious Parent, splendid Mother of God,be with child, without detriment to your virginity; and thus you shall be blessed, ever-virgin Mary.
Gentilz Galans
Dear gallant companions of the grape
Let us drink the same amount in the evening
and in the morning as a hundred drunkards/penny and Ho!
To our hostess, let us not give money
but an IOU/credo.

Ave Maria
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you, serene Virgin.
Hail you whose conception,
full of solemn joy,
fills heaven and earth
with new happiness.
Hail you whose birth
was our solemn celebration,
like Lucifer the Eastern star
foretelling the rising of the true Sun.

Hail blessed humility,
fruitful without man,
you whose annunciation
has been our salvation.

Hail true virginity,
immaculate chastity,
whose purification
has been our cleansing.
Hail you most glorious among all
angelic virtues,
she whose assumption
has been our glorification.

O Mother of God,
remember me.

Sicut lilium inter spinas
As the lily among thorns,
so is my love among the daughters.
As the apple tree among the
trees of the woods, so is my beloved
among the sons.
I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired:
and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Monday, September 14, 2015