Saturday, March 19, 2016

To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Saints and Sinners
Mar. 19, 2016 
Heliconian Hall, Toronto

‘How doth the city sit solitary’ exclaims Jeremiah at the beginning of his Lamentations. It’s not clear who sits solitary (sedet sola) in Holborne’s pavan. Ecce Quam Bonum are the first words of Ps. 133: ‘Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.’ Lord Rivers compares the self-sacrifice of the righteous fighters against tyranny to Jesus’s sacrifice. We reply with a snippet of Taverner’s Mass Gloria Tibi Trinitas. The plainsong melody of Gloria Tibi Trinitas is only heard at the words ‘In nomine Domini’ in the Sanctus. The tune became the subject for instrumental consorts for 150 years. Johnson puts the tune in the top voice of his version.
Sedet Sola Anthony Holborne (1545-1602)
Ecce Quam Bonum Holborne
Lord Rivers from Richard III [III:1]
In nomine Domini John Taverner (ca. 1490-1545) – arr. Anon.
In Nomine Robert Johnson (ca. 1500-1560)

There was little difference for the Jacobeans between the care of the soul and the care of the sick in mind. Timothy Bright, author of a Treatise on Melancholy, a book Shakespeare probably read, was both a physician and a divine, so would have been the ideal minister for the mind and soul of Lady Macbeth. We respond with a penitential text and another In Nomine, this time with the tune in the tenor.
The Doctor from Macbeth [V:1]
Ne reminiscaris John Wilbye (1574-1638)
Remember not, Lord, our offences, neither those of our fathers:
and do not wreak vengeance for our transgressions.
Spare, Lord, spare your people,
whom you redeemed with your precious blood:
lest you be angry with us for ever.
In Nomine Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585)

Campion’s meditation on ‘the light of the world’ is from his book of ayres ‘contayning divine and morall songs’ and has correspondences in this short exchange from Henry VI Pt. II. A Mr. Golder remarkably harmonizes the ‘minor’ key In Nomine into a major key.
A man, then the King from Henry VI Pt. II [II:1]
Author of light    Thomas Campion (1567-1620)
In Nomine (Robert?) Golder (1510-1563)

Griffith describes the last hours of Cardinal Wolsey who himself conceded that  he had not ‘served God as diligently as I have done the King.’ Dowland’s last songbook, A Pilgrimes Solace, contains several ‘divine and moral songs’ including this and the Thou Mighty God cycle. Baldwin ingeniously transforms the In Nomine with triple time figures.
Griffith from Henry VIII [IV:2]
If that a Sinners sighes John Dowland (1563-1626)
In Nomine John Baldwin (d. 1615)

Bedford alludes to the Canticle of Simeon, sung at Evensong, in his speech. Simeon had been promised he’d see the Messiah before he died, and when He is revealed to him, Simeon exclaims ‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.’ Or much more verbosely in this metrical paraphrase, set to one of the Old Church Tunes used for the Psalms and Canticles, and arranged by Allison. Dowland keeps the In Nomine tune going in the top voice of his curiously titled lute fantasy.
Bedford from Henry VI Pt. 1 [III:2]
Nunc Dimittis Richard Allison (c. 1560-c. 1610)
Farwell Dowland


Dowland’s intense three-part setting of a meditation on patience is framed by a speech from Lear, whose troubles parallel those of Job, and some less sympathetic characters from The Merchant of Venice and Hamlet. We have some dance music which alludes to In Nomine to lighten the mood.
Patiencia Holborne
Lear from King Lear [II:2]
Thou mighty God Dowland
Antonio from Merchant of Venice [IV:1]
When Davids life Dowland
The Queen from Hamlet [III:4]
When the poore criple Dowland
In Nomine Pavan & Galliard Nicholas Stroggers (fl. 1560-1575) arr. Anon.

What is one of the most famous passages in all of Shakespeare needs little set up. Campion’s song is from his ‘divine and morall’ collection of ayres again. Ward’s In Nomine, the latest we play, has virtuoso figures and looks forward even to Purcell’s version from the end of the 17th century.
Hamlet from Hamlet [I:2]
Never weather beaten saile Campion
In Nomine John Ward (1571-1638)

Pericles, Prince of Tyre, thanks the divine for his and his daughter Marina’s delivery from trouble. Though Pericles was probably not written (and possibly not all by Shakespeare) till the reign of James, the audience would still be familiar with Elizabeth’s delivery from the Armada’s threat from the sea.
Pericles from Pericles [V:1]
Benedicam Domino   Robert Johnson
I will bless the Lord at all times;
I will always declare his praise with my mouth.
O Lord with all my heart…..
To praise His name wherever we go,
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
In Nomine  William Byrd  (1539/40-1623)

The illegitimate Edmund is lying in his report that Gloucester’s legitimate son is planning to kill him, but gives a plausible characterization on the opinion of parricides. That King David’s son Absalom had rebelled against him makes his defeat and death no less painful for the king.
Edmund from King Lear [2:1]
When David heard Michael East (1580-1648)

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.

David Klausner taught at the University of Toronto in the Department of English and the Centre for Medieval Studies for 45 years until his retirement in 2012, specializing in early English drama and Welsh literature.  He was a founding member of The Toronto Consort, with which he played for twenty years; he has been a regular teacher at early music workshops in Canada, the US, the UK, and Austria.  His interests in early music and literature led to a study of historical pronunciation, and he now acts as pronunciation advisor to early music singers around the world. In addition to his continuing research for the project Records of Early English Drama, he performs widely in the Toronto area on bassoon, contrabassoon, and baroque bassoon.

Due to a scheduling problem Christopher Verrette is unable to join us for tonight’s performance, but will return on April 23rd. Thanks to Trish for standing in.

Patricia Ahern has a BA and BMus. from Northwestern University, MMus from Indiana University, and performer diploma from the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland. She has taught baroque violin at the Freiburg Conservatory and Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and given masterclasses at McGill, Wilfrid Laurier, York and Grand Valley State Universities, and the Universities of Windsor, Wisconsin and Toronto. She has concertized on five continents performing 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.

Matt Antal was born and raised in Toronto. He attended Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts where he began playing viola at age 13 under the tutelage of Jolanta Hickey and Angela Rudden. An all-around lover of music, he has played in numerous ensembles in genres ranging from jazz to hardcore metal. He holds both a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, where he studied under Katharine Rapoport, and a master’s degree from the University of Victoria, where he was a student of Joanna Hood, both in viola performance. He is currently pursuing an advanced certificate in Baroque viola with Tafelmusik.

Eleanor Verrette studied violin with Gretchen Paxson and Aisslinn Nosky, modern viola with Anna-Belle Marcotte at McGill University, where she graduated with a BMus. in 2012, and Baroque viola with Pemi Paull. She now performs regularly on Renaissance and Baroque viola with The Musicians In Ordinary, on vielle and rebec with Toronto-based medieval group Pneuma Ensemble, and on plugged-in viola with Boston-area band Hadley and the Jackal. She is featured on recent album releases by acclaimed folk-rock artists Lakes of Canada and Corinna Rose and has also performed with Aradia Ensemble and Montréal singer-songwriter Ari Swan,

Sheila Smyth is a busy performer with many ensembles, baroque and modern, on violin, viola and treble viola da gamba. She is principal violist of both Nota Bene Baroque Players and Opera York, and a supernumerary violist for Tafelmusik.  Sheila is a frequent guest soloist with the Toronto Continuo Collective and Scaramella, and has performed at various summer festivals and symposiums such as Luminato, Grand River Baroque, and the MidWest Early Keyboard Society Conference. She has been heard live in performance with the Emperor Quartet on CBC Radio 2 and CFMX Radio, and is a founding member of Musathena and the Cardinal Consort of Viols.

Originally from Hamilton, Amanda Keesmaat, bass violin, obtained her Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario and her Artist Diploma from McGill University. A vibrant presence in the Montreal early music community for more than 15 years, she has recorded and performed with prominent singers such as Matthew White, Daniel Taylor, Shannon Mercer, Donna Brown, Natalie Paulin, Susie Le Blanc and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and renowned ensembles such as Arion Baroque Orchestra, La Nef, Les Idées Heureuses and Les Boréades.  She appears regularly on concert series with Arion Baroque Orchestra, Clavecin en Concert, Studio Musique Ancienne de Montréal, La Nef and at festivals such as Montreal Baroque, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Lameque Baroque Festival, and Vancouver Early Music Festival and Music and Beyond.  As a founding member of Ensemble Les Voix Baroques and Skye Consort, she has performed across Canada. Amanda has recorded for ATMA discs,, Fidelio, XXI, Analekta, ombú, CBC Radio and CBC Television, BRAVO, the NFB and Radio-Canada.

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