Friday, April 22, 2016

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

Shakespeare’s Sorrows

8PM, Apr. 23, 2016 
Heliconian Hall,
35 Hazelton Ave. (near Bay Subway), Toronto
Single tickets at the door $30/$20 students & seniors

Prelude       Anon.
Robert, Earl of Essex is thought to be the sitter in a picture by Hilliard known as ‘A Melancholy Youth’. We can be sure he was in a dump by the time his ill-conceived rebellion had failed spectacularly and he was sitting in the Tower awaiting his execution. It is in this situation he wrote the words set here by Dowland, invoking his muse at the beginning of a long poem. On the eve of his rebellion, Essex’s supporters paid to have Richard II performed at the Globe, so it seems appropriate to have Gaunt’s meditation on death before Essex’s lyric. Dowland’s book of music for five-part strings and lute called Lachrimae or Seaven Teares begins with ‘seven passionate pavans’ each starting with his ‘tear’ motif of four notes. Antique is a reworking of the song version you will hear later, itself a reworking of a lute solo.
Gaunt from Richard II I:3
From silent night         John Dowland (1563-1626)
Lachrimae Antique          Dowland

The mad Ophelia’s speech as she hands out allusive flowers to the pitiful onlookers needs little introduction. We present Morley’s canzonette on the death of a young lady. The next pavan is titled ‘New Old Tears’.
Ophelia from Hamlet IV:5
O, griefe, even on the bud   Thomas Morley (1558-1602)
Lachrimae Antique Novae   Dowland

Hamlet’s admonishment of his mother when she suggests he end his mourning for his father needs little setup either. We comment musically with Dowland’s almost expressionistic song of melancholy and desperation and some ‘groaning tears’.
Hamlet from Hamlet I:2
In darknesse let me dwell    Dowland
Lachrimae Gementes        Dowland

We present speech where Ferdinand, who thinks he has lost his father in a shipwreck, hears Ariel sing Full fathom five set for the play by Robert Johnson. The text of Come yee heavy states, also thought to be a playsong, has so many images in common with Full fathom five that the latter would seem to have been influenced by the text Dowland sets. This pavan, marked out as ‘sad tears’, quotes the phrase which sets the words ‘tears a delightful thing’ in Dowland’s own song I saw my lady weep which you may have heard in our Lives of Girls and Women concert.
Ferdinand from The Tempest I:2
Come yee heavy states of night   Dowland
Lachrimae Tristes             Dowland

John Danyel, brother of the poet Samuel, titles this cycle of three songs Mrs. M.E. Her Funeral Teares. We surround the meditation on the meaning of tears and sighs with similar thoughts from plays, and finish the half with ‘forced tears’.
Duke from Measure for Measure III:1                 
Greefe keep within    John Danyel (1564-c.1626)
Richard from Henry VI Pt. III II:1
Drop not myne eyes             Danyel
The Queen from Henry VI Pt. II III:2
Have all our passions      Danyel
Lachrimae Coactae        Dowland


Preludium      Dowland
The only Lachrimae pavan with a possessive in the title is ‘Lover’s tears’, heard in this set, which allows us to present the thoughts of melancholy lovers who have lost control of their thoughts and their tongues in Shakespeare’s sonnet and the poem set by Dowland.
Sonnet 85
Unquiet thoughts         Dowland
Lachrimae Amantis     Dowland

When we met Pericles, Prince of Tyre in the last program he was thanking the gods for his and his daughter’s delivery from the sea. Here the narrator Gower places him earlier in the ordeal which will lead him to a catatonic state of melancholy. Dowland’s famous Sorrow stay is arranged as a consort song, and we finish Dowland’s cycle of Lachrimae pavans with ‘true tears’.
Gower from Pericles IV:3
Sorrow come    Dowland, arr. William Wigthorpe
Lachrimae Verae      Dowland

So we end our contemplations on the death of our friend Shakespeare with a sonnet, and the song that launched Dowland’s seven passionate pavans, and, as you will hear in the first notes of Holborne’s pavan, many more besides.
Sonnet 30
Lacrime – Flow my tears    Dowland
The Image of Melancholly     Antony Holborne (d. 1602)

But Shakespeare remains our contemporary. In the manuscript of Thomas More there are large passages thought to be by Shakespeare. During Henry VIII’s reign apprentice boys gathered and started beating up and burning the houses of foreigners and refugees in London. Thomas More was sent with a troop to calm things down. Shakespeare puts these words into his mouth. Timor et Tremor is in a set of manuscripts with untexted lower parts (so played not sung) and a lute book owned by the Roman Catholic Paston family.
Thomas More in Thomas More
Timor et tremor                                     Orlando Lassus (1532-1594)
Fear and terror have settled upon me;
the shadows have invaded me.
Have mercy on me, Lord; have mercy.
Unto you I commend my spirit.

Hear, O Lord, my prayer,
for you are my refuge
and my succour, all-powerful Lord
and I invoke Thee: let me never be confounded.

The program was devised with the scholarship and expertise of Prof. Deanne Williams. 

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.

Seth Lerer is Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California at San Diego. Well known for his scholarship and public lectures in the history of the English Language, he has also published widely on medieval and Renaissance English Literature, poetry, and Children's Literature. His books have won such awards as the Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Truman Capote Prize in Criticism. His most recent book is Prospero's Son, a memoir published by the University of Chicago Press. His current work on a book on music, myth, and lyric poetry in Shakespeare's last plays helped inspire our Sweet Swan of Avon series.

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, rebec, vielle and viola d’amore. He was concertmaster in a recording of rarely heard classical symphonies for an anthology by Indiana University Press and collaborated with Sylvia Tyson on the companion recording to her novel, Joyner’s Dream. Chris was the sound of Mark Smeaton’s violin on the TV series The Tudors.

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.

Stephen Marvin is a writer, musician and craftsman living in Toronto. Since 1977 he has specialized in early music, performing with and leading many well known ensembles. He was principal violinist and violist with the Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Players for 20 years, and now performs in about half of the season's programs. Stephen’s primary devotion to chamber music has inspired his participation in many ensembles, especially recitals and trio performances of late 18th century repertoire with fortepiano. Currently, he is the violist with the Lumiere Quartet. Stephen is represented on more than sixty CDs and other recordings, most notably with Sony. He also enjoys an international reputation as a bow-maker. For twenty-five years he has specialized in 17th and 18th century reproductions for early music specialists like himself, and has published articles and given lectures on the history and construction of old bows. He has recently begun making modern bows after examples by Tourte, Peccatte and others.

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.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Here's the script from our Apr. 23rd 'Sweet Swan of Avon' season finale at Heliconian Hall. 

8PM. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. near Bay Subway

Hallie Fishel sings, John Edwards plays lute, Christopher Verrette leads the string band and Seth Lerer reads. 

Single tickets at the door $30/$20 students & seniors

Shakespeare's Sorrows

Prelude – Anon.
Richard II I:3
Gaunt. Shorten my dayes thou canst with sudden sorow,
And plucke nights from me, but not lend a morrow:
Thou canst helpe time to furrow me with age,
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage:
Thy word is currant with him, for my death,
But dead, thy kingdome cannot buy my breath.

Song by Dowland
From silent night, true register of moanes,
From saddest Soule consumde with deepest sinnes,
From hart quite rent with sighes, and heavie groanes,
My wayling Muse her wofull work begins.
And to the world brings tunes of sad despaire,
Sounding nought else but sorrow griefe and care.
Lachrimae Antique – John Dowland

The text of the previous song is by Robert, Earl of Essex
Hamlet IV:5
Ophe. There's Fennell for you, and Columbines: ther's
Rew for you, and heere's some for me. Wee may call it
Herbe-Grace a Sundaies: Oh you must weare your Rew
with a difference. There's a Daysie, I would give you
some Violets, but they wither'd all when my Father dy-
ed: They say, he made a good end;

Song by Thomas Morley
O, griefe, even on the bud that fairely flouered,
The sun hath lowered,
And ah that brest which Love durst never venture,
Bold death did enter.
Pitie O heavens that have my love in keeping,
My cries and weeping.
Lachrimae Antique Novae – Dowland

Hamlet I:2
Ham. Seemes Madam? Nay, it is: I know not Seemes:
'Tis not alone my Inky Cloake (good Mother)
Nor Customary suites of solemne Blacke,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitfull River in the Eye,
Nor the dejected haviour of the Visage,
Together with all Formes, Moods, shewes of Griefe,
That can denote me truly. These indeed Seeme,
For they are actions that a man might play:
But I have that Within, which passeth show;
These, but the Trappings, and the Suites of woe.

Song by Dowland
In darknesse let me dwell the ground shall sorrow be,
The roofe Dispaire to barre all cheerfull light from mee,
The wals of marble blacke that moistened still shall weepe,
My musicke hellish jarring sounds to banish friendly sleepe.
Thus wedded to my woes and bedded to my Tombe,
O let me living die, till death, till death doe come
   In darknesse let me dwell.
Lachrimae Gementes – Dowland

The Tempest I:2
Fer. Where shold this Musick be? I'th aire, or th'earth?
It sounds no more: and sure it waytes upon
Some God 'oth' Iland, sitting on a banke,
Weeping againe the King my Fathers wracke.
This Musicke crept by me upon the waters,
Allaying both their fury, and my passion
With it's sweet ayre: thence I have follow'd it
(Or it hath drawne me rather) but 'tis gone.
No, it begins againe.

Song by Dowland
Come yee heavy states of night,
Doe my fathers spirit right,
Soundings balefull let mee borrow,
Burthening my song with sorrow,
Come sorrow come hir eies that sings,
By thee are turned into springs.

Come you Virgins of the night,
That in Dirges sad delight,
Quier my Anthems, I doe borrow
Gold nor pearle, but sounds of sorrow:
Come sorrow come hir eies that sings,
By thee are tourned into springs.
Lachrimae Tristes – Dowland

Measure for Measure III:1
Duke. Be absolute for death: either death or life
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
If I do loose thee, I do loose a thing
That none but fooles would keepe: a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skyie-influences
That dost this habitation where thou keepst
Hourely afflict: Meerely, thou art deaths foole,
For him thou labourst by thy flight to shun,
And yet runst toward him still.

Song by John Danyel
The first part.
Greefe keep within and scorne to shew but teares,
Since Joy can weepe as well as thou :
Disdaine to sigh for so can slender cares,
Which but from Idle causes grow.
Doe not looke forth unlesse thou didst know how
To looke with thine owne face, and as thou art,
And onely let my hart,
That knowes more reason why,
Pyne, fret, consume, swell, burst and dye.

Henry VI Pt. III II:1
Rich. I cannot weepe: for all my bodies moysture
Scarse serves to quench my Furnace-burning hart:
Nor can my tongue unloade my hearts great burthen,
For selfe-same winde that I should speake withall,
Is kindling coales that fires all my brest,
And burnes me up with flames, that tears would quench.
To weepe, is to make lesse the depth of greefe:

The second part
Drop not myne eyes nor Trickle downe so fast,
For so you could doe oft before,
In our sad farewells and sweet meetings past,
And shall his death now have no more ?
Can niggard sorrow yeld no other store :
To shew the plentie of afflictions smart,
Then onely thou poore hart,
That knowst more reason why,
Pyne, Fret, Consume, Swell, Burst and Dye.

Henry VI Pt. II III:2
Qu. Might liquid teares, or heart-offending groanes,
Or blood-consuming sighes recall his Life;
I would be blinde with weeping,

The third part
Have all our passions certaine proper vents, 
And sorrow none that is her owne ?
But she must borow others complements,
To make her inward feelings knowne ?
Are Joyes delights and deathes compassion showne,
With one lyke face and one lamenting part ?
Then onely thou poore hart
That know'st more reason why,
Pyne, Fret, Consume, Swell, Burst and Dye.
Lachrimae Coactae – Dowland


Sonnet 85
My toung-tide Muse in manners holds her still,
While comments of your praise richly compil'd,
Reserve their Character with goulden quill,
And precious phrase by all the Muses fil'd.
I thinke good thoughts, whilst other write good wordes,
And like unlettered clarke still crie Amen,
To every Himne that able spirit affords,
In polisht forme of well refined pen.
Hearing you praisd, I say 'tis so, 'tis true,
And to the most of praise adde some-thing more,
But that is in my thought, whose love to you
(Though words come hind-most) holds his ranke before,
   Then others, for the breath of words respect,
   Me for my dombe thoughts, speaking in effect.

Song by Dowland
Unquiet thoughts your civill slaughter stint,
And wrap your wrongs within a pensive heart:
And you my tongue that makes my mouth a mint,
And stamps my thoughts to coine them words by art,
Be still: for if you ever do the like,
Ile cut the string that makes the hammer strike.

But what can stay my thoughts they may not start,
Or put my tongue in durance for to die?
When as these eyes, the keyes of mouth and hart,
Open the locke where all my love doth lie;
Ile seale them up within their lids for ever:
So thoughts, and words, and looks shall die together.

How shall I then gaze on my mistresse eyes?
My thoghts must have som vent: else hart wil break.
My tongue would rust as in my mouth it lies,
If eyes and thoughts were free, and that not speake.
Speake then, and tell the passions of desire;
Which turns mine eies to floods, my thoghts to fire.
Lachrimae Amantis – Dowland

Pericles IV:3
Gow.  And Pericles in sorrowe all devour'd,
With sighes shot through, and biggest teares ore-showr'd.
Leaves Tharsus, and againe imbarques, hee sweares
Never to wash his face, nor cut his hayres:
Hee put on sack-cloth, and to Sea he beares,
A Tempest which his mortall vessell teares.
And yet hee rydes it out,

Song by Dowland
Sorrow come, lend true repentant teares,
To a woefull wretched wight,
Hence dispair with thy tormenting feares:
O doe not my poor heart affright,
Pitty, help now or never,
Mark me not to endlesse paine,
Alack I am condempned ever,
No hope, nor help there doth remain,
But down, down, down, down I fall,
Down and arise I never shall.
Lachrimae Verae – Dowland

Sonnet 30
When to the Sessions of sweet silent thought,
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lacke of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new waile my deare times waste:
Then can I drowne an eye (un-us'd to flow)
For precious friends hid in deaths dateles night,
And weepe a fresh loves long since canceld woe,
And mone th'expence of many a vannisht sight.
Then can I greeve at greevances fore-gon,
And heavily from woe to woe tell ore
The sad account of fore-bemoned mone,
Which I new pay as if not payd before.
   But if the while I thinke on thee (deare friend)
   All losses are restord, and sorrowes end.

Song by Dowland
Flow my tears fall from your springs,
Exilded for ever: let mee mourne,
Where nightes black bird hir sad infamy sings,
There let mee live forlorne.

Downe vaine lightes shine you no more,
No nightes are dark enough for those
That in dispaire their lost fortuns deplore,
Light doth but shame disclose.

Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pittie is fled,
And teares and sighes and grones my wearie dayes
Of all joyes have deprived.

From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is throwne,
And feare and griefe and paine for my deserts
Are my hopes since hope is gone.

Harke you shadowes that in darkness dwell,
Learne to contemne light
Happie they that in hell
Feele not the worlds despite.
The Image of Melancholly – Antony Holborne

Thomas More 
Moo…. youle put downe straingers
kill them cutt their throts possesse their howses
and leade the majestie of lawe in liom
to slipp him lyke a hound; say nowe the king
as he is clement, yf thoffendor moorne
shoold so much com to short of your great trespas
as but to banysh you, whether woold you go.
what Country by the nature of your error
shoold gyve you harber go you to ffraunc or flanders
to any Jarman province, spane or portigall
nay any where that not adheres to Ingland
why you must needs be straingers. woold you be pleasd
to find a nation of such barbarous temper
that breaking out in hiddious violence
woold not afoord you, an abode on earth
whett their detested knyves against your throtes
spurne you lyke doggs, and lyke as yf that god
owed not nor made not you, nor that the elaments
wer not all appropriat to your Comforts.
but Charterd unto them, what woold you thinck
to be thus usd, this is the straingers case
all and this your montanish inhumanyty

Motet by Orlando Lassus
Timor et tremor venerunt super me,
et caligo cecidit super me:
miserere mei Domine,
quoniam in te confidit anima mea.

Exaudi Deus deprecationem meam
quia refugium meum es
tu adjutor fortis.
Domine, invocavi te, non confundar.

(Fear and terror have settled upon me;
the shadows have invaded me.
Have mercy on me, Lord; have mercy.
Unto you I commend my spirit.

Hear, O Lord, my prayer,
for you are my refuge
and my succour, all-powerful Lord
and I invoke Thee: let me never be confounded.)