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)
Allemanda
Adagio
Fuga
Adagio
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
Duet
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.

Duet
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.

Duet
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.

Duet
Make my heart on fire
with love of Christ God,
that I may please Him.
 
Duet
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.

Duet
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.

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

St Michael’s Schola Cantorum

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

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

Tenor
Reid Locklin, Antonio Manco, Adam Miceli

Bass
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

Violoncello
Laura Jones

Contrabass
Calum McLeod

Organ
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.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Here's the program and notes for -

Musicke of Sundrie Sorts















Feb. 15, 2014, 8PM
Heliconian Hall, Toronto

Thule, the Period of Cosmography Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623)

Lachrimae Antiquae John Dowland (1563-1626)
M. Buctons Galiard

The silver swanne Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

Pavana Bray William Byrd (1540-1623)
Earl of Essex His Galliard Dowland

There is a garden in her face Robert Jones (1577-1617)

Lachrimae Pavan Dowland/Johann Schop (1590-1667)

My mind to me a kingdom is Byrd

When David heard Michael East (1580-1648)

Intermission

Sorrow come Dowland (arr. William Wigthorpe)

Come away, come sweet love Dowland

M. John Langtons Pavan Dowland
Mrs Nichols Almand

Can she excuse Dowland

Lachrimae Verae Dowland
The Earle of Essex Galiard

Fuga Dowland

Never weather beaten sail Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

Dainty white pearl East



Program Notes
In 1575 Queen Elizabeth I generously gave a monopoly for music printing to the composers Byrd and Tallis for 21 years. For some reason – perhaps they misjudged the market with their first choice of repertoire printed – after an initial foray, they let the monopoly lie there till it ran out in 1596 so by then there was a giant pent up demand for music of sundry sorts. The next year the monopoly was renewed, this time with the much more clever Thomas Morley. Morley would take £10 off you, give you a license to print some music, and let you take the risk as to whether there was a public for it yourself. The explosion of music printing in England in the last years of Elizabeth’s reign and into James’s lets us see every format and scoring imaginable. What we think of as solo ‘lute ayres’ were commonly printed with optional four-part versions for voices, or, as the title page of some of Dowland and Campion’s songbooks say ‘to sing to the lute, orpharion or viols’ or similar.

The word ‘viol’ seems to have been used in Elizabethan and Jacobean times for both the drop-shouldered, 6-string ‘da gamba’ family and that family of stringed instruments we now see in symphony orchestras. The print of Morley’s ‘Consort Lessons’, for example, has ‘treble viol’ on one of the partbooks, but pictures of that kind of ‘broken’ consort always show a treble violin played ‘da braccia’, on the arm. Though the repertoires of viol and violin in consorts were largely interchangeable there was a social difference between players of the two instruments. The viol increasingly took over the position of the lute as the instrument of the amateur, but the violin was usually played by professionals, and was the main ensemble for courtly dance music.


Dowland’s collection of string music Lachrimæ or seaven teares figured in seaven passionate pavans, with divers other pavans, galliards and allemands, set forth for the lute, viols, or violons, in five parts was collected in Denmark, where he worked at King Christian IV’s and is dedicated to Christian’s sister, Anne, James’s queen. As you can see it was printed, as were lute ayres, in the ‘tabletop’ format. You put the open book in the middle of the table and sit around it to play. Much music was printed in ‘partbooks’ – a book containing only his or her part for the soprano, alto, etc. (See the beginning of The Silver Swanne under the list of tonight’s music.)

The Epistle to the Reader of Byrd’s Psalmes, Sonets, & songs of sadnes and pietie tells us that several of the songs in that collection were ‘originally made for Instruments to expresse the harmony’ and, though all the parts are texted for maximum performance options (and sales to partsong singers), he helpfully labels the melody ‘the first singing part’ in those songs where instruments are expected. As well as some of these pieces from Byrd’s publication we present some from manuscript sources. We present a consort song arrangement of Dowland’s lute song Sorrow stay with its sacred contrafactum, where the singer rises to heaven, rather than falling into the pit of despair with Dowland. (Despair is a sin, and an increasingly Godly England was getting very concerned about religious melancholy.) As you can see from the title page of Gibbons’s First Book of Madrigals, string accompaniment precedes voices in the list of aptness, and all the madrigals we perform tonight say strings are apt. It appears that string consorts were often used in chapels, perhaps where organs were too expensive or mice had chewed the leather bellows.  

And then we come to the curiousity pictured below which is taken from a 17th century autograph book. Dowland identifies himself by his ‘signature tune’ and then puts a little canon. for you to work out. We present the solution from Diana Poulton’s book on Dowland’s life and works. Music or puzzle? You decide.  



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, 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.

Guests

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.
Stephen Marvin is a writer, musician and craftsman living in Toronto, Ontario. Since 1977, he has specialized in early music, performing with and leading many well known ensembles. Stephen has been a principal violinist /violist with the Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Players for 20 years, but is now an "extra" performing in about half of the season's programs. Stephen’s primary devotion to chamber music has included many ensembles, especially recitals and trio performances of late eighteenth century (classical) repertoire with fortepiano.  Currently, he is the violist with the Lumiere Quartet. Stephen is represented on more than 60 CDs and other recordings, most notably with Sony. Stephen 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. He has published articles and given lectures on the history and construction of old bows. Additionally, he is now making modern bows after examples by Tourte, Peccatte and others.

Sheila Smyth, baroque viola, 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 an extra 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.

Eleanor Verrette began her studies on violin in Toronto with Gretchen Paxson and Aisslinn Nosky, going on to study viola in Montréal with Pemi Paull and Anna-Belle Marcotte at McGill University. She graduated from McGill in 2012 with a Bachelor's in viola performance.  She appears regularly with the Musicians In Ordinary, and is featured on recent album releases by acclaimed folk-rock artists Lakes of Canada and Corinna Rose.  She has also performed with Aradia Ensemble and Montréal singer-songwriter Ari Swan, and plays vielle as a founding member of the Pneuma Ensemble.

Cellist, Kerri McGonigle is the Artistic Director of the Academy Concert Series. A recipient of the Margarita Heron Pine String Prize and the Beryl Barns Graduate Scholarship, Kerri graduated with a Masters of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Alberta. While studying in Paris, she won Premier Prix with unanimous distinction in violoncello and chamber music from the Gennevilliers Conservatory. Having completed an Advanced Certificate in Baroque Performance with Tafelmusik through the University of Toronto, Kerri is based in Toronto and performs regularly as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral cellist. Kerri spends her days running after and cuddling her beautiful 16-month old son. She practices cello while he naps – thankfully he is a great sleeper!





Thursday, January 23, 2014

Here's the program and translations for The Rosary Sonatas – The Glorious Mysteries, Fr. Madden Auditorium, Carr Hall, St. Michael’s College, Oct. 11, 2013: Lecture 7:30PM, Concert 8PM, featuring Christopher Verrette, violin with Hallie Fishel, soprano, Patricia Ahern 2nd violin, Philip Fournier, organ, John Edwards, theorbo and Rev. Lisa Wang giving the pre-concert chat.

The Annunciation Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704)
Ave maris stella Alessandro Grandi (c.1580-1630)

The Visitation Biber
Ut queant laxis Maurizio Cazzati (c1620-77) 

The Nativity Biber
Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665)

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple Biber
Nunc Dimittis Giovanni Rigatti (c1613-48)

The 12-year old Jesus in the Temple Biber
Amo Christum Grandi


Ave maris stella
The violins stand for the odd verses.
(Hail, star of the sea,
Nurturing Mother of God,
And ever Virgin
Happy gate of Heaven.)

Receiving that ‘Ave’
From the mouth of Gabriel,
Establish us in peace,
Transforming the name of ‘Eva’.

(Loosen the chains of the guilty,
Send forth light to the blind,
Our evil do thou dispel,
Entreat for us all good things.)

Show thyself to be a Mother:
Through thee may he receive prayer
Who, being born for us,
Undertook to be thine own.

(O unique Virgin,
Meek above all others,
Make us, set free from our sins,
Meek and chaste.)

Bestow a pure life,
Prepare a safe way:
That seeing Jesus,
We may ever rejoice.

(Praise be to God the Father,
To the Most High Christ be glory,
To the Holy Spirit
Be honour, to the Three equally.)
Amen.
(Text – Hymn for Marian Feasts)
Ut queant laxis 
The violins stand for the even verses.
So that your servants may, with loosened cords,
resound the wonders of your deeds,
cleanse the guilt from our stained lips, O Saint John.

(An angel came from the heavens
to announce to your father the greatness of your birth,
your name, and the unfolding of your life.)
He (Zecharias) doubted these divine promises
and was promptly deprived of the use of speech;
but at your birth the voice he had lost was restored.
(While still recumbent in the womb,
you sensed the King’s presence in the wedding chamber;
thus your parents received the revelation of this mystery.)
Glory be to the Father and to the begotten Son;
and equal glory to the Spirit,
ever one God, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
(Text, Hymn for the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist)



Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna
The time is now come to sleep,
Sleep, sleep my son and do not cry,
For the time will yet come
When you will have to cry.
So my dear, so my heart
Go to sleep.
Shut those divine eyes
As other children do,
For soon a thick veil
Will deprive the sky of light.
Go to sleep,
Or take this milk
From my unsullied breasts,
For a cruel minister
Prepares for you vinegar and gall.
So my dear, so my heart
Go to sleep.
My love, let this soft breast
Be a soft bed for you
Before, on the cross
In a loud voice, you give your soul to your father.
So my dear, so my heart
Go to sleep.
Stretch out, then those sweet little limbs.
So sweet and so tender,
For later irons and chains
Will inflict cruel pains on them.
So my dear, so my heart
Go to sleep.
Those hands and those feet
Which you now look on with pleasure and joy,
Alas, in what a way will sharp nails
pass through them.
That gracious face,
Today redder than a rose,
Will be fouled with spit and blows
In torment and pain.
O what pain, only hope of my heart,
Will be caused by sharp thorns,
Which will wound your head and hair.
Ah, in this divine breast,
my love sweet and tender,
An ungodly and treacherous lance
Will inflict a mortal wound.
Sleep then my son,
Sleep you who is also my redeemer.
Because with happy faces
We shall see each other in Paradise.
Now that my life is sleeping,
He who is all the joy of my heart,
Let each, through pure zeal, be silent.
And I, during this time, what will I do?
I will contemplate my dear,
And I will stay with my head bowed
While my child sleeps.
(Text – Free)

Nunc Dimittis
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
Your word has been fulfilled.
My eyes have seen the salvation
You have prepared in the sight of every people,
A light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people, Israel.
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
(Text – Song of Simeon, Luke 20:29-32 and Canticle at Compline)

Amo Christum
I love Christ, who renews my youth,
who with His blood adorns my cheeks. 
When I love Him, I am pure;
when I touch Him I am free from sin;
when I receive Him I am still a virgin.

I love Christ, who encircles my neck
with precious stone, who satisfies my soul with honey. 
When I love Him...

I love Christ, who overthrows
those who resist Him,
who frees me from the clutch of want. 
When I love Him...
I am pure, free from sin and a virgin.
(Text – St. Ambrose, Life of St. Agnes)


Program Notes – Christopher Verrette

The first five mysteries of the Rosary are known as the ‘Joyous’ ones, yet Heinrich Biber’s insightful settings look deep into them in a way that can seem at times surprisingly dark, anticipating the Sorrowful Mysteries to come. The Annunciation Sonata, in fact, encapsulates the whole story of Jesus' birth, death and resurrection.

The opening prelude comprises exactly 496 notes; this "perfect" number personifies Mary, the central figure of the Rosary, as one born without flaw, using figurations that Biber previously used to accompany the text "Children are an heritage of the Lord". Here they are amplified to express God's ultimate gift of a single child. The somewhat martial theme of the Aria with variations introduces the angel Gabriel, who is not only God's messenger, but His soldier as well. The Finale is entirely based on a g minor pedal, the key of the Crucifixion Sonata, which ultimately resolves into a chord that refers to the Resurrection through its notation: a ‘double breve’. Such antiquated notation is otherwise reserved for the Surrexit Christus hodie of Sonata XI in this work.

The second sonata, on the other hand, is genuinely joyous in its affect and sonority, using a tuning that shines in the key of A Major. While the use of a dance form, an Allemande, emphasizes the routine social aspect of The Visitation, large intervallic jumps are used to suggest the leaping of the child in Elizabeth’s womb that transformed it to the miraculous.

The Nativity sonata is central to the Joyous mysteries, and uses a harsh tuning of the violin to focus our attention on the strangeness of Jesus’ birth, the hardships Mary endures and the desolation of the stable. Yet the Corrente, a courtly French dance, reminds us that it is in fact a king being born in this humble place. Biber's storytelling is at its most acute in the final Adagio: the braying of the ass is distinctly heard-the only animal pictured in the accompanying engraving and the very beast that will carry Jesus into Jerusalem toward His Passion-and is swiftly followed by a premonition of the Crucifixion sonata. This is the musical embodiment of a practice found in the visual arts of including emblems of the Crucifixion in nativity scenes. The disturbing lullaby by Merula that follows is its natural companion.

The phrase that opens and closes Sonata IV captures perfectly the character of Simeon as a world-weary man with his gaze fixed on heaven. The variations express his age, patience and faith, as well as his ability to not only recognize the Messiah, but to foresee His future torments.

Sonata V returns to A Major to celebrate the Finding in the Temple. Biber does not dwell on the anxieties of Jesus being missing. The opening section features fanfare figures and the powerful interval of the unison. What follows is essentially a dance suite; public music to announce Jesus’ ‘debut’ as a teacher.


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

Intermission

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
Larghetto
Allegro

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
Chorale

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
THE MUSICIANS IN ORDINARY ORCHESTRA
1st Violins
Chris Verrette, Rona Goldensher, Emily Eng
2nd Violins
Paul Zevenhuisen, Rezan Onen-Lapointe
Violas
Emily Eng, Eleanor Verrette
Violoncello
Kerri McGonigle
Contrabass
Erin Rose MacLeod
Organ
Philip Fournier
Theorbo
John Edwards

ST MICHAEL’S SCHOLA CANTORUM
Soprano
Suzanna Attia, Sana Bathiche, Kara Dymond, Hallie Fishel, Catherine Hamilton
Alto
Cindy Dymond, Ana Iorgulescu, Irene Gaspar, Mekhriban Mamedova, 
Annemarie Sherlock, Ann Marie Tedesco
Tenor
Adam Miceli, Marcos Ramos
Bass
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.

Friday, November 15, 2013


The program and notes for our concert Sat. Nov. 16, 2013, 8PM  Heliconian Hall 35 Hazelton Ave., Toronto.  Tickets $25 and $20 at the door

The Fame Which Posterity Gives – John Dowland (1563-1626)
A trompe-l'œil ceiling from one of the King of Denmark's castles about the time Dowland
worked for him. Might that lute player be the only picture of Dowland?

Famam, posterias quam dedit Orpheo
Dolandi melius Musica dat sibi

‘The fame which posterity gives to Orpheus/To Dowland, Music gives the better’ Thomas Campion

Preludium
A Shepheard in a shade his plaining made
Dye not beefore thy day
His golden locks time hath to silver turnde
Sir Henry Lee with locks neither golden nor silver
Semper Dowland Semper Dolens
Sir John Smith his Almaine

It was a time when silly Bees could speake
If my complaints could passions move

Lachrimae
The Right Honourable the Lady Rich, her Galliard

Flow my tears

Times eldest sonne: First part/Then sit thee downe: Second part/When others sings Venite exultemus: Third part

Intermission

Thou mightie God/When Davids life by Saul/When the poore Criple

The Battell Galliard
Frog Galliard

Duc d'Alençon, whom Elizabeth strung along for a great while

Lady if you so spight me
Sorrow sorrow stay, lend true repentant teares
Sweet stay awhile, why will you rise?

Fantasie

In darknesse let mee dwell

Program Notes
‘My Lord of Essex chose to evaporate his thoughts in a sonnet (beeing his common way) to be sung before the Queene, (as it was) by one Hales, in whose voice she took some pleasure.’ Sir Henry Wotton wrote this some 40 years after the execution of Robert Devereaux, the Earl of Essex, in a pamphlet comparing him to another spectacular courtier who met an untimely end, the Duke of Buckingham, the ‘favourite’ of James I. But it would be very rare, even impossible, for Essex and Elizabeth to ever be alone together; court ceremony meant that the ensemble called the Lutes and Voices served right in the Queen’s bed chamber along with all the other courtiers and servants. So any courtier’s poem sung before the queen and her entourage was very much a semi-public, self-serving self-fashioning. This is most explicit in Dowland’s setting of Essex’s poem ‘It was a time when silly Bees could speak’, called 'The Earl of Essex, his Buzz’ in poetic sources, where Essex, punning heavily on thyme/time, complains to the queen bee that he is not getting his just reward for all the time he puts in getting nectar from the thyme.

The Earl of Essex, head intact
‘His golden locks’ and the ‘Times eldest sonne’ trilogy are also examples of both the late Elizabethan preoccupation with time, and a courtier sending a message to court via song. These songs are from the Accession Day celebrations of 1590. Sir Henry Lea, the queen’s champion in the stylized jousting tournaments here announces his retirement in an equally stylized manner. In the lyric of ‘Times eldest sonne’ (sung at the ceremony by the Robert Hales mentioned by Wotton above) Lea describes how he will replace the Psalms and Canticles prescribed for Morning Prayer in the Book of Common Prayer, with those used for Evening Prayer. Needless to say, Elizabeth’s still fairly new and controversial Prayerbook does not include the Ave Maria prayer for that other Blessed Virgin.

Lucy, Countess of Bedford, bankroller of Jacobethan Melancholy
But it was not only male courtiers who were projecting an image through song and poem. Dowland’s Second Book of Songs, which cements his position as the official composer of Elizabethan Melancholy, was dedicated to Lucy Countess of Bedford who also was the patron of darkness peddling poets Ben Jonson, John Donne and Samuel Danyel. Did she engage these artists because she was drawn to their work in the melancholy milieu or was Elizabethan and Jacobean melancholy made to order for the woman who wanted to bring light (N.B. Lucy=light) to these artists?
A Melancholy Man, by Isaac Oliver, sometimes said to be Philip Sidney
Pastoralism, as heard in ‘A Shepheard in a shade’, was another artistic movement at the turn of the 17th century. Sir Philip Sidney was Essex’s friend, his immediate predecessor as most sparkling young courtier, and author of Arcadia and Astrophel and Stella, works that put pastoralism and its fields on the map in England. The beloved Stella of Sidney’s sonnet cycle was Penelope Devereaux, sister of the Earl. She was unhappily married to the Lord Rich over the protestations of herself and of Sidney. The Battell Galliard sets up trumpet figures in two opposing keys in imitation of Clement Jannequin’s chanson La Battaille. Sir Philip was banished from court for a while for protesting too strongly his opinion of the queen’s possible match with the Duke of Alençon, who she referred to as ‘My frog’. Might this be the source of a somewhat less respectful dedication of a galliard than The Right Honourable the Lady Rich, her Galliard?