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)
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
Never weather beaten sail Thomas Campion (1567-1620)
Dainty white pearl East
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.
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.
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!