8PM, Mar. 7th 2015
35 Hazelton Ave.
DONNE ON LOVE AND DEATH
John Donne’s poem An Epithalamion, or Marriage Song On the Lady Elizabeth and Count Palatine Being Married on St. Valentine’s Day and his A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day read by scholar and author Seth Lerer with songs by Campion, Dowland and others sung by Hallie Fishel with John Edwards on Renaissance lutes. Music and sweet poetry will be demonstrated to be in such steadfast agreement that it will not be doubted that ‘One god is god of both, as poets feign.’
For Orpheus’ lute was strung with poets’ sinews,
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Make tigers tame and huge leviathans
Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands.
Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act 3: Sc. 2
We still call poems sung to guitars and electronic keyboards lyrics, though the lyre is not often heard in the mp3 format, or even in the modern concert hall. It wasn’t even heard in the chamber music of the Renaissance and Baroque, though they, like the Ancient Greeks they imitated, thought unsung lyric poetry wholly inadequate. For them the lute was the instrument that best accompanied what was a golden age of poetry. Hear music you will hear nowhere else in The Musicians In Ordinary’s 2014-2015 seasons at the Heliconian Hall and at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.