Sing Praise Upon the Lute and Viol
16th and 17th century sacred domestic music for voice, strings and lutes
All concerts at 8PM, Tickets $30, $20 students and seniors available at the door
Pre-concert lectures at 7:30 PM by Rev. Lisa Wang
Fr. Madden Auditorium, Carr Hall, 100 St Joseph Street, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
In 1620 Monteverdi wrote to his opera librettist Striggio explaining why he couldn’t possibly get away to Mantua. Apart from his duties at St. Mark’s Church, ‘there is the Most Illustrious Primicerius, for whom every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, I make music in a certain oratory of his, to which half the nobility come.’ Similarly Byrd and other Elizabethan and Jacobean composers created domestic sacred music for voice and a set of viols (or violins, since the word ‘viol’ was used interchangeably). And of course, we can imagine the penitent melancholic evaporating his thoughts to the accompaniment of his lute. We celebrate this repertoire, not church music, but not quite secular, with a series of concerts each with a talk to put the music in cultural context. Hallie Fishel sings, John Edwards plays lute & theorbo and Christopher Verrette leads the consort.
Sep. 26, 2014 Psalms, Songs and Sonnets
Consort songs from William Byrd’s collections of Psalmes, Songs, and Sonnets, music ‘apt for voices or viols’, In Nomines for strings by, Taverner, Tye and others with lute versions of Suzanne ung Jour, and other music on sacred subjects.
Oct. 24, 2014 Motets With Symphonies
In the typically effusive dedication to the Holy Roman Empress, Monteverdi says her protection gave him the confidence ‘to bring to light this spiritual and moral wood’. We present his Confitebor Tibi ‘alla Francese’ (‘if you like, with four violins, leaving the soprano voice solo’), Monteverdi’s vice-maestro Grandi’s O vos omnes (scored for violas, since violins might be too jaunty for the text), other music from Monteverdi’s Selva Morale e Spirituale and Grandi’s Motetti con Sinfonie and sonatas for strings and theorbo.
Jan. 30, 2015 The Cure of Religious Melancholy
Robert Burton published his treatise Anatomy of Melancholy in the last years of the reign of James I, when religious melancholy was a real problem among the ‘Godly’ (pejoratively called ‘puritans’). Burton puts religious melancholy in the section of his book on love melancholy, but in the section on cures, he tells us that melancholy can be rectified by ‘Music of all sorts aptly applied’. We combine John Dowland’s Lachrimæ or seaven teares figured in seaven passionate pavans for violins and lute with lute airs from his songbooks, consort songs and his psalm settings for the death of his friend Sir Henry Noel.
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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 an anthology soon to be released by Indiana University Press, and most recently collaborated with Sylvia Tyson on the companion recording to her novel, Joyner’s Dream.
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 taught baroque violin at the Freiburg Conservatory in Germany and Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and has given masterclasses at McGill, Wilfrid Laurier, York and Grand Valley State Universities, and the Universities of Windsor, Wisconsin and Toronto. She has concertized throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and South America and performed 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.
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. Stephen has been a principal violinist and violist with Tafelmusik Orchestra 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 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 25 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. More recently he has begun making modern bows after examples by Tourte, Peccatte and others.
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 University 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.
As well as being a founding member of I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble, baroque cellist and viola da gambist Felix Deak showcases his career as a freelance musician with orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Les Voix Humaines and Opera Atelier. Felix instructs orchestral classes and private students in and around Toronto. He can be heard on CBC Radio Two in performances, and has made recordings for various labels at home and abroad.
The Reverend Lisa Wang holds degrees from the State University of New York (BA), the University of Toronto (MA, MDiv), and the University of London, England (PhD). She has published in the areas of literature and theology, ecclesiology, and Biblical interpretation. She currently teaches at the Faculty of Divinity, Trinity College, Toronto, and serves at the Anglican Church of St Mary Magdalene, Toronto.