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. 26th 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.
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.