Monday, May 26, 2008

Broken Consort concert at the Unitarian Hall

On Friday 23rd May the Broken Consort presented a public concert of medieval and renaissance music at the Unitarian Hall in Powell River. Last year in October when we did this, we didn't publicize it at all, and got an audience of about 10 people.

This year we publicized it to death, got 42 people (plus kids), and almost filled the hall. It was pretty scary :)

On the whole, it went well: the audience enjoyed themselves, they learned to sing a round, we fed them yummy desserts at the interval, and we raised a nice chunk of change for the shire.

We also recorded the concert in several different ways. So far I have available MP3s of the music, made on a small digital recorder so they are mono, not stereo, and not "studio quality" - but they do give you some idea of what we play. I've included the audience participation segment, when we got them singing a three part round (audience plus consort plus shire members, about 60 people altogether).

Introduction: Come Follow Me (we entered the back of the hall one by one, playing this round as we came, and made a procession to our seats at the front).

Tant que vivrai en aage florisant
”While I live in a wonderful time.” A Parisian Chanson from the 1520s composed by Claudin de Sermisy for a poem by Clement Marot.

Adieu ces bons vins de Lannoys
”Farewell to these fine wines of Laon.” A 15th century chanson by Guillaume Dufay, written in 1526 when he was leaving France to work in Italy.

Two lute solos performed by Lady Ambrosine
Wilson’s wilde
A popular ballad tune in the Elizabethan period. This version for lute is from the Folger manuscript, written about 1610.
Branle de Poitou
The branle was a popular French dance in the late 16th century. This one first appeared in a lute instruction book in 1568.

Huzzah to the newly minted Lady Ambrosine, who received her AOA at the concert!

Edi beo thu hevene quene
”Blessed art Thou, Heaven’s Queen.” An anonymous hymn in Middle English to Mary, from the late 13th century. Played as a double duet on four tenor recorders.

Carmen in sol
”Song in G.” This anonymous piece is typical of the songs without words that were popular in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

Bacco, Bacco
”Bacchus, Bacchus.” - Mattio Rampollini - Music for the closing scene, a dance of bacchantes and satyrs to instrumental music, from the entertainment for the marriage of Cosimo de Medici in 1539. These entertainments were a precursor of both opera and ballet.

All in a garden green
A Popular ballad tune and later an English Country Dance tune.

Jouyssance vous donneray
”I shall give you joy” A basse-dance tune from Arbeau’s 1589 dance manual. A basse dance was a stately dance.

Come follow me (audience participation version)
A three-part round written by John Hilton in 1652.
”Come follow, follow, follow,
follow, follow, follow me
Whither shall I follow, follow, follow?
Whither shall I follow, follow thee?
To the greenwood, to the greenwood,
to the greenwood, greenwood tree.”

Stella splendens
”Star, that like the sun’s rays,
shines on the mountain”
An anonymous hymn from the 14th century Spanish manuscript Llibre vermeil (Red Book).

Purcello’s Canon
We don’t know where this came from, but we like it anyway!

Pavan “Belle qui tiens”
”Beauty, who hold my soul a captive in your eyes.”
A pavan from Arbeau’s 1589 dance manual. A pavan was a stately dance with simpler steps than a basse dance.

Tourdion “La Magdalena”
A tourdion was a moderately lively dance which usually followed a basse-dance or pavan. This one was first published by Attaignant in 1529 as the afterdance to the basse-dance “La Magdalene. The tune was very popular and it also appears as a popular drinking song.

The Nightingale in Silent Night
An English madrigal by Thomas Bateson, published in 1618
”The Nightingale in silent night,
Doth sing as well as in the light,
To lull loves watchful eyes asleep,
She doth such nightly sonnets keep,
Hey hoe, Sing we with all,
What fortune us so ere befall”

Two songs performed by Master Stephen of Hunmanby
Tempus adest floridum
A student song from the 12th century. You will probably recognize the tune which was later recycled as a Christmas carol.
Quant li rossignol
A 13th century Trouvere song. The English lyrics were written by Master Stephen of Hunmanby.

Mille regretz
A chanson by Josquin des Pres which was a great hit tune in the early 16th century, appearing in a Spanish arrangement for lute titled “Concion del Emperador” because it was the Emperor’s favourite song.
”A thousand regrets to forsake you
And to be far from your loving face
I have such great grief and sorrowful anguish
That one will see me shortly end my days ”

Jouyssance vous donneray
”I shall give you joy.” A Parisian Chanson by Claudin de Sermisy with words by Clement Marot, published by Attaignant in 1529.

Heigh ho holiday
A consort piece by Anthony Holborne, published 1599. There were also versions made for solo lute

Now is the month of Maying
One of the most famous of the English madrigals, by Thomas Morley published in 1595. It is based on a text used by Orazio Vecchi in 1590
”Now is the month of maying,
When merry lads are playing,
Fa la la la la.
Each with his bonny lass,
upon the greeny grass,
Fa la la la la.”

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