Program, Notes, Artist Biographies for Baltimore Consort “Wassail”

–> Read in PDF format Wassail Program, 2012-12-11


Wassail, Wassail!

Old Carols and Dance Tunes from the British Isles,

France, Spain, Germany, and Appalachia


Mary Anne Ballard – viols, rebec

Mark Cudek – cittern, viol, crumhorn

Larry Lipkis – viol, recorder, gemshorn, crumhorn

Ronn McFarlane – lute

Mindy Rosenfeld – wooden flutes and fifes, crumhorn, pipes, harp

Danielle Svonavec – soprano

José Lemos – countertenor




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christ Church Cathedral

1117 Texas Avenue



Pre-concert talk

Baltimore Consort members


Guests of Houston Early Music stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.


Houston Early Music is funded in part by grants from the

City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, 

Texas Commission on the Arts

and The National Endowment for the Arts.






The Lord of the Dance (tune Simple Gifts)                                   melody Shaker, words Sydney Carter 1966


On Christmas Night                                                      collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sussex 1904

Masters in this Hall (tune La matelotte)                             pub. John Playford, The Dancing Master 1656

Chrisimas Day                                                               Lancashire traditional


Gaudete, Christus est Natus                                           Piae Cantiones 1582

Tempus adest floridum (carol Good King Wenceslas)    Piae Cantiones 1582

Babe of Bethlehem                                                       Southern Harmony 1835


Early Christmas Morning                                               Ronn McFarlane b.1954

Sellenger’s Round (carol Upon my lap my Sovereign Sits )     Elizabethan country dance tune 16th c.

Wondrous Love                                                                        Southern Harmony 1835


Dadme albricias hijos d’Eva                                           Villancicos de diversos autores, Venice 1556

Señores, el qu’es nascido                                                           Villancicos de diversos autores, Venice 1556

Ríu, ríu chíu                                                                 Villancicos de diversos autores, Venice 1556




Green Sleeves to a Ground                                            pub. I. Walsh The First Part of the Division Flute 1706


A Wassail, A Wassail throughout all this Town!               traditional, Gower, Wales 1940’s

Here We Come A-Wassailing                                         English traditional

Wassail, Wassail all over the Town!                                 Gloucestershire traditional


In dulci iubilo                                                              Liederbuch of Anna of Cologne 16th c.

In dulci iubilo (lute solo)                     Esias Reusner, Hundert Geistliche Melodien Evangelischer Lieder, 1676

In dir ist Freude            Johannes Lindemann, …                                   Zwantzig Weyhenachten Gesenglein … 1598


Peace Be with You (tune Rigadoon Royal)                         John Walsh, The Compleat Dancing Master II 1719

The Fairy Round (lute solo)                                          Antony Holborne d.1602

Sweet was the Song the Virgin sung                              anonymous, English 16th c.


Il est né, le divin Enfant!                                                            French traditional

Quelle est cette odeur agréable                                      French traditional

Noël nouvelet!                                                              French traditional









The Lord of the Dance

Sydney Carter’s setting of these words to the Shaker dance tune, Simple Gifts, was extremely apt, since the Shakers worshipped through ecstatic dancing. The melody itself, familiar from Aaron Copland’s ballet suite, Appalachian Spring, seems to date from at least as early as the 1840’s.


I danced in the morning when the world was begun,    

And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,     

And I came down from heaven, and I danced on the earth,         me on high;

At Bethlehem I had my birth.                                         

            Dance, then, wherever you may be,                   

            I am the Lord of the dance, said he,      

            And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,       

            And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.          


“I danced for the scribe and the pharisee,         

But they would not dance and they wouldn’t follow me,             

I danced for the fishermen, for James and John,            

They came with me and the dance went on.        

            Dance, then, wherever you may be…


I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame;

The holy people said it was a shame.

They whipped and they stripped and they hung

They left me there on a Cross to die.

Dance, then, wherever you may be…


They cut me down and I leapt up high;

I am the life that’ll never, never die.

I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

Dance, then, wherever you may be…




On Christmas Night   

Ralph Vaughan Williams, an editor of the first Oxford Book of Carols, contributed to English musical life not only as composer of symphonies, but also as a collector of English traditional folk song. He noted this carol from Mrs. Verrall, of Monk’s Gate, Sussex in 1904. An older version of the text can be traced to Luke Wadding’s Smale Garland of Pious and Godly Songs, 1684. Since RVW’s text fits the tune a bit awkwardly, our current arrangement is for instruments alone.


Masters in this Hall

Masters in this Hall is a carol text by William Morris (1834-96) set to a French tune (“La Matelotte”). The tune is so similar to “Chrisimas Day” which follows, we are placing it before, as an introduction. Marin Marais included the original  ‘’La Matelotte” dance in his opera Alcyone, 1706.


Chrisimas Day

This little-known carol of nonsensical animal rhymes reflects the barnyard theme of the manger scene.  One easily imagines the singers dancing. Take this one home and make up your own additional verses!


There was a pig went out to dig,                                    There was a cow went out to plough…

            Chrisimas day, Chrisimas day,                     There was a sparrow went out to harrow…

            There was a pig went out to dig             There was a drake went out to rake…

            Chrisimas day in the morning.                     There was a crow went out to sow…

                                                                        There was a sheep went out to reap…



Gaudete, Christus est Natus

In the late sixteenth century, a student at the cathedral school of Turku, Theodoricaus Petri Nylandensis, gathered 74 cantiones (monophonic songs with sacred, nonliturgical texts) and published them in Greifswald as Piae Cantiones ecclesiasticae et scholasticae veterum episcoporum (1582). Although the tunes are modest, their simplicity appealed to the reformation sensibility. In today’s world, a similar taste for simple tunes in church has re-awakened an interest in the repertory of Piae Cantiones.


            Gaudete, Christus est natus                                Rejoice, Christ is born

            Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!                                  of the Virgin Mary, Rejoice!


Tempus adest gratiae                                         The time of grace has come

Hoc quod optab            amus.                                        for which we have prayed.

Carmina laetitiae                                                            A song of joy

Devote reddamus.                                             let us give back in devotion.

            Gaudete…                                                        Rejoice…


Deus homo factus est.                                       God is made man.

Natura mirante,                                                 While nature wonders.

Mundus renovatus est                                       The world is renewed

A Christo regnante.                                           by the reigning Christ .

            Gaudete…                                                        Rejoice…


Ezechielis porta                                                            The closed gate of Ezekiel

Clausa pertransitur.                                            has been passed through.

Unde lux est orta                                              Whence the light has risen

Salus invenitur.                                                 and salvation is found.

            Gaudete…                                                        Rejoice…


Ergo nostra cantio                                             Therefore let our song

Psallat jam in lustro.                                          now resound in a purification offering.

Benedicat Domino                                            Let it bless the Lord,

Salus Regi nostro                                              as a greeting to our King.

            Gaudete…                                                        Rejoice…           


Good King Wenceslas 

The tune, like “Gaudete” above, found in the collection of Finnish songs, Piae Cantiones 1582, was originally paired with Latin verse celebrating springtime (“Tempus adest floridum” ). J.M. Neale, who authored many carol texts and translated ancient hymns into English, first published “Good King Wenceslas” in Carols for Christmas-tide (1853-54).


Babe of Bethlehem     

Text and Tune: “Southern Harmony”, compiled by William Walker, Spartanburg, South Carolina; printed in New Haven, 1835. The tune appears throughout Appalachia and in Petrie’s Ancient Music of Ireland. The poem is by Walker himself, whose anthology sold over 600,000 copies in the Nineteenth Century.


Ye nations all, on you I call,                               On the same night a glorious light

Come hear this declaration,                               To shepherds there appeared,

And don’t refuse this glorious news,                  Bright angels came in shining flame,

Of Jesus and salvation.                                       They saw and greatly feared;

To royal Jews came first the news                      The angels said, “Be not afraid,

Of Christ the great Messiah,                               Although we much alarm you,

As was foretold by prothets old,                                    We do appear good news to bear,

Isaiah, Jeremiah.                                                 As now we will inform you.”


To Abraham the promise came,                                     “The city’s name is Bethlehem,

And to his seed forever,                                                In which God hath appointed,

A light to shine in Isaac’s line,                            This glorious morn a Savior’s born,

By scripture we discover;                                              For him God hath anointed;

Hail, promised morn, the Savior’s born,                         By this you’ll know, if you will go

The glorious Mediator—                                               To see this little stranger,

God’s blessed word made flesh and blood,        His lovely charms in Mary’s arms,

Assumed the human nature.                              Both lying in a manger.”


His parents poor in earthly store,                                   When this was said, straightway was made

To entertain the stranger                                               A glorious sound from heaven,

They found no bed to lay his head,                   Each flaming tongue an anthem sung,

But in the ox’s manger;                                      “To men a Savior’s given,

No royal things, as used by kings,                       In Jesus’s name, the glorious theme,

Were seen by those that found him,                  We elevate our voices,

But in the hay the stranger lay,                           At Jesus’ birth be peace on earth,

With swaddling bands around him.                    Meanwhile all heaven rejoices.”


Early Christmas Morning                   

Ronn McFarlane has conceived a “Early Christmas Morning” in the form of an almain which joyously conveys the mood of the holiday. Listen for the tin soldier in the middle of the piece!


Sellenger’s Round (Upon my Lap my Sov’reign Sits)

This sixteenth-century dance tune can be rendered in any tempo or meter with equal effect. Originally a robust Elizabethan circle dance,  ‘‘Sellenger’s Rounde’’ was set at one point as a lullaby to the Christ child, with a text by Richard Rowlands (c.1565 – 1630) which originally included 24 verses. Performed here instrumentally.


What Wondrous Love is This

A compelling folk spiritual from William Walker’s Southern Harmony, the 1835 anthology of American “shape-note“ settings that sold over 600,000 copies in it time, “Wond’rous Love”’, brings the ecstatic spirit of the nineteenth-century revival meeting to contemporary churches, concert halls and campfires alike.


What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul;                To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;

What wondrous love is this, O my soul;                               To God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM…    

What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss         While millions join the theme I will sing.

To bear the dreadful curse, for my soul, for my soul;   

To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.        


When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down…       And when from death I’m free I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on…

When I was sinking down beneath god’s righteous frown…     And when from death I’m free I’ll sing and joyful be…

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul.                                 And through eternity I’ll sing on.


Dadme albricias hijos d’Eva

The words and music of the following three familiar Spanish carols were published in Villancicos

de diversos autores, Venice 1556, a print now known as the “Cancionero de Upsala” after the

library where it presently resides.


Dadme albricias, hijos d’Eva                                          Hear my tidings, sons of Eve,          

Di de qué dártelas han.                                                  why should we make gifts to you?                             

Qu’es nascido el nuevo Adam.                                       The new son of Adam is born!          

¡Oh, hí de Dios, y qué nueva!                                         The Son of god — what news!         


Dádme las y haved plazer,                                              Hear and rejoice, for

pues esta noche es nascido                                            He was born this night,     

el Mexías prometído,                                                     the promised Messiah,        

Dios y hombre, de mujer.                                             God and the Son of woman.


Y su nacer nos releva                                                    His birth frees us  

del peccado y de su afan.                                                           from sin and anxiety:        

Ques nascido el nuevo Adam.                                       The new Son of Adam is born!         

¡Oh, hí de Dios, y qué nueva!                                         The Son of God — what news!

                        —trans. Sylvia Malagrino


Señores, el qu’es nascido

‘Señores, el qu’es nascido de virgen madre                                 Sirs, the one who was born from a virgin mother           

¡cómo parece a su padre!                                                           looks like His Father!


A du Madre en ser humano                                           He reminds us of his Mother

parece y en ser moderno.          because                                                He is human and modern,  

y a su Padre en ser eterno                                              and He reminds us of his Father because         

divino Dios soberano.                                                   He is sovereign God, divine and eternal.          


De aquesto el mundo está unfano con la madre              Thus the world is happy with the Mother                    

de Hijo de tan buen Padre.                                            the Son, and the Father.                            

                        —trans. Sylvia Malagrino


Ríu, ríu chíu

“Ríu, ríu chíu” was a traditional call of Spanish shepherds when guarding their flocks. Following the pastoral allusion, the Virgin Mary is depicted as their Ewe.


Ríu, ríu chíu, la guarda ribera,                                        ‘Riu, riu, chiu,’ the guard by the river:

Dios guardo el lobo de nuestra cordera.                                     God protected our Ewe from the wolf.  


El lobo rabioso la quiso morder,                                               The furious wolf tried to bite her,       

mas Dios poderoso la supo defender;                            but almighty God protected her well:   

Quiso le hazer que no pudiesse pecar,                           he made her in such a way that she could know no sin   

ni aun original esta Virgen no tuviera.                            a Virgin unstained by our first father’s fault.   

Ríu, ríu chíu…                                                               Riu, riu, chiu…  


Este qu’es nasçido es el gran monarca,                            This new-born Child is a mighty monarch,                  

Cristo patriarca de carne vestido;                                                the patriarchal Christ clothed in flesh;            

Hanos redimido con se hazer chiquito,                         He redeemed us by making himself tiny:                      

aunqu’era infinito, finito se hizera.                                 Although he was infinite, he made himself finite.           

Ríu, ríu chíu…                                                             Riu, riu, chiu…  


Muchas profeçias lo han profetizado,                             Many prophecies foretold his coming,

y aun en nuestros dias lo hemos alcançado.                    and now in our time we have seen them fulfilled.

A Dios humanado vemos en el suelo                             God became man—we see Him on Earth—

y al hombre en el cielo porqu’el le quisiera.                   and we see man in heaven because [God] loved him.

Ríu, ríu chíu…                                                               Riu, riu, chiu…  


Yo vi mil Garzones que andavan cantando,                     I saw a thousand men [angels] singing as they flew,       

por aqui bolando, haziendo mil sones,                           making a thousand sounds,

diziendo a gascones Gloria sea en el cielo,                     chanting to Basques: ‘Glory be in the heavens,  

y paz en el suelo pues Jesus nasçiera.                             and peace on Earth, now that Jesus is born!’                

Ríu, ríu chíu…                                                               Riu, riu, chiu

                        —trans. Rod Quiroz and José Lemos






Green Sleeves

No early music  Christmas program would be complete without the familiar “Greensleeves” tune, although the earliest words do not celebrate Christmas. Our set of variations, modified by the BC, is based on the 1707

Division Flute version published by  John  Walsh in London.


A Wassail, A Wassail throughout all this Town!

A folk carol, collected from “grand old Phil Tanner, before he died in a Gower [Wales] workhouse in 1947,”

(A.L. Lloyd, Folk Song in England, 1967), this wassail song sports a variation on the fa-la-la refrain.


A wassail, a wassail throughout all this town!       There’s master and mistress sit down by the fire,

Our cup it is white and our ale it is brown;        While we poor wassailers do wait in the mire;

Our wassail is made of good ale and true,                      So you, pretty maid, with your silver-headed pin,

Some nutmeg and ginger, the best we could brew.         Please open the door and let us come in.

Fol the dol, fol the doldy dol, fol the doldly dol,                 Fol the dol…

fol the doldy dee,    

Fol dairol lol the daddy, sing tooral aye do!       


Our wassail is made of an elderberry bough,      We know by the moon that we are not too soon;

And so, my good neighbour, we’ll drink unto thou.       We know by the sky that we are not too high;

Besides all on earth, you’ll have apples in store:  We know by the stars that we are not too far;

Pray let us come in for it’s cold by the door.      And we know by the ground that we are within sound

Fol the dol…                                                         Fol the dol…


We hope that your apple trees prosper and bear,            Here’s we jolly wassail boys growing weary and cold:

So we may have cider when we call next year;    Drop a bit of silver into our old bowl,

And where you’ve one barrel I hope you’ll have ten,      And if we’re alive for another new year,

So we can have cider when  we call again.          Perhaps we may call and see who do live here.

Fol the dol…                                                         Fol the dol…



Here We Come A-Wassailing 

The tune was “taught to Martin Shaw by his father, who had often heard it sung in the streets of Leeds in the

1850’s” (Oxford Book of Carols, 1928). This wassail can be traced back to 17th-century England, according to Ritson who quotes two verses in his Ancient Songs and Ballads, 1829. The words familiar to us today were first published by William Henry Husk in Songs of the Nativity, (London, 1864). We are performing it instrumentally, however.


Wassail! Wassail all over the Town!    

Collected in Gloucestershire at the beginning of the 20th century by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp, this lively wassail accompanied a ceremony recorded as early as the 1850’s in which carolers supplied the names of their own horses and cattle. A contemporary recipe for the Christmas pie (verse 3) calls for  pheasant, hare, chicken, or capon; with two partridges, two pidgeons and two conies.


Wassail! Wassail all over the town!                      And here is to Fillpail and to her left ear!

Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;       Pray God send our master a happy new year,

Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree:     And a happy new year as e’er he did see;

With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee!      With our wassailing-bowl we’ll drink to thee!


So here is to Cherry and to his right cheek!        And here is to Colly and to her long tail!

Pray god send our master a good piece of beef,             Pray God send our master he never may fail,

And a good piece of beef that we all may see;    A bowl of strong beer; I pray you draw near,

With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee!      And our jolly wassail it’s then you shall hear.


And here is to Dobbin and to his right eye!        Come, butler, come fill us a bowl of the best,

Pray God send our master a good Christmas pie,            Then we hope that your soul in heaven may rest;

And a good Christmas pie that we may all see;    But if you do draw us a bowl of the small,

With our wassailing-bowl we’ll drink to thee!     Then down shall go butler, bowl and all!


So here is to Broad May and to her broad horn! Then here’s to the maid in the lily-white smock

May god send our master a good crop of corn, Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock;

And a good crop of corn that we may all see;     Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin,

With the wassailing-bowl we’ll drink to thee!      For to let these jolly wassailers in.


In dulci Iubilo

This most ancient of Latin/German mixed-language (“macaronic”) hymns was sung by angels appearing in a vision to the Dominican monk, Heinrich Suso (c. 1295 – 1366), as is related by Suso himself in his autobiography. The account, in third person,  makes clear that it was danced: “…an angel came to the Servant [Suso]… and said that God sent him to bring heavenly joys, and he must cast off all sorrows, and must also dance with them in heavenly fashion… Then they drew the servant by the hand into the dance, and the angel began a joyous song about the infant Jesus, which runs thus: “In dulci jubilo” etc…. This dance was not of the kind that are danced on earth, but it was a heavenly movement, swelling up and falling back again into the wild abyss of God’s hiddenness.” (Quoted from the New Oxford Book of Carols, 1992.)


In dir ist Freude       

Having begun its existence as an international dance tune, this German chorale melody was known in England as Thomas Morley’s “Sing we and chant it” and in Italy as the setting of Gastoldi’s balletto A lieta vita (1591). The tune was among those chosen by J.S. Bach as a cantus firmus for an organ chorale-prelude.


In dir ist Freude in allem Leide,                                                 In you is joy in all sorrow,   

O du süsser Jesu Christ.                                                            O sweet Jesus Christ.         

Durch dich wir haben himmlische Gaben,                     Through you we have heavenly gifts,  

du der wahrer Heiland bist:                                           you who are the true saviour.           

Helfest von Schanden                                                   Help us from dishonor,       

rettest von Banden;                                                       deliver us from bondage.      

Wer dir vertrauet, hat wohl gebauet,                               He does well who believes in you        

wird ewig bleiben. Halleluja.                                         and will live forever. Alleluia!           


Wenn wir dich haben                                                   When we have you,           

kann uns nicht schaden:                                                            nothing can hurt us:         

Teufel, Welt, Sünd oder Tod;                                        Devil, world, sin, or death;   

du hasts in Händen                                                       you have in hand

kannst alles wenden                                                      and can turn all away       

wie nur heissen mag die Not.                                        if need arise.        

Drum wir dich ehren,                                                   Therefore we praise You      

dein Lob vermehren,                                                    and honor You.               

mit hellem Schalle freuen uns alle                                             With bright sounds we all rejoice       

zu dieser Stunde. Halleluja.                                            at this hour. Alleluia!        

                        —trans. anonymous


Peace  Be With You

The 20th-century country  dance caller and choreographer, Fried de Metz Herman,  devised a new  choreography for the early 18th-centur y country  dance  known as “Rigadoon Royal”and re-named it “Peace Be With You” in honor of the departure of her fellow country dancer from New York. In the same spirit, we  offer pax vobiscum to all, for the holidays and coming  year.


The Fairy Round (lute solo)

A galliard set to the lute by Antony Holborne, “gentleman and servant to her most excellent Majestie [Queen

Elizabeth I].”    


Sweet was the Song the Virgin Sung

In an Elizabethan lullaby, found in five sources either for voice with bass or as a consort song with three or four viols, Mother Mary sings to her babe, a “saviour born.” Lullabies to the Christ Child are particularly poignant because both the listener and Mary sense His ultimate martyrdom.


Sweet was the song the Virgin sung                   My son and eke a Saviour born,

When she to Bethlem Judah came,                     Which hath vouchsafed from on high

And was deliver’d of her Son,                                         To visit us that were forlorn.

That blessed jesus hath to name.                                    Lullulla, lullulla, lullullaby,

    Lulla, lulla, lulla, lullaby,                                Sweet Babe quoth she

    Lulla, lulla, lulla, lullaby,                                And rock’d him featly on her knee.

Sweet Babe, quoth she,             


Il est né, le divin Enfant!         

An “ancient hunting air” according to a source from mid 19th-century Lorraine, this tune was matched with words commanding shawm and bagpipe to praise the Christ child.


Il est né, le divin Enfant!                                                He is born, the divine Infant!

            Jouez, hautbois, résonnez, musettes!                   Play, oboes! Sound, musettes!

            Il est né, le divin Enfant!                                                He is born, the divine Infant!

            Chantons tous son avènement!                           Sing we all his coming!

Depuis plus de quatre mille ans                         For more than four thousand years

Nous le promettaient les prophètes;                   Prophets have foretold him,

Depuis plus de quatre mille ans                         For more than four thousand years

Nous attendions cet heureux temps.                  We have awaited this happy time.


            Il est né, le divin Enfant!…                                  He is born, the divine Infant!…

Ah! qu’il ist beau, qu’il est charmant!                   Ah! he is beautiful, he is delightful!

Ah! que ses grâces sont parfaites!                                    Ah! his charms are perfect!

Ah! qu’il est beau, qu’il est charmant!                  Ah! he is beautiful, he is delightful!

Qu’il est doux, ce divin Enfant!                         He is sweet, this divine Infant!


            Il est né, le divin Enfant!…                                  He is born, the divine Infant!…

O Jésus, O Roi tout-puissant,                             O Jesus, O King all-powerful,

Tout petit Enfant que vous êtes,                                    Little tiny Infant that you are,

O Jésus, O Roi tout-puissant,                             O Jesus, O King all-powerful,

Régnez sur nous entièrement!                           Reign over us completely!


Quelle est cette odeur agréable           

Fitted with words of a drinking song in Pills to Purge Melancholy (1719-20) and in The Beggar’s Opera (1728), this

popular theatrical tune also appears in use on the French stage at about the same time. As a noel in France, the melody serves as the setting for a miniature 17th-century Shepherd’s Play. It is performed here instrumentally.


Noël nouvelet!

Tracing back as far as the fifteenth century, this venerable French noël is mentioned in Rabelais’ Pantagruel (1532/3). The editors of the Oxford Book of Carols note that “the curious modal flavor derives from the quotation of the first five notes of the plainchant hymn Ave Maris stella.”


Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy;                     Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!

Dévotes gens, rendons à Dieu merci;                 Devout peoples, now give thanks to God;

Chantons Noël pour le Roi nouvelet:                 Let us sing Noël for the new-born King:

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!


Quand m’esveilly et j’eus assez dormy,               When I awoke from my sleep,

Ouvris mes yeux, vis un arbre fleury,                 Opening my eyes, I saw a flowering tree

Dont il issait un bouton vermeillet.                    from which issued forth a bright red bud.

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!


Quand je le vis, mon coeur fut resjouy              When I saw it, my heart rejoiced,

Car grande clarté resplendissait de luy,               for a great light shone therefrom,

Comme le soleil qui luit au matinet.                   like the sun that lights the morning sky.

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!


D’un oysillon après le chant j’ouy,                     A little bird I heard say to the shepherds,

Qui aux pasteurs disait: “Partez d’ici!                  Breaking off her song: “Leave this place!

En Bethléem trouverez l’agnelet!”                      In Bethlehem you will find the little Lamb!”

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!


En Bethléem, Marie et Joseph vy,                                   In Bethlehem I saw Mary and Joseph,

L’asne et le boeuf, l’Enfant couché parmy;         With the infant sleeping between the ox and ass;

La crèche était aulieu d’un bercelet.                   The manger took the place of a cradle.

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!


L’estoile vint qui le jour esclaircy,                                  Then came the star which shone like day,

Et la vy vien d’où j’estois départy                                   I saw it come from where I’d been,

En Bethléem les trois roys conduisaient.                        Leading the three kings to Bethlehem.

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!


L’un portait l’or, et l’autre myrrhe aussi,              One carried gold, the second myrrh,

Et l’autre encens, que faisait bon senty:               And the third incense, which made a fine scent:

Le paradis semblait le jardinet.                           The garden seemed like Paradise.

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël!


Et l’autre jour je songeais en mon lict                And the next day I dreamed on my bed

Que je voyais ung Enfant si petit                                   That I had seen a tiny child

Qui appelait Jésus de Nazareth.                          Who was called Jesus of Nazareth.

Noël nouvelet! Noël chantons icy!                               Noël nouvelet! sing we this new Noël


                                                                                    —translation by Alexander Blachly


The Baltimore Consort USA representative: Joanne Rile Artists Management, Inc.

Noble Plaza Suite 212, 801 Old York Road, Jenkintown, PA  19046         tel.215-885-6400

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Biographies of the Performers

Founded in 1980 to perform the instrumental music of Shakespeare’s time, the Baltimore Consort has explored early English, Scottish, and French popular music, focusing on the relationship between folk and art song and dance. Their interest in early music of English/Scottish heritage has also led them to delve into the rich trove of traditional music preserved in North America. Recently, they have developed a program of music from Renaissance Spain. Recordings on the Dorian label have earned them recognition as Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year (Billboard). Besides touring in the U.S. and abroad, they have often performed on such syndicated radio broadcasts as St. Paul Sunday, Performance Today, Harmonia and the CBC’s OnStage. They have also enjoyed many teaching residencies at K-12 schools, as well as at the Madison Early Music Festival and other university engagements.


Mary Anne Ballard researches many of the Consort’s programs. She also plays with Galileo’s Daughters, Brio and Fleur de Lys. Formerly, she directed or coached early music at the Peabody Conservatory, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she founded the Collegium Musicum and produced medieval music drama. She is now on the faculty of Oberlin’s summer Baroque Performance Institute. A resident of Indiana and New York City, she will music-direct the Play of Daniel for 75th Anniversary of the opening of The Cloisters Museum in New York this coming January 2013.


Mark Cudek is Director of the Early Music program at the Peabody Conservatory, and also Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Early Music Festival. In recognitioin of his work as Founder/Director of the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble and also the High School Early Music Program at the Interlochen Arts Camp, Mark received from Early Music Aerica the 2001 Thomas Binkley Award and the 2005 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Early Music Education. He has regularly performed with Apollo’s Fire, The Catacoustic Concort, and Hesperus, and, in his youth, worked as a café guitarist in the Virgin Islands.


José Lemos won the 2003 International Baroque Vocal Competition in Chimay, Belgium.  A native of Brazil and Uruguay, he has since appeared in operas across the globe: Tanglewood—Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Boston Baroque—Handel Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar), Zurich Opera—Giulio Cesare (Nireno) and Agrippina (Narciso), Buenos Aires—Monteverdi Poppea (Arnalta)), Seattle Early Music Guild—Poppea (Ottone), Göttingen Handel Festival—Giulio Cesare (Tolomeo), and in two operas at the Boston Early Music Festival—Lully Psyche (Silène), and Steffani’s Niobe  (Nerea). He has also performed with Wm. Christie’s Les Arts Florissants throughout Europe and at Lincoln Center, and in 2008 he sang the role of Darius in The Cloisters Play of Daniel.

This season, he has appeared with Opera de Nice in Scarlatti’s Tigrane, and Vlaamse Opera Ghent in Agrippina with Paul McCreesh.


Larry Lipkis is Composer-in-Residence and Director of Early Music at Moravian College in Bethlehem PA. His cello concerto, Scaramouche, appears on the Koch label, and his bass trombone concerto, Harlequin, was premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to rave reviews. The trilogy was completed when his bassoon concerto Pierrot was performed by the Houston Symphony. He has also served as Director of Pinewoods Early Music Week, and is currently a Music Director for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.  Larry often lectures on the topic of Bach and Rhetoric, speaking this past summer at an NEH course in Leipzig.


Ronn McFarlane has released over 25 CDs on Dorian, including solo collections, lute songs, Elizabethan lute music and poetry, and Baltimore Consort albums. Recently, in the tradition of the lutenist/composers of past centuries, Ronn has composed new music for the lute. These original compositions are the focus of his solo CD, Indigo Road, which received a Grammy Award Nomination in 2009. His newest CD release, One Morning, features “Ayreheart,” a new ensemble brought together to perform Ronn’s new music, and his most recent release is Two Lutes, Elizabethan lute duets with lutenist, William Simms.


Mindy Rosenfeld, a founding member of the Baltimore Consort whose playing graced our first decade, is also a long-time member of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Fluent in a wide range of musical styles, she plays both wooden and modern flutes in addition to recorders, whistles, crumhorns, and early harp. Mindy actively freelances on the West Coast and is Principal Flute at the Mendocino Music Festival in her hometown. The mother of five boys, she loves dancing and tending her organic garden at home on “The Boy Farm”.


Danielle Svonavec, soprano, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BS in mathmatics, 1999, and MM in Voice, 2003) where she now teaches voice.  While still a student, she stepped in on short notice as soloist for the Baltimore Consort’s nine-concert 1999 Christmas tour. Since then she has toured with the Consort and appeared with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Pomerium, the South Bend Chamber Orchestra, and the South Bend Symphony. She currently serves as the Cantor for the nationally televised mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, and recently began teaching Middle School music at the Trinity School Greenlawn in South Bend. Danielle lives with her husband and three daughters  on a farm near Goshen, Indiana.



Baltimore Consort  CDs on the DORIAN label

On the Banks of Helicon: Early Music of Scotland                 The Ladyes Delight: Music of Elizabethan England

Watkins Ale: Music of the English Renaissance                         The Mad Buckgoat: Ancient Music of Ireland

The Art of the Bawdy Song (with The Merry Companions)         Amazing Grace: Spiritual Folksongs of  Early America

Custer LaRue Sings The Dæmon Lover (traditional ballads)    The Best of the Baltimore Consort

La Rocque ‘n’ Roll: Popular Music of Renaissance France                       Adew Dundee: Early Music of Scotland

Bright Day Star: Music for the Yuletide Season                                     Gut, Wind, and Wire: Instruments of the Baltimore Consort

A Trip to Killburn: Playford Tunes and their Ballads                 The Baltimore Consort LIVE in Concert

Tunes from the Attic: An Anniversary Celebration                   Adío España: Romances, Villancicos, & Improvisations…circa 1500