Press Release: Cançonièr closes Houston Early Music season with Dracula program
Friday, April 26, 2013
The Black Dragon: Music from the time of Vlad Dracula
7:30PM, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church
6221 Main Street
A pre-concert talk with ensemble members will begin at 6:45 p.m.
The San Francisco-based ensemble’s program features 15th-century music from the time of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, whose tyrannical rule shocked Europe. Ensemble member Shira Kammen is known by many in the area from her early-music performances in Houston. The program features the Lamentation for the Fall of Constantinople by Dufay, French and Italian dance music, German songs, Balkan folk songs, and more.
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Cançonièr closes Houston Early Music season with Dracula program
Friday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
HOUSTON, TX – March 20, 2013 – San Francisco quartet Cançonièr will close the Houston Early Music season with a program titled “The Black Dragon: Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula” at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church on Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. The program features 15th-century music from the time of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, whose tyrannical rule shocked Europe.
Vlad III (1431-1476) was posthumously dubbed “the Impaler” for his habit of impaling members of the invading Ottoman army on stakes whenever he encountered them in battle. A member of the House of Dracula, he was fierce in defending his homeland against the expanding Ottoman Empire. He reputedly impaled tens of thousands of marauding soldiers, but his connection to vampirism is entirely the invention of “Dracula” author Bram Stoker.
Cançonièr’s concert will focus on music from the many cultures known to Prince Vlad. There will be French and Italian dance music, German songs, Balkan folk songs, Turkish classical music, Byzantine secular and sacred works, Dufay’s “Lamentation on the Fall of Constantinople” and more. A highlight will be a 15th-century poem about Vlad, set by Cançonièr member Tim Rayborn to a Medieval tune.
Besides Rayborn, who contributes percussion, psaltery and oud, the group includes Shira Kammen, a vielle and harp player who has performed in Houston before, though not with Cançonièr, which is making its debut in the city. Phoebe Jevtovic is the group’s main vocalist, though the other members also sing, and she plays bells as well. Annette Bauer, who usually performs with the group, will be replaced for this concert by Piffaro’s Tom Zajac, who will play recorders and sackbut.
Most of the music on the program comes from the group’s 2010 CD of the same name. A review of the CD in the spring 2011 issue of Early Music America magazine called the performance “exquisite.” The reviewer, Karen Cook, wrote “the upbeat selections are vibrant, playful, and exciting; the slower or more sacred pieces are sorrowful, delicate, and moving. An incredible amount of textural and timbral variety is present.”
Cançonièr seeks to inform as well as entertain, and the group’s concerts are spiced with fascinating historical anecdotes, and a healthy dash of humor.
Cançonièr will present “The Black Dragon: Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula” on Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, 6221 Main St., Houston, Texas 77030. A pre-concert talk with ensemble members will begin at 6:45 p.m.
Exploring history through music is a Houston Early Music hallmark. The group presents the world’s finest period ensembles and soloists, bringing to life music from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the Baroque and Classical periods and providing unique programming and concerts performed with historical instruments and styles true to the period.
Individual tickets are available at
and are $35, $30 for seniors, and $10 for students, and admission is free for children under 15. For more information, email
or call 281-846-4222.
Friday, April 26, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Cançonièr — The Black Dragon: music from the time of Vlad Dracula
Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church
6221 Main Street
Houston, TX 77030
MORE ABOUT HOUSTON EARLY MUSIC
As the city’s only organization dedicated to covering the large historical span of early music in all of its forms, Houston Early Music epitomizes a movement that has swept the world of classical music. Officially incorporated in 1969, the nonprofit provides performance opportunities for up-and-coming and major early music artists from around the world in an annual concert series. A successful and growing educational outreach program introduces a future generation to a broad range of music. Houston Early Music is funded in part by grants from Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and Houston Endowment.
Susan Love Fitts
Susan Love Fitts Communications Inc.