April 26, 2013: CANÇONIER

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.

CANÇONIER Program Notes

Program Notes and Artist Biographies for Cançonièr “The Black Dragon – Music from the Time of Vlad Dracula” 


The fifteenth century was a time of remarkable change in music, as musical conventions and practices evolved from medieval to early Renaissance styles. It also was a time of major transitions in art, religion, politics, and technology. During this century, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, the printing press was invented, the Tudors took the crown of England, the Moors were expelled from southern Spain, Christopher Columbus sailed, Leonardo da Vinci was born and began to work, the Renaissance in Italy bloomed in full, and for a few years, a man who would become infamous ruled a small country called Wallachia in what is now southern Romania.

He was called Vlad Dracula (c.1431 – 1476). His father, Vlad II, adopted the name Dracul (“Dragon”) when he joined the Order of the Dragon, a chivalric order dedicated to crusading against the Turks in the Balkans. His son took the name Dracula, or “Son of the Dragon.” Dracula was, of course, partially the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic anti-hero, though he was no vampire. 

Read The Black Dragon: Music from the time of Vlad Dracula in PDF format, or continue on web:   

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Saturday, March 9, 2013 
Venezia dalle Calli ai Palazzi
8:00PM, Cullen Theater, Wortham Center
501 Texas Avenue

The ensemble’s Houston debut is presented in collaboration with Da Camera of Houston. Semi- staged in candlelight, the program of works by Claudio Monteverdi, Biagio Marini, Francesco Manelli and Benedetto Ferrari is a celebration of Venice in the Golden Age, when art music and popular forms came together and mingled, before emotion and language were restrained by rules and codes. 

Tickets available through our partner Da Camera of Houston


Tuesday, February 12, 2013 ARMONIA CELESTE



Tuesday, February 12, 2013 
Udite Amanti – Lovers Beware!
7:30PM, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church
6221 Main Street

 A pre-concert talk with ensemble members begins at 6:45 p.m. 


Download preview of program: Armonia Celeste Explores Love’s Perils

This up-and-coming group specializes in rarely heard music from the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque. In mid-17th-century Rome, the Barberini family was a great supporter of vocal chamber music. The program highlights Roman composers of the period, including Rossi, Carissimi and Cesti. To complete the historical picture, a copy of the famous Barberini harp, made for this prestigious family in 1635, will be played in this concert.

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Celebrate the Yuletide season with the engaging music of this dynamic group.With their always festive cornucopia of instruments—lute, cittern, viols, crumhorns, recorders, rebec and percussion—this virtuosic ensemble offers old carols and dance tunes from the British Isles, Germany, France, Spain and the New World.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


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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

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Photos from El Mundo concert, October 2012

Here are some photos (credit: by Donn Mumma) from the concert Friday, October 12, 2012, EL MUNDO, Richard Savino, Dir. The Kingdoms of Castille

Friday, October 12: The Kingdoms of Castille

Grammy-nominated ensemble El Mundo will kick off the Houston Early Music season with a program of 17th- and 18th-century Spanish, Italian and Latin American music at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church on Friday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. Part of the Hispanic Heritage Series, the program is titled “The Kingdoms of Castille” and will feature music from the group’s CD of the same name, nominated for a Grammy Award last year.

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