¡Cancionero! – Houston Chronicle Review

By CHARLES WARD – Houston Chronicle

….Brazilian-Uruguayan countertenor José Lemos sang with appealing simplicity and directness. With a smooth sound that served the music, he could twist listeners around a vocal finger with sensuous melodies or, aided by the instrumentalists, make them fidget with energy.

Playing a wide variety of flutes, recorders, strummed and bowed string instruments (the crumhorn was ailing and couldn’t be used), the Consort had great fun producing spirited, polished music for the large audience in Midtown’s First Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is slowly becoming a location for performances of liturgical and early music as part of its overall rejuvenation.

Consort members noted that the ensemble is now in its 28th year of touring, but one took a moment to congratulate Houston Early Music on its 40th anniversary (it previously was known as the Houston Harpsichord Society). Because of the group, Houston has become a key stop for touring early-music performers, he said.

More at The dark side of ¡Cancionero! | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Schütz choir to offer new early-music venue

Feb. 8, 2008, By CHARLES WARD /  Houston Chronicle

Houston’s early-music scene is getting another major boost with the founding of the Heinrich Schütz Choir of Texas.

Based at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Midtown, the new ensemble debuts on April 20 with a Vesper service featuring Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien, an hour-plus work considered the composer’s most important funeral music. Allen Hightower, director of choral activities at Sam Houston State University, will conduct. The initial concert will feature 24 singers, period instruments and other works of Schütz.

more … Schütz choir to offer new early-music venue | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Concert: MADCAP, RED PRIEST AND ANGEL

JOHN HOLLOWAY, VIOLIN JAAP TER LINDEN, CELLO LARS ULRIK MORTENSEN, HARPSICHORD

MADCAP, RED PRIEST AND ANGEL

8:00 pm, Fri., Apr. 11, 2008
St. Philip Presbyterian Church 4807 San Felipe
Pre-concert Lecture at 7:00 pm

Baroque violinist John Holloway, cellist Jaap ter Linden and harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen, three of the greatest names on the international early music scene, will return to Houston for a performance sponsored by Houston Early Music on April 11.  The trio will perform a French/Italian-themed program titled Madcap, Red Priest and Angel which features violin sonatas by Corelli, Veracini (Madcap) and Leclair (said to have played like an angel), a Vivaldi (Red Priest) cello sonata and a Couperin harpsichord sonata.  The performance will be at St. Philip Presbyterian Church, 4807 San Filipe.

John Holloway is one of the pioneers of the early music movement. His extensive work as leader of the London Classical Players and his years with noted early music ensembles (including the Academy of Ancient Music, Les Arts Florissants, and the Freiburger Barockorchester) established him as a major voice in authentic performance.  Holloway is currently Professor of Violin (modern and baroque) and Chamber Music at the Hochschule für Musik in Dresden.

As one of the first early music specialists, Jaap ter Linden witnessed the beginnings of many of the oldest and finest baroque ensembles; he co-founded of Musica da Camera and served as principal cellist of Musica Antiqua Köln, The English Concert and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.  He is highly sought as a soloist and conductor for both modern and period-instrument ensembles around the world.

Noted Danish harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen has a career as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, North and South America and Japan. He appears regularly with soprano Emma Kirkby.  His recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations won him a Diapason d’Or. He is the artistic director of Concerto Copenhagen, and appears regularly directing opera at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.

At 7:00PM, Dr. Gregory Barnett, assistant professor of musicology at Shepherd School of Music, Rice University will give a lecture on the evening’s program.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors, $10 for students, under 15 free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling 713-432-1744. 

Houston Early Music is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Viols in Our Schools Brings Early Music to Houston Area Schools

Below is information on upcoming school collaborative performances for the education initiative in ‘Viols in Our Schools’, a pilot-program of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and organized by Phillip W. Serna of the Spirit of Gambo – a Chicago Consort of Viols:

April 10, 2008, Residency at the High School at the Performing and Visual Arts
Lecture Performances about early stringed instruments (specifically viols/ violas da gamba) for music & history students

April 11, 2008, Residency at Johnston Middle School
Lecture Performances about early stringed instruments (specifically viols/ violas da gamba) for music & history students

For more information see http://violsinourschools.org/

Focusing on Music, History (European History) and English (Music of Shakespeare’s time) classes. A pilot program for the Viola da Gamba Society of America and the Spirit of Gambo, a Chicago Consort of Viols, ‘Viols in Our Schools’ focuses on bringing early strings to the classroom setting. With the viola da gamba/ viol’s connection to the evolution of the guitar (via the lute), it is an ideal instrument to introduce earlier repertoire to guitar classes, while it’s frequent use in the madrigal repertoire and use as a continuo instrument makes the viol an ideal for demonstrating to choral classes as well as to music theory and history classes. In addition to music programs, ‘Viols in Our Schools’ demonstrates early European music to European history classes, as well as English/ Literature classes focusing on Elizabethan/ Shakespearen England. You can visit ‘Viols in Our Schools’ at http://www.violsinourschools.org/.

An invitation from Ars Lyrica: " A Marian Feast"

Houston Early Music wishes to call your attention to an upcoming musical event in the Houston community:

WHAT:
ARS LYRICA HOUSTON PRESENTS A MARIAN FEAST

WHEN:
SATURDAY, MARCH 1, 2008 at 7:30 PM

WHERE:
Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
800 Bagby
Houston, Texas 77002

TICKETS: 
Hobby Center at 713.315.252 or www.thehobbycenter.org, $25 general, $20 seniors, $15 student/group rates

A Marian Feast

Alessandro Scarlatti, the Neapolitan master of the opera and oratorio, has long been an Ars Lyrica favorite. This program juxtaposes his “Stabat Mater” (Mary’s lament at the crucifixion) with an oratorio on her immaculate conception (recorded by Ars Lyrica and soon to be released on Naxos!).

More at Ars Lyrica

Concert: BALTIMORE CONSORT

If you have difficulty reading this in email, please see our website
http://www.houstonearlymusic.org/archives/79

Houston Early Music

presenting 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. Experience with us early music played on original instruments,
by musicians reviving
performances of the past.

Hispanic Heritage Series

 Baltimore Consort

BALTIMORE CONSORT

¡CANCIONERO! Romances, Villancicos & Improvisations of Spain, circa 1500

8:00 pm, Sat., FEB. 23, 2008
First Evangelical Lutheran Church
1311 Holman (at Caroline)

Please see our web site for more information on our next concert, including program notes and selections

The Baltimore Consort returns to Houston on Saturday, Feburary 23, 2008, presented by Houston Early Music as the annual offering of the organization’s Hispanic Heritage Series. Joined by the exciting young countertenor José Lemos, the popular ensemble will perform a program entitled ¡CANCIONERO! Romances, Villancicos & Improvisations of Spain, Circa 1500. The performance will be at 8:00 PM at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman (at Caroline).

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. recordings on the Dorian label have earned them recognition as Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year (Billboard), as well as rave reviews elsewhere. Besides touring in the U.S. and abroad, they often perform 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.

The winner of the 2003 International Baroque Vocal Competition in Chimay, Belgium, Jose Lemos has appeared in opera roles at Tanglewood (Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2004) and with Boston Baroque (Giulio Cesare). In 2005, he performed in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Cecilia Bartoli at the Zürich Opera under Marc Minkowski, and in 2006 was Arnalta in Monteverdi’s Poppea in Buenos Aires. This year he has sung roles in Seattle (Poppea), at the Göttingen Handel Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, and with Wm. Christie’s Les Arts Florissants throughout Europe and at Lincoln Center.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors, $10 for students, under 15 free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling 713-432-1744.

Houston Early Music is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

BALTIMORE CONSORT: 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. Recordings on the Dorian label have earned them recognition as Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year (Billboard), as well as rave reviews elsewhere. Besides touring in the U.S. and abroad, they often perform 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. Continue reading

Baltimore Consort: Program Notes

Notes on the Program

Today’s concert takes us on a musical journey through the fascinating intercultural history of late 15th century Spain. For nearly eight centuries, Muslims and Christians lived together on the Iberian Peninsula through alternating periods of peace and conflict. There were large Jewish communities in the Christian kingdoms of Castille, Aragon, and Navarre, as well as in the Moorish caliphates of al’Andalus. Paintings from the court of Alfonso X depict Christian, Jewish, and Arabic musicians playing together. Continue reading

BALTIMORE CONSORT Program Selections

PROGRAM

Morena me llaman Anonymous Sephardic
Avrix me galanica Anonymous Sephardic

La Spagna Anonymous 15th c.
Recercada La Spagna (Trattado de Glosas, 1553) Diego Ortiz
Danza Alta (Cancionero de Palacio, ca.1505) Francisco de la Torre

¿Qu’es de ti, desconsolado? (Cancionero de Palacio) Juan del Encina (1468-1529)
Levanta, Pascual (Cancionero de Palacio) Encina
Ora baila tú (Cancionero de Palacio) Anonymous
Calabaça, No sé, buen amor (Cancionero de Palacio) Anonymous

Continue reading