….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
By CHARLES WARD — Houston Chronicle
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
JOHN HOLLOWAY, VIOLIN JAAP TER LINDEN, CELLO LARS ULRIK MORTENSEN, HARPSICHORD
MADCAP, RED PRIEST AND ANGEL8:00 pm, Fri., Apr. 11, 2008 St. Philip Presbyterian Church 4807 San Felipe Pre-concert Lecture at 7:00 pmBaroque 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.
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/.
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
More at Ars Lyrica
A Marian FeastAlessandro 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!).
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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
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