A fitting birthday tribute for England’s greatest baroque composer – England’s finest performing his songs and instrumental works. Fretwork, the viol consort, is joined by the radiant voice of mezzo-soprano Clare Wilkinson.
Fortune’s Wheel: making music from the far past seem like it was wrriten yesterday
By CHARLES WARD, January 13, 2008
…. But the Fortune’s Wheel singers – Lydia Heather Knutson, Aaron Sheehan and Shira Kammen – perfromed as if the Medieval English style had become their primarily musical language. Their simple communication with the audience made the essentially unfamiliar music as appealing as the Three Bs. Kammen, on the harp, and Mealy, on the fiddle, added sinuous accompaniments. ….
Read the full review
NOTES ON THE PROGRAM
All medieval music is glimpsed from a great distance, but no repertory is so hard to see as that of England in the middle ages. Where France had a tradition of lyric song that lasted long enough for thousands of songs to be enshrined in manuscripts, the music we have from England of the same period is scattered and faint: much was destroyed when the monasteries were taken over by the state in the Renaissance, and much more has suffered from the ravages of time. What has come down to us, though, speaks in astonishingly vivid voices.
4:00 PM, Sun., Jan.13, 2008
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1015 Holman (at Main) [map]
Pre-concert lecture, 3:00 PM
MIRIE IT IS – A Musical Glimpse of Medieval England
Houston Early Music will present the Boston-based Fortune’s Wheel with Mirie it Is–A Glimpse of Medieval England at 4:00 pm, Sunday, January 13, 2008 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1015 Holman (at Main). Noted for performing “with a wonderful air of spontaneity and freedom” (The San Diego Reader), Fortune’s Wheel will present a concert of most of the surviving vernacular treasures from the once vast, now largely lost repertoire of the English Middle Ages.
Fortune’s Wheel is a spirited collaboration of four distinguished early-music performers—vocalists Lydia Heather Knutson and Aaron Sheehan, and instrumentalists Shira Kammen & Robert Mealy performing on vielle (medieval fiddle) and harp. Devoted to rediscovering the riches of medieval musical traditions, the ensemble made its debut at the 1996 International Festival of Early Music in Mexico City, where critics acclaimed the group’s “style, diction, tuning, perfect balance, and total engagement with the music.” Since then, the ensemble has been presented by early music concert series in San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Tijuana, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Houston, Jackson, Tucson, Columbus, Cambridge, and Duke University. They have also appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkeley Early Music Festival, the Amherst Early Music Festival, The Cloisters and the Frick Collection in New York City, Yale University’s Collection of Musical Instruments, and many other series.
Fortune’s Wheel released its first CD, Pastourelle, on Dorian Recordings. Website www.fortuneswheel.org
Prior to the concert, at 3:00 pm, ensemble member Robert Mealy will give a preconcert talk discussing the music to be performed on the 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.
MIRIE IT IS – A Glimpse of Medieval England
4:00 pm, Sun., January 13, 2008
Trinity Episcopal Church 1015 Holman (at Main)
From the rough vigor of folk music to the refined sophistication of rarely-heard polyphony, Fortune’s Wheel presents most of the surviving vernacular treasurers from the once vast, now largely lost repertoire of the English Middle Ages.
“Fortune’s Wheel takes its medieval music seriously and then transforms the music at hand and voice into living, breathing art”
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Darke is My Delight — English Music from the Reign of Elizabeth IMonday, November 6, 2006 at 8pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
1015 Holman (at Main)
Preconcert talk at 7pm?Kate Pogue, Houston actor, playwright, producer, director and author of Shakespeare’s Friends.
Houston Early Music will present Flanders Recorder Quartet with soprano Susan Hamilton in a concert of seventeenth-century English music from the reign of Elizabeth I. Playing recorders from their collection of 150 instruments, the Belgian ensemble will perform compositions by Byrd, Morley, Dowland and Ferrabasco with texts by Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. The performance will be at 8:00 p.m., Monday, November 6 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1015 Holman (at Main).