Baltimore Consort Website

Sunday, April 24th, 2016, 4:00 PM

The Food of Love—Songs, Dances and Fancies for Shakespeare
Pre-concert talk at 3:15 PM
First Christian Church,
1601 Sunset Blvd., 77005

baltimore small

Perennial Houston audience favorite, The Baltimore Consort offers a fascinating program of sixteenth century English music commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death in 1616. Courtly and popular songs and dances of the day are interspersed with the music referenced in Shakespeare’s plays, performed by vocalists, plucked strings, viola da gamba and Renaissance wind instruments.

Shakespeare’s plays contain hundreds of musical references, including incidental music such as dances and fantasies (fancies), as well as songs written by the playwright and other authors of his time.

The program draws from 10 Shakespeare plays, including “The Tempest,” “As You Like It,” “Twelfth Night,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “A Winter’s Tale,” “Hamlet,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Othello,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Henry IV, Part II.”

Among the highlights are famous Shakespeare songs like “Where The Bee Sucks,” sung by Ariel in “The Tempest” and based on a melody written by Robert Johnson, who wrote a number tunes for which the Bard provided the lyrics. There are also tangentially related songs such as “The Carman’s Whistle,” which is mentioned by Falstaff in “Henry IV, Part II” but never sung in any of the plays.

Other highlights include well-known folk songs like “Greensleeves” and lesser-known pieces such as the broadside ballad “Complain My Lute.” Dances range from lively jigs and galliards to statelyalmans, several of them by John Dowland.

Baltimore Consort Commemorates Shakespeare 400th in Houston

Baltimore Consort

The Baltimore Consort Commemorates Shakespeare 400th in Houston

Perennial favorite The Baltimore Consort will return to Houston Early Music on April 24, 2016, with a program titled “The Food of Love: Songs, Dances and Fancies for Shakespeare,” featuring music connected with Shakespeare’s plays to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death in 1616. Continue reading

The Orlando Consort — Apr. 1

Orlando Consort Website

In collaboration with Da Camera of Houston
Friday, April 1st, 2016, 8:00 PM

Voices Appeared: Silent Cinema and Medieval Music
Pre-concert lecture with Donald Grieg of Orlando Consort and Da Camera Artistic Director Sarah Rothenberg at 7:15 PM
Cullen Theatre,The Wortham Center,
500 Texas Ave., 77002


The Orlando Consort returns to Houston with the soundtrack for Carl Dryer’s 1928 cinematic masterpiece La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc.The acclaimed British vocal ensemble performs music drawn from the period depicted in the film, the early fifteenth century – plainchant, antiphons and motets, including works by Binchois and Dufay. (This concert is offered in our regular season subscription packages. Single tickets are available from Da Camera of Houston, 713-524-5050 or

From the Da Camera website:

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc is widely recognized as a silent film masterpiece, regularly appearing on lists of the top ten greatest films ever made. The world-renowned vocal ensemble Orlando Consort present an entirely new, carefully crafted soundtrack of music from the era in which the film is set. The intricate beauty of 15th-century works by Binchois and Dufay, together with animated motets and haunting plainsong, amplify the poignant depiction of medieval France. Dreyer’s portrayal of Joan of Arc is a film of extraordinary power, delivering an emotional experience that resonates as strongly today as it did in the 1920’s.

“a unique and compelling atmosphere… a vast contrast of sounds, some lively and joyful, others dramatic and fierce, fortified by the sonorous bass of guest singer Robert Macdonald…illuminating, accessible and overwhelmingly beautiful.” –

“The Orlando Consort’s performances are simultaneously ravishing and reverential.” — Los Angeles Times
“So extraordinary and otherworldly is this film’s power, you could believe you were watching the actual trial of Joan of Arc.” — The Guardian



A main-stage concert of the 2016 Houston Early Music Festival
Sunday, February 14th, 2016, 4:00 PM

Ay me sospiri – Love Letters from the Italian Renaissance
Pre-concert talk at 3:15 PM
First Evangelical Lutheran Church,
1311 Holman St., 77004


What a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Lucidarium will sonically embrace you with a splendid musical concert of love in the Italian Renaissance tradition. The ensemble vocalists are joined by period winds, plucked instruments, percussion, hammer dulcimer and viola da gamba in the poetry and music of the late 15th to mid-16th centuries. 

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Lucidarium Brings Renaissance Valentine’s Day Program to Main Stage of Houston Early Music Festival

A program of music devoted to love, on Valentine’s Day

Swiss early-music ensemble Lucidarium will present “Ay me sospiri – Love Letters from Renaissance Italy,” a program of music devoted to love, on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church as part of the Houston Early Music series. The concert also serves as a main-stage event for the 2016 Houston Early Music Festival.

“Throughout history, song and love have been an inseparable pair,” said Lucidarium co-director Francis Biggi. “ ‘Ay me sospiri’ is a program dedicated to love in the bustling cities of Renaissance Italy, where life was an intense experience full of constantly changing sights, sounds and smells.”

Featured on the program is music exploring love in its many guises from the streets and courts of 15th- and 16th-century Italy. One song talks about burning up with the flames of passion, another voices despair at being scorned by a once-passionate lover, while a third ponders whether suicide is the only answer to an unrequited love. Continue reading

Happiest of Holidays from Houston Early Music

Dear Houston Early Music Lover!

Happiest of Holidays!

And thank you for your continued interest and support of Early Music in Houston. It is an honor to present the world’s best early music ensembles to our great city.  It is also an honor to continue our commitment to the next generation of performers and audiences through our citywide outreach projects. Continue reading

CHATHAM BAROQUE — Dec. 5 — Christmas music from Spain and the New World

Hispanic Heritage Series
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 7:30 PM

Cantadas de Navidad
Pre-concert talk at 6:45 PM
Christ Church Cathedral,
1117 Texas Ave., 77002


Don’t miss this marvelous ensemble’s anticipated return to the Houston Early Music stage with a joyous Christmas program featuring the music of Spain and the New World. Works by Juan Gutierrez de Padilla, Santiago de Murcia, Gaspar Sanz and Ignacio Jerusalem are highlighted by vocals, violins, plucked instruments and percussion.The trio will be joined by soprano Nell Snaidas, countertenor Jose Lemos and percussionist Danny Mallon.

Preview the Program | Read the Program Notes

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Cantatas de Navidad Program Notes

Concert: CHATHAM BAROQUE — Christmas music from Spain and the New World

Program Notes

Chatham Baroque has regularly performed Spanish and Latin American Baroque music for most of our twenty-five history. During that time, as we have perused through collections of music from Colonial Mexico, Guatemala, or Peru, we noticed that there was always a good deal of music for Christmasmuch more, in fact, than in Baroque Europe. While there are several monumental pieces from European countries during the Baroque, such as Schützs Weihnachtshistorie (Christmas Story) or J. S. Bachs Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), as well as assorted French nöels, Italian cantate pastorale, and English carols, these do not necessarily form a central part of the repertoire of the composers who wrote them.   Continue reading