LSM Newswire

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Musicians In Ordinary Ends Season With A Celebration of French Renaissance Poetry and Music

Photo: Adrian Le Roy



The gracefully melodious metre and magnificent language of French Renaissance poetry translate into a concert of elegant music to conclude The Musicians In Ordinary’s first decade.

Soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards perform musical setting of the great poets of 16thcentury France, Saturday, April 16, 8 p.m. at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue (Bay subway). Tickets, $25, $20 for students and seniors, are available at the door. Information is available, by e-mailing or by calling 416-535-9956.

A Sa Lyre features settings of such great poets as Mellin de Saint-Gelais (1491-1558), Clément Marot (1496-1544); and Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585), whom the French call the “Prince of Poets”, and whose work was championed by French kings, Elizabeth I of England, and Mary, Queen of Scots (who sent him gifts from prison). Their lines are immortalized in music by some of the best-known French composers of the age – among them Claudin de Sermisy (c. 1490-1560), Claude Goudimel (1510-1572), and the influential lutenist, composer and publisher Adrien Le Roy (c. 1520-1598).

The concert name takes its name from Ronsard’s use of “lute” and “lyre” interchangeably, depending on which better suited his rhyme scheme.

Rounding out the program are dances for lute from the country that was about to invent ballet. Lutenist John Edwards will play pavanes, galliards and basse dances from collections printed by Le Roy and Pierre Attaingnant.

Edwards describes the significance of music from French Renaissance: “Grace and passion come together in the French music and poetry of this time in a way that we still see in the French ballet hundreds of years later. The French gift for melody that we hear in Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte or a Poulenc or Fauré chanson is already there in these earliest of French art-song.”

Currently in their 10th season, The Musicians In Ordinary model themselves on the “musicians in ordinary for the lutes and voices” who serenaded the Stuart monarchs in their bed chambers. Both Fishel and Edwards perform and lecture widely, and delight in exploring old manuscripts in search of new programs to intrigue their audiences.

The Musicians In Ordinary’s season is supported by The Anglican Foundation, the Spem in Alium Fund in the Toronto Community Foundation, and individual donations.



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