2012-13 Season Opener
THE MUSICIANS IN ORDINARY SALUTE HENRY PRINCE OF WALES,
THE MAN WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN KING, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6
Four hundred years ago, England deeply mourned the death of a philosophical, music-loving prince who might have been a brilliant king and spared the country grief and bloodshed.
The Musicians In Ordinary open their 2012-13 season with music commemorating the life and untimely death of Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), Saturday, October 6, 8 p.m. at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue (Bay subway). Titled His Perfections Like the Sunbeams, the concert features MIO’s soprano Hallie Fishel and John Edwards on theorbo, along with Christopher Verrette, violin; and Justin Haynes, viola da gamba.
History and poetry often add context to MIO’s featured music. About the October 6 concert, John Edwards comments, “Henry, the eldest son of James I, was the best king Britain never had. Had he not died of typhoid at age 18, his hapless brother Charles would not have come to the throne, blundered into the English Civil War, and lost his head.”
A talented young man, Henry surrounded himself with the latest avant-garde musicians. Among them were the composers included in the concert – English-born Alfonso Ferrabosco II; Angelo Notari, an Italian composing in the new Baroque style; Giovanni Coprario, originally John Cooper, who wrote in a quite English style; and Robert Johnson, who also composed for Shakespeare’s plays.
“The poets Thomas Campion and John Donne commemorated Henry’s passing with elegies,” says Edwards. “MIO marks the 400th anniversary of Henry with music by his household musicians.” Songs written and composed by Campion are included in the October 6 concert.
The Musicians In Ordinary round out their 12th season with concerts of Italian and French music, and their annual New Year’s Day event. Details are as follows:
A New Year’s Day Concert – Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 2 p.m. & Wednesday, January 2, 8 p.m.: MIO’s annual concert of Baroque cantatas and sonatas has become a Toronto tradition. Joining Hallie Fishel, soprano, and John Edwards, theorbo, are violinists Christopher Verrette and Edwin Huizinga, with Philip Fournier on keyboards.
You Who Hear These Scattered Rhymes (or) The Varied Styles in which I Speak – Saturday, March 2, 8 p.m. – Baroque settings of the great Italian poets, Petrarch, Tasso, Marino and Guarnieri.
John Edwards states, “Vincenzo Galilei was as clever with music as his son turned out to be with a telescope.” Galilei observed, “The most important and principal part of music is the imitation of the concepts of the words” and that the best musicians would discern “the man infuriated or excited, the married woman, the clever harlot, the lover speaking to his mistress as he seeks to persuade her to grant his wishes, the man who laments…” These characters and more, given words by the greatest poets of all ages, and given voice by Monteverdi, Caccini, Sigismondo d’India and others, make their appearances, as Hallie Fishel sings and John Edwards plays theorbo.
French Cantatas Mixed With Symphonies – Saturday, April 27, 8 p.m. – Cantatas by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Clerambault and instrumental music by Marais and others.
In his book of Cantates françoises melées de symphonies, published in 1708, André Campra claimed to have “mixed with the delicacy of French music, the vivacity of Italian.” All composers of French cantata sought to meld the elegance of the Sun King’s court with the exuberance of the Italian Baroque in both the vocal and instrumental (the “symphonies” of the title) sections. The performance unites Hallie Fishel, soprano and John Edwards, theorbo, with guests Christopher Verrette, violin; Philip Fournier, harpsichord and Justin Haynes, viola da gamba.
Named after the singers and lutenists who performed in the most intimate quarters of the Stuart monarchs’ palace, The Musicians In Ordinary for the Lutes and Voices dedicate themselves to the performance of early solo song and vocal chamber music. Soprano Hallie Fishel and lutenist John Edwards have been described as “winning performers of winning music.” A fixture on the Toronto early music scene for over 10 years, they have concertized across North America and lecture regularly at universities and museums. Institutions where MIO have performed range from the scholarly to those for a more general public and include the Renaissance Society of America, Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies, Grinnell College, the Universities of Alberta and Toronto, the Kingston Opera Guild, Syracuse, Trent and York Universities, and the Bata Shoe Museum. They have been Ensemble in Residence at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.
CHRISTOPHER VERRETTE has been a member of the violin section of Tafelmusik since 1993 and is a frequent soloist and leader with the orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University and contributed to the development of early music in the American Midwest as a founding member of the Chicago Baroque Ensemble and Ensemble Voltaire, and as a guest director with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. He collaborates with many ensembles around North America, performing music from seven centuries on violin, viola, rebec, vielle and viola d’amore. He was concertmaster for a recording of rarely heard classical symphonies for an anthology soon to be released by Indiana University Press, and most recently collaborated with Sylvia Tyson on the companion recording to her novel, Joyner’s Dream.
JUSTIN HAYNES studied cello and viola da gamba at Harvard and the Royal Dutch Conservatory under Philippe Pierlot, Anneke Pols and Reiner Zipperling. Currently based in Toronto, he has performed with Folia, Scaramella, Tafelmusik and Opera Atelier, as well as with the Boston-based Arcturus Chamber Ensemble and Les Bostonades. He is also a founding member of the baroque chamber ensemble, L’Indiscrete. Justin’s interest in the viol includes the history and construction of the instrument itself. After making the viol he currently plays on, he was awarded a Shaw traveling fellowship to study instrument making in London and explore the great Northern European viol collections. He maintains an atelier in Boston, where he is curator of Harvard’s historical instrument collection.
Labels: The Musicians In Ordinary