Saturday, 11th May, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm.
"Ovet Mundus Letabundus" English polyphonic music from the 14th century, fortunately saved from destruction during the English Reformation.
"Questa fanciulla amor" by Francesco Landini. A love-song set for Cantus, Contra-tenor and Tenor (SAT), in ballate form.
"Jouissance vous Donneray" Before playing Willaert's version in 5 parts, we played through the 4 part setting by Sermisy, noting the verse lines and their melody and then listening for them in Willaert's elaboration.
Fantasia a 4 by Alfonso Ferabosco the Younger
"Canzon Dopo la Pistoia" by G. Frescobaldi
An enthusiastic if slightly smaller band than usual. Thank you to Pat for excellent commentary and guiding us through this interesting music.
On March 24th, twenty enthusiastic recorder players enjoyed a wonderful day exploring medieval music under the expert guidance of Debra Nagy. Debra is a performer on recorders, double reeds and voice, and director of the period instrumental group Les Délices. She also performs with, amongst others, the vocal groups TENET and Blue Heron. She has a deep knowledge of medieval music and the ability to explain its intricacies to those of us less familiar with that period.
After a break for much-needed coffee and goodies, we moved on to some of the different forms commonly found in 14th century music, such as the virelai (which is played or sung ABBAA, with the first verse sung to part A, the second and third to part B, the fourth to part A, finishing up with the first verse being sung again), the rondeau and the ballade. We also identified more intervals and cadences and looked at where and why musica ficta (those accidentals written above the note) might be added. This led us into a brief discussion of mean and Pythagorean tuning and the difference between tuning and temperament, after which we definitely needed a lunch break to clear our heads.
In the afternoon, we looked at three virelai dances. Two of these existed as a one-line melody from the 14th century, and we also played 3-part arrangements written by Debra.
The day concluded with a master-class in which three brave soloists (including Aniko Takacs-Cox, pictured below) and an ensemble each played a piece of their choosing followed by Debra's comments and suggestions.
Survey draw Christina Schmidr won the draw for a free membership after completeing the BCRS member survey. Congratulations, Christina.
DIVISIONS! We started with Juan del Encina's “Triste Espana”. Deborah played a vocal version of this soulful piece and then we played a version with written out divisions for the soprano line. Next followed Pierre Phalèse's “La Parma”. Deborah invited everyone to try ornamenting their line in the repeated bars. This produced some unexpected harmonies and syncopations as well as some very satisfying ornaments. After the break we tried our hand at dancing the "Maltese Bransle". Then with the rhythm and phrasing firmly fixed we played the piece, adding divisions ad lib. and going faster and faster until fingers and tongues collapsed. 18 people attended.
J.S.Bach "Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme" (SATB)
J. Brahms "Ach, arme Welt, du trugest mich" (SATB)
M-A Charpentier "Concert pour quatre parties de violes" (SATB)
M. East "Why runs away my love?"(SSAT)
E. Satie "Choral inapettissant" (SATB)
G-P.Telemann "Fugue 2" (SATB)
21 enthusiastic people turned out to play:
John Coprario Fantasia a 4 ex C
G. Diruta Ricercar del duodecimo tono
G. Frescobaldi Canzon a quattro, F8.46c
Ulrich Nehls Too Much Cucumber Salad Blues
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The group play was conducted by Michele Desponts.
Correction: Colin MacDonald also played with the Jupiter Players.
On November 1, 18 players gathered to enjoy playing music conducted by Marea Chernoff. First up was “Walking in the Air” from the popular British animated film "The Snowman”, arranged for four recorders by our own Andrea MacDonald. Marea took the unusual step of beginning by playing a recording of the original soundtrack so that we would understand how the piece should sound. We then played through it before working on it section by section. Marea focussed on articulation and expression, referring to the recording we had listened to. When we played through the whole piece again, we were surprised and pleased at how much better it sounded.
After a break for refreshments, we tackled a completely different piece, a five-part arrangement of "Dido’s Lament" from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Again, we began with a recording sung beautifully by Karina Gauvin, and Marea gave us some context about the music. After the initial play-through, Marea coached us through the piece trying to bring out some of the same emotion, and once again the final result was very gratifying.
© 2018 Dorothy Brown
Music files from Marea Chernoff, 1st November 2018
Check your email notice about the November 1st meeting for the link to these files. Or email the Librarian here.
"Walking in the Air", by Howard Blake, arr. Andrea MacDonald
"Dido's Lament", Henry Purcell from Dido and Aeneas
"With Drooping Wings", Purcell from Dido and Aeneas
"Occhi miei lassi", Jacques Arcadelt
"Vaaren", Edward Greig
"Ouverture," "Rigaudon," "Bouree", J.J. Fux
Everyone arrving for the first meeting of the season was met by Dorothy Brown and Keren Ferguson at the Membership table, renewing memberships and signing people up for the coming Workshop (click here for Workshop details). Lynne introduced the new Executive and welcomed 2 new players along with greeting several past members who were returning after several years absence. Altogether there were about 2 dozen people present. Lynne also had several recorders to give away.
Lynne was thanked for her many years of hard work and service to the BCRS.
Lorna Yeates then led a session of extremely interesting and sometimes challenging music. She has provided a list of weblinks to performances of the music. (See below.) She encouraged everyone listen and to play along. (Copies of the sheet music are available on request. (Click here to order.).