Cambridge Early Music
2016 Summer Schools: 31 July – 13 August
Join us as we follow the trail of Spanish music through the sixteenth century, from the Cancionero via villancicos and vihuela-songs by Narvaez and Mudarra, motets by Guerrero and Morales, and the monumental six-part Requiem by Victoria to the polychoral works of the eighteenth century by Franciso Valls and José de Nebra.
Details & booking: www.CambridgeEarlyMusic.org/summer-schools
As a preliminary to their afternoon concert as part of our 2016 Festival of the Voice, the Three Medieval Tenors join us to direct a workshop for singers (all voices, tenors and basses particularly welcome) to develop a fuller understanding of medieval music in general and the conductus in particular. The workshop will be led by Mark Everist from the University of Southampton and is designed to give students an insight into how these Latin songs were created and how they can be performed in the light of the very latest research.
The workshop will begin with an orientation session describing the repertoires, their functions and styles and their historical context (tailored to the interests and abilities of the attendees). The core practical activities will include the creation of a solo conductus from poetry supplied at the workshop, the reading and writing of medieval notation and modern transcriptions, and coaching in key aspects of performance practice. The latter will include sessions on tuning and ensemble singing (with particular focus on how to sing in up to three parts without conventional metrical rhythm).
It is designed to appeal to enthusiastic amateur musicians as well as aspiring professionals. All workshop materials will be provided on the day, preparation is not required.
For more information, click here.
To celebrate the launch of their latest CD, Magnificat brings to life compositions inspired by Girolamo Savonarola, the 15th-century Dominican friar who preached passionately for political, social and spiritual reform in Florence. Savonarola’s followers stoked the famous “Bonfires of the Vanities” burning art, books and other “worldly” items. His outspoken criticisms of Pope Alexander VI ultimately led to Savonarola’s excommunication, imprisonment, admission of heresy under torture, and execution.
Amongst the “vanities” Savonarola decried was over-elaborate sacred music, yet Savonarola had a long-lasting – if inadvertent – musical influence after his death. His writings inspired some of the greatest compositions of the 16th century, including Josquin’s exquisite Miserere mei, Deus and Byrd’s masterpiece Infelix ego.
Friday 26 February 2016, 7.30pm
Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Cambridge, CB2 1RR
Tickets available through our Events Calendar.
Ecce quam bonum - attr. to Nicolas Gombert (c.1495-c.1560)
Missa Ecce quam bonum: Kyrie & Gloria in excelsis - Jean Mouton (1459-1522)
Laetamini in Domino - Philippe Verdelot (1475-1552)
Missa Ecce quam bonum: Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei I & II - Jean Mouton
INTERVAL (20 mins) - refreshments served
Miserere mei - Josquin des Prez (c.1450-1521)
Tribularer si nescirem - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1525-1594)
Tristitia obsedit me - Claude LeJeune (c.1528/30-1600)
Infelix ego - William Byrd (c.1540-1623)
Our prestigious 2016 Festival of the Voice will run between Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 May. It will showcase many of the world's finest early music artists including: Vox Luminis, Voces8, The Gesualdo Six, Three Medieval Tenors and James Gilchrist, who will perform an eclectic range of music from medieval Conductus, Monteverdi, Lassus, Bach, Schubert and many others in some of Cambridge’s most beautiful and historic venues.
LIGHT & SHADOW: Music at the time of Elizabeth I
The award-winning Belgium vocal ensemble Vox Luminis explores the rich heritage of music from the Protestant tradition and showcases some of the finest polyphonic masters from the era, including Tallis, Sheppard, Morley, Ramsey and Weelkes.
Thursday 12 May at 8.00pm, St John’s College Chapel, Cambridge
Bach’s motets are considered to be amongst his greatest output both as artistic works and technical showcases. In this concert, four motets are programmed alongside music by Giovannii Gabrieli, Praetorius and Felix Mendelssohn, who was instrumental in the revival of Bach’s music.
Friday 13 May at 7.30pm, Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge
Full programme details are available at www.cambridgeearlymusic.org/festival-of-the-voice.
Book your tickets now using our Events Calendar.
Please note that we will be closed for Christmas from 19 December 2015 and will reopen on Thursday 7 January 2016.
From all the team at Cambridge Early Music, we hope you have a happy Christmas and New Year!
Piero della Francesca, The Nativity (1470-5)
The Spanish Baroque World: Spain, Naples and the Netherlands
31 July - 7 August 2016
The Parley of Instruments
Peter Holman (course director & continuo), Judy Tarling (upper strings), Mark Caudle (lower strings), Gail Hennessy (wind), Philip Thorby (voices)
Join us for a celebration of the riches of Spanish Baroque music. The main pieces studied in this year’s course will be the magnificent Missa Scala Aretina (1702) by the Barcelona composer Franciso Valls (c.1672-1747), famous at the time for its ground-breaking dissonances, and the Requiem Mass written by José de Nebra (1702-68), written in 1758 in memory of the Portuguese queen Maria Barbara. Both are richly scored in the polychoral Spanish manner for several groups of singers and orchestra. During the course and the associated concerts we will study and perform a range of music written in Spain itself and its possessions, Naples, the southern Netherlands and the New World, by Joan Cererols, Sebastián Durón, José de Torres, Alessandro & Domenico Scarlatti, Francesco Durante and Leonardo Leo and others.
Los Reyes Catolicos: Music from the Courts and Chapels of sixteenth-century Spain
7 - 13 August 2016
Philip Thorby & Friends
Philip Thorby (course director & choir), David Hatcher (viols), Emma Murphy (recorders), Lynda Sayce (lutes), Frances Eustace (loud winds)
Ferdinand of Aragón and Isabella of Castile ruled jointly over Spain after their marriage in 1469. It was their sometimes brutal defence of their faith which led Pope Alexander VI in 1494 to grant them the title “Los Reyes Catolicos”. The flavour of the court - in turn pious, romantic and bawdy - is captured perfectly in the words and music of the court song-book, the Cancionero Musical de Palacio, which is the natural starting point for our week's study. We will follow the trail of Spanish music through the sixteenth century as it leads us from Spain itself to elsewhere in Europe, from the Cancionero via villancicos and vihuela-songs by Narvaez and Mudarra and motets by Guerrero and Morales to the monumental six-part Requiem (or Offitium Defunctorum) by Victoria.
For full details and booking information, please see our Summer School pages.
Ring in Christmas and the New Year in style with Joglaresa and chase out the chill from the Celtic fringes of Europe with traditional carols, lullabies, dances tunes and wassails from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales.
Belinda Sykes voice, bagpipes
Sianed Jones fidel, voice
Angela Hicks voice, harp
May Robertson fidel, voice
Louise Anna Duggan percussion, dulcimer, voice
Guy Schalom percussion
FRIDAY 18 DECEMBER 2015, 7.30pm
GREAT ST MARY’S CHURCH, CAMBRIDGE, CB2 3PQ
Book tickets using our Events Calendar.
“Thrilling and haunting” – The Times
“Sound scholarship, a combined experience of many musical cultures, and a spirited delivery of stories” – Early Music Today
“I was blown away by their charm and originality” – The Scotsman
On Christmas Night Traditional, England
Cuncti simus concanentes Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, Spain C14th
Now Bring Us in Good Ale C15th England
As I in Hoary Winter’s Night Robert Southwell (1561 - 1595)
Wel dyma'r bore i gyd Traditional, Wales
Nova stella apparita Laudario di Firenze, Italy C14th
Angelus emittitur Piae Cantiones, C16th Scandinavia
Ebbas Brudpolska (instrumental) Ola Bäckström, b. 1959
In dulci jubilo Piae Cantiones, C16th Scandinavia
Ave donna santissima Laudario di Cortona, Italy C13th
Orientis partibus C13th France
The Boar’s Head (instrumental realisation) C16th England
Personent hodie Piae Cantiones, C16th Scandinavia
Puer nobis nascitur (instrumental realisation) Piae Cantiones, C16th Scandinavia
Gabryell that angell bryght C15th England
The Boar’s Head C16th England
The Gower Wassail Traditional wassail from The Gower Peninsular
Sola fusti senlleira Cantiga de Santa Maria, C13th Spain
Li lai de la pastourelle (instrumental realisation) C13th France
Beata divites Anonymous medieval parody of the Beatitudes
Veritas Roman de Fauvel, France C14th
Down in yon Forest C16th England, Traditional Appalachian
Magno gaudens gaudio C13th England
New research has uncovered the earliest known practical piece of polyphonic music, an example of the principles that laid the foundations of European musical tradition. The piece was discovered by Giovanni Varelli, a PhD student from St John’s College, University of Cambridge, while he was working on an internship at the British Library. For more information, click here.
A true renaissance man, Vivaldi was at the forefront of baroque innovation and was keen to experiment with new textures and sound worlds. On 21 November at Great St Mary's Church, hear his The Four Seasons and works for bassoon including the famous La Notte concerto and another written for Wenzel von Morzin, the Bohemian count to whom was dedicated the published set of concertos containing The Four Seasons. In addition, for the first time since the eighteenth century, La Serenissima will perform two ...of Vivaldi’s concertos for ‘prepared violin’, the violin in tromba marina. Adrian Chandler, luthier David Rattray and Vivaldi expert Michael Talbot have teamed up to recreate this curious and loud instrument from evidence surviving in the archives of the Ospedale della Pietà, the famous foundling institution with which Vivaldi was associated for much of his career. https://www.cambridgeearlymusic.org/events-calendar.html
With the recent launch of our new website, we are delighted to welcome Libby Percival and Frankie Williams to our Board of Trustees.
Libby Percival is managing partner for artist and project management company Percius: amongst her current clients are the internationally renowned early music artists I Fagiolini and Robert Hollingworth, Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque, conductor/baritone Eamonn Dougan and director/actor/tenor Thomas Guthrie.
Libby was until July 2012 Senior Artist and Events Manager at Hazard Chase Ltd. After training as a violinist and soprano, Libby graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Music before working with The King’s Consort and Robert King from 1999. She joined Hazard Chase as an Artist Manager in 2002 managing a diverse range of artists including long-term collaborations with The Tallis Scholars, Robert Hollingworth and I Fagiolini, the Escher String Quartet, Endellion String Quartet and pianist Noriko Ogawa: she started the vocal series Choral at Cadogan. Libby is a founding partner in Percius with Nigel Brown OBE and John Willan FRAM.
Frankie Williams is a consultant in education, music and culture. She has been a teacher and adviser, and until 2011 was General Inspector (Music and Culture) for Cambridgeshire. Frankie has a BMus (Hons) from University of Nottingham, studied education at the University of Birmingham and business at Cass Business School. Her Master’s and Doctoral research at the Institute of Education in London centred around partnerships between professional music organisations and schools.
She was Vice-Chairman of the National Association of Youth Orchestras and has been on several national and European boards. Frankie founded and ran an amateur symphony orchestra and a professional chamber orchestra, and has acted as a consultant for organisations including the BBC Proms, The Sage Gateshead, Orchestras Live (EOB) and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. She has worked on education projects with the Royal Opera House, London Sinfonietta, Glyndebourne, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, and many orchestras.
Their knowledge and skills will prove invaluable in expanding Cambridge Early Music’s educational outreach into schools and reinforcing its position as one of the leading providers of early music education in the UK.
A small number of projects and workshops are already planned over the coming year. The first of which will be BaRocks! Messiah, a workshop and performance collaboration with Eboracum Baroque and Cambridgeshire Music in December 2015 for a massed choir of secondary school children and instrumentalists.
For more information visit: www.cambridgeearlymusic.org/current-projects--workshops
Our new concert season continues on 23 October 2015, with The Clerks, who bring together works associated with the reign of King Henry V, including some of the finest examples of sacred polyphony of the late Middle Ages, to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. The programme draws on the rich seam of music contained within the Old Hall Manuscript, as well as motets and mass movements by the great John Dunstable. Two works thought to be by King Henry himself also feature, alongside the well-known Agincourt Carol.
This concert is part of the 2015 Cambridge Festival of Ideas. For more information visit: www.festivalofideas.cam.ac.uk/events/cry-god-harry-music-court-henry-v
Our prestigious 2016 Festival of the Voice will run between Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 May 2016. It will showcase many of the world's finest early music artists including: Vox Luminis, Voces8, The Gesualdo Six, Three Medieval Tenors and James Gilchrist, who will perform an eclectic range of music from medieval Conductus, Monteverdi, Lassus, Bach, Schubert and many others in some of Cambridge’s most beautiful and historic venues.
For more information and booking visit: www.cambridgeearlymusic.org/festival-of-the-voice
In other news, Christopher Roberts, our Administrator, has been commissioned by Leeds Baroque Choir and Orchestra to compose a new work for a period instrument orchestra. The piece will complement a programme of works for state occasions by Handel and will be performed on 15 November 2015 as part of the University of Leeds International Concert Series. Christopher, a Leeds alumnus, is no stranger to the early music scene, having won the 19 to 25 category for his work written for Fretwork in the 2011 National Centre for Early Music Composers Award. The commission is supported by a grant from Leeds City Council’s arts funding programme, Leeds Inspired.
For more information visit: www.leedsbaroque.org/news