Program: #04-49 Air Date: Nov 29, 2004
From the years with the New York Pro Musica to his own Ensemble for Early Music, the successful collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and recent New York Early Music Festival, Fredrick Renz has been a part of the great revival of music in this field; this week he shares with us seven centuries of Christmas music.
“An absorbing hour of listening and a very attractive alternative soundtrack for the holiday season.”
-- Early Music America
“Angelus ad virginem” (the song Chaucer referred to in “The Canterbury Tales”), angelic Hildegard chant, earthy 13th-century Italian laude and spirited Spanish cantigas illuminate a treasury of joyous celebration.
EMF’s Ex cathedra Records continues its highly popular series of holiday recordings with “A Baroque Christmas.” This new CD, produced in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, features 17th- century French noels in full flower, Lutheran Advent hymns masterfully crafted into chorale variations by J.S. Bach’s precursors, Spanish villancicos composed in the New World, arias fashioned in the new Italian opera style, as well as Scots airs and English ballad tunes -- over an hour of uniquely engaging baroque holiday repertoire.
A kaleidoscopic panorama of the Old and New World features composers Praetorius, Schein, Scheidt, Charpentier, Delalande, Frescobaldi, Gagliano, Piccinini and Mexican composers Salazar, Vidales, Ximeno and Mucia. Researched and directed by Frederick Renz, this program is specially chosen for performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and features Early Music New York’s six male voices in consort with theorbo, lute, guitars, cittern, Spanish cross-strung, Italian triple and Celtic harp, bass viola da gamba and chamber organ.
Anonymous composers of unique Scots airs and poets of English ballads with seasonal texts, including “The old year now away is fled,” set to the popular country dances tune “Greensleeves,” enliven this vivid 17th- century Christmas celebration.
Artists: Ryland Angel - countertenor; Thom Baker - tenor; Oliver Brewer - tenor; Todd Frizzell - tenor; Gregory Purnhagen - baritone; Mark Sullivan - bass; Grant Herreid - theorbo, lute, guitars, cittern; Patricia Ann Neely - bass viola da gamba; Jennifer Sayre - Italian triple, Spanish cross-strung and Celtic harps; Dongsok Shin - chamber organ
Early Polish and Czech polyphony including “Messe de Notre Dame” by Guillaume de Machaut.
Medieval motets honoring Bohemia's “Good King Wenceslas” (St. Vaclave) and Poland's St. Stansilaus. ‘Carols’ from the time of patriot Jan Hus, early polyphony from the Codex “Specialnik” celebrating the Nativity. Plus, the only extant Czech medieval dance, and the “Messe de Notre Dame” by Guillaume de Machaut, celebrated French poet/composer and Secretary to the King of Bohemia. Men's voices and instruments.
Artists: Ryland Angel - countertenor; Oliver Brewer - tenor; Joe Damon Chappel - bass; Corey-James Crawford - countertenor; Matthew Hensrud - countertenor; Tam Johnson - tenor; Christa Patton - soprano & alto shawm, bagpipe; Terry Pierce - tenor & bass sackbut; Gregory Purnhagen - baritone; Bruce Rameker - countertenor; David Ronis - tenor; Erik Schmalz - tenor sackbut; Geoffrey Williams - countertenor