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UMS Concert Program, March 5, 1991: The Hilliard Ensemble --

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Season: 112th
Concert: Twenty-eighth
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

David James, Countertenor John Potter, Tenor
Rogers Covey-Crump, Tenor Gordon Jones, Baritone
Tuesday Evening, March 5, 1991, at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sound Patterns
Tu civium primas .........................Anonymous
(c. 14th century)
Alma polis religio Axe poli cum artica ...............Anonymous
(c. 14th century)
Reginarum dominam........................Anonymous
(c. 1170)
Summa .............................Arvo Part
(b. 1935)
Verbum bonum et suave ......................Anonymous
(c. 1170)
Musicalis sciencia Sciencie laudabili.................Anonymous
(c. 14th century)
Glorious Hill..........................Gavin Bryars
(b. 1943)
Miraculous love's wounding...................Thomas Morley
Thomas gemma Cantuarie .....................Anonymous
(14th century)
In nets of golden wyers.....................Thomas Morley
Tu solus qui facis mirabilia ...................Josquin Desprez
(c. 1440-1521)
Litany for the Whale........................John Cage
(b. 1912)
Prest est mon mal.....................Cornelius Verdonck
Joy, mirth, triumphs......................Henry Purcell
Gloria from Messe de Nostre Dame .............Guillaume de Machaut
(c. 1300-1377)
The Milliard Ensemble appears by arrangement with Beverly Simmons, Artist Representative, Cleveland, Ohio. The Mill.ird Ensemble records for ECM, EMI, and Harmonia Mundi France. Copies of this title page arc available in larger print; please contact an usher.
Twenty-eighth Concert of the 112th Season Twenty-eighth Annual Chamber Arts Series
Program Notes
The preoccupation of composers with sound and pattern is the theme of this program, which presents music ranging from the twelfth century to the present day. The structure of music does not often yield its secrets easily to the innocent listener, but many of the pieces have audible patterns of variation and repetition or simply sound color, which link together composers as diverse as Bryars and Josquin and Cage and the anonymous clerics of the twelfthand fourteenth centuries. Arvo Part is well known for his exploration of medieval techniques, and the early composers whose models he took would perhaps also give a sympathetic ear to the chant-like "Litany" by John Cage.
The program also features a variety of text treatments that sometimes find echoes in earlier or later periods: Tu civium primas uses four texts simultaneously, which can only be audible to the listener as patterns of sound. Cage's use of the elements of the word "whale" has a similar effect. Perhaps the most extraordinarily crafted piece of all is Purcell's double retrograde canon in which the text follows the same structural rules as the music.
Translations and Texts
Tu civium primas O cuius vita -Congaudens Tu celestium
Anonymous, c. 14th century
These four texts are sung simultaneously:
Tu civium primus per imperium summi celestium patris, tu apostolorum princeps om?nium es, sancte Simon. Fundamentum per te crescit documentum donanti fidei, sancte Simon Bariona Christo cognominaris in gracia tua memoria iocumdetur agmina super te corrobonata fide catholica neque quod qui de nichilo pro me quoque creavit non revelavit mundum qui reconciliavit.
O cuius vita fulsit ita mira gracia per unigenitum, exora filium supera regentem regem glorificatum domina, sed Christe tibi ne celat sua pater sacra nova misteria se revelat, sed de futura super ecclesiam nostram et item glorificatur pater fulgida fons milicie cum leticia de crimina modulamina per totum celica canunt hodie colegia gaude dicencia.
Congaudens super te fundata agmina celestia confinia per te fruata in fide catholica ubi preconia laude laudum, cum melodia canora celebrant solemnia. Simon sancte pro nobis implora regentem sublimia prebe solacia lumina sublimina quo angelica conregnant.
Tu celestium primus civium Simon, tu apostolorum omnium es princeps Petre sancte. Te crescit solidum per Petre funda?mentum et documentum Christi. Tu Bariona cognominaris gracia in tu memoria hinc.
You are first among the citizens in the celestial empyrean of the highest father; you are prince of all the apostles, O saint Simon. The fundament grows through you, for one giving an example of faith, O saint Simon. You are named son-of-John by Christ; in your gracious memory the heavenly host is de?lighted; the catholic faith made strong on you; so that the one who was created for me from nothing is revealed, he who brought the world together.
O thou whose life shone thus with marvellous grace by the only-begotten son, beseech him; surpass the glorified ruling king, O queen; but that one does not hide his father from you. The sacred new mystery reveals itself, but of the future over our church, and the same is glorified. Father, font of the heavenly host, shining with joy, away from sin, melodies throughout the heavens collegia are singing today. Rejoice in words!
Rejoicing together over the heavenly host built on you, the limits expanded by you in the catholic faith, where the proclamations of praises with harmonious melody give hon?our to these solemn rites O holy Simon, beseech the Lord for us; pray for sublime comforts in the exalted light where the angels jointly reign.
You are first among the citizens of heaven, O Simon. You are prince of all the apostles, holy Peter. By means of you it grows, through a solid foundation of stone and an example of Christ. You are called son-of-John in your gracious memory henceforth.
Alma polis religio Axe poli cum artica
Anonymous, c. 14th century
The learned teaching of the Austin Friars spreads throughout the world; particu?larly famous are their musicians, learned in all branches of music: Johannes Foreastarii cum Nicholao Biohomui, J. Strutevilla, Au-gustini de Florencia, Johannes Desiderii. How sweet was their music! It extends throughout the world.
Even as the Northern and Southern skies cover the earth, so this religion embraces the world; so too is its music all-surpassing, particularly the songs of Giles of Orleans; John de Porte recommends himself; a song is due to you, let all sing it sweetly; glorious Virgin, blessed are your joys.
Reginarum dominam
Anonymous, c. 1170
Let us praise the glorious mistress of queens, that mother of the just God whom all adore. Thousands rejoice in the boundless grace and wonder at the power; for she deserved to conceive a God who would come to save all nations. Divinity was disposed on Mary so that she could take on the figure of a servant: the King of kings, the God and creator of everything, the man who was made by Mary. She enlightens the world, adorns heaven. Rising out of Jacob, the glittering star of the sea, the extremely powerful Virgin, crushed under foot the savage Leviathan serpent. At the birth, the Magi bring gifts to Mary, at the same time, gold, frankincense and myrrh; and they foretell a little God, a mortal King, with their gold, frankincense and myrrh. Protect those who are praising thee, Virgin, from their enemies, and lead them to the heavenly kingdom. And let them offer prayers to thy family, Mary, in order to avoid the evil of the enemy. Amen.
Arvo PArt
(sets the Latin text of the Credo)
I believe in one God, the Father Al?mighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. God of God; Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten not made; consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came
down from heaven. And was incarnate by the Holy Spirit, out of the Virgin Mary; and was made man. He was crucified also for us; He suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And the third day He rose again ac?cording to the scriptures; and ascended into heaven; and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead; of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And [I believe] in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life; Who proceeds from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who spake by the Prophets. And in one holy catholic and apostolic church. 1 confess one baptism for the remission of sins and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Verbum bonum et suave
Anonymous, c. 1170
Let us resound the good sweet word, that "Ave" by which the virgin mother of Christ is made a filial room; greeted by that "Ave," the fruitful virgin, born of the line of David, a lily among thorns, soon conceived. Hail! mother of Solomon's truth, fleece of Gideon, whose childbearing the wise men praise with great gifts. Hail! you have created the sun. Hail! you have brought forth fruit. You have conferred life and authority on a slipping world. Hail! mother of the highest word, port of the sea, sign of the thornbush, rod of vapour, leader of the fragrant angels, we humbly beseech that you improve us, that you commend our improvement to your son, so that we might have eternal joy. Amen.
Musicalis sciencia Sciencie laudabili
Anonymous, c. 14th century Synopsis:
The science of Music sends greetings to her beloved disciples, Thomas of Douai, famed at Rome, Jean de Muris, Phillipe de Vitry (etc.); I desire each one of you to observe the rules and not to offend against Rhetoric or Grammar by dividing invisible syllables; avoid all faults. Farewell in melody.
Rhetoric sends greetings to learned Music, but complains that many singers make faults in her (R's) compositions by dividing simple vowels and making sighs (hockets); therefore I politely request that you remedy this.
Glorious Hill
Gavin Bryars
(Commissioned by The Hilliard Ensemble with funds from South East Arts, UK) From The Dignity of Man by Pico della Mirandola:
Neither an established place, nor a form belonging to you alone, nor any special function We have given to you, O Adam, and for this reason, that you may have and possess, according to your desire and judg?ment, whatever place, whatever form, and whatever functions you shall desire. The nature of other creatures, which has been determined, is confined within the bounds prescribed by Us. You, who are confined by no limits, shall determine for yourself your own nature, in accordance with your own free will, in whose hand I have placed you. I have set you at the center of the world, so that from there you may more easily survey what?ever is in the world. We have made you neither heavenly nor earthly, neither mortal nor immortal, so that, more freely and more honorably the molder and maker of yourself, you may fashion yourself in whatever form you shall prefer. You shall be able to descend among the lower forms of being, which are brute beasts; you shall be able to be reborn out of the judgment of your own soul into the higher beings, which are divine.
Miraculous love's wounding
Thomas Morley
Miraculous love's wounding. Even those darts my sweet Phillis so fiercely shot against my hart rebounding, are turned to roses, violets and lillies with odour sweet abounding. Miraculous love's wounding.
Thomas gemma Cantuarie
Anonymous, 14th century
Thomas, foremost jewel of Canterbury, slain in church as defender of the faith, shining, through God's wondrous instant love, far and wide, morning and evening, with the new grace of pristine light restored to thee, thou art exalted in the court of the heavenly king for thy fealty; through thee humanity is freed from the twofold calamity of death, from the cesspool of our sins and from the bitter, wretched apple; it is cleansed of the serpent's filth and corruption; thou art called outstanding, rich in grace, and hence thou art elevated above the perfect and elect;
with the moisture flowing from thy veins thou faithfully healest the sick; thou art buried with excellent, precious jewels wrought with gold in thy seemly shrine, meetly crowned in heaven with grace and honor and properly venerated among the blessed in heaven, O Thomas, who art now besought with burning love to aid thy people in the torment of their misery.
Thomas, wounded by the enemy and slain in Dover, shining through God's won?drous instant love, morning and evening, with the grace of pristine light, through the stream of thy blood, shed by thee in full view, thou art glorified, residing forever in the Father's court; through thee (all) are truly liberated from sudden ruin; thou, fount of learning and healing, with thy miraculous curing power save humanity in the face of its quivering, wrong doing, and, having been called outstanding, rich in grace, and with Remus and Romulus trembling, thou are rightly elevated by the holy and elect; wor?thily thou diest and liest buried in the beau?tiful church because of thy first holy suffering; meetly thou art crowned in heaven with honor and grace, and art greatly venerated with joy among the heavenly host; so blessed art thou, as thou residest forever in heaven with its beguiling sounds.
In nets of golden wyers
Thomas Morley
In nets of golden wyers with Pearle and Reubie spangled, my hart entangled, cries and help requiers, sweet love, from out these bryers, but thou vouchsafe to free mee, ere long alive alas thou shalt not see mee. (The First Bmke of Canzonets to two Vayces, 1595)
Tu solus qui facis mirabilia
You only, who do wonders, You, the only Creator, who created us, You only are the Redeemer, who redeemed us with Your most precious blood. In You alone we seek refuge, in You alone we place our trust, and no other do we adore, Jesus Christ. To You we offer our prayers. Hear what we beg of You, and grant what we request, benign King.
To love another would be deceitful, [to love another] would be great folly and sin. Hear our sighs, fill us with Your grace, O King of kings, that we may remain in Your service with joy, for ever.
Litany for the Whale
John Cage
Prest est non mal
Cornelius Verdonck
My ill is ready, my remedy far off, 1 am healed, in good health, languishing, I de?nounce myself and flatter myself, all is mine yet I possess nothing.
Joy, mirth, triumphs
Henry Purcell
Joy, mirth, triumphs I doe defie, de?stroy me death, fain would I die; Forlorne am 1, love is exile'd; Scorn smiles there-at, hope is beguiled; Men, banisht bliss, in woe must dwell, then joy, mirth, triumphs, all farewell.
Gloria, from Messe de Nostre Dame GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT
Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace to men of goodwill. We praise You, we bless You, we worship You, we glorify You. We give thanks to You for Your great glory.
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us; who takes away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; who sits at the right hand of the Father, have mercy upon us.
For You only are holy, You only are the Lord. You only are most high, O Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
The Hilliard Ensemble
Left to right: ]ohn Potter, tenor, Gordon Jones, baritone; David James, countertenor, Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor
About the Artists
The Hilliard Ensemble, which takes its name from the famous English miniaturist, goldsmith, and jeweller Nicholas Hilliard (1537-1619), was founded in 1974 for the performance of vocal chamber music. It is now widely recognized as one of the world's finest vocal ensembles. Specializ?ing as it does in music written before 1600, the group's repertoire frequently extends into the baroque and beyond. Increasingly, close links are being established with contemporary composers, including Arvo Part, Gavin Bryars, Heinz Holliger, Gerald Barry, and Edward Cowie.
Concerts and radio broadcasts through?out eastern and western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, and North America have brought The Hilliard Ensemble's ex?traordinary artistry to music-lovers around the world. Since its first visit in 1978, The Hilliard Ensemble has made frequent tours of the North American continent. Among their many oustanding engagements have been appearances at the Cloisters in New York, the Library of Congress, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Early Music Vancouver, as well as at many colleges, universities, and chamber music series.
Highlights of The Hilliard Ensemble's concerts last season in North America in?cluded the U.S. premier performances of Arvo Part's Passion According to St. John at Chamber Music Chicago and New York City's Lincoln Center. This year, the group is giving concerts of medieval through con?temporary works throughout the eastern half of the United States. Tonight's concert marks its first appearance in Ann Arbor.
The Hilliard Ensemble is also well known for its rapidly expanding catalogue of recordings. Following early successes on the Saga and Meridian labels, the ensemble now records for EMI, Harmonia Mundi, and ECM. Their releases have won prestigious awards, including the Deutsche Schall-plattenpreis, the Gramophone "Record of the Year," "Critic's Choice" from High Fidelity, Time magazine's "Best of the Year," and Billboard's "Top 25 Classical Records." Their recording of Passio was nominated for a Grammy Award.
David James (countertenor) is widely regarded as one of the leading countertenors of his generation. A founding member of The Hilliard Ensemble, he has been praised for his instinctive musicianship, mastery of tech?nique, and beautiful voice. As soloist, he has performed and recorded throughout Europe, Russia, and Mexico, and has been featured at the BBC Promenade Concerts and at most of the major festivals in England. His repertoire includes several operatic roles, ranging from Cavalli and Handel to Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream; he has also premiered impor?tant new works by Marc Monnet, Ned Rorem, and Heinz Holliger.
Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor) studied science, but also gained a degree in music and is a fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Since the mid-1970s, his work has been entirely devoted to concert engagements, broadcasting, and commercial recording, both as solo artist and as a member of many prominent vocal groups. His specialties in?clude the authentic interpretation of medi?eval, renaissance, and baroque repertoire. Besides The Hilliard Ensemble, he has per?formed and recorded with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Taverner Players, and the Medieval Ensemble of London.
John Potter (tenor) is well known for musical activities ranging from medieval to contemporary. In addition to his work with The Hilliard Ensemble, he has appeared with Swingle II, Electric Phoenix, and Tragicome-dia. Many composers have written works for him, and he has premiered works by Berio, Stockhausen, and other leading contempo?rary figures. As an oratorio soloist, he has sung all over the world, including a recent tour to Brazil. His latest venture is Red Byrd, a partnership with bass Richard Wistreich, exploring the wilder aspects of vocal music, both old and new.
Gordon Jones (bass-baritone) began his career as a research librarian in the fields of architecture and engineering. Since turn?ing his attention to music, he has been engaged for concerts throughout the United States and Europe, including appearances at Lincoln Center, the Royal Palace in The Hague, and at the Edinburgh Festival. He appears regularly with The Hilliard Ensemble. In addition to participating in their European tour of the Part Passio, he has also made several recordings with the Ensemble, includ?ing Passio, the Schiitz Schwanengesang, and Bach motets.
An Interview With Paul Hillier
British baritone Paul Hillier, founder of The Hilliard Ensemble, is spending this year teaching at the University of California-Davis. At the time of a performance by the ensemble in Vancouver in April 1989, Hillier was interviewed by Musick, a quarterly publication of Early Music Vancouver that is distributed throughout the United States and Canada. Following are excerpts from that interview.
Musick What projects other than your concerts has the group been involved in
Hillier The best way to answer that is to tell you about the recording projects over the past year, as they bring into focus the rather flexible range of activities that we undertake in concert. Firstly there appeared a disc of music by Tallis on the ECM label, in which we used Elizabethan pronunciation. Also on ECM, we recorded the "St. John Passion" by the Estonian composer Arvo Part, and, in fact, performances of this and other works by him have been a very important part of our work recently. For the same label we have recorded a complete disc of Perotin -a great composer, who is really quite "modern" in the way he uses sonority and manipulates the melodic-rhythmic cells that make up the lines of polyphony. On EMI we have a recital of English madrigals, sung in Elizabethan English. And just in the editing stage is our second Ockeghem disc, this one containing the Prolation Mass and the mo?tets. Ockeghem is one of my favourite com?posers so, although he's hardly a commercial viability, 1 am gradually trying to get all of his sacred music recorded! The next recording we make will be a Josquin disc -partly at the request of EMI Japan, as apparently our previous Josquin recording was a great success there. We toured Japan a year ago, and it was
Paul Hillier
amazing how much they wanted to hear the "Ave Maria" as an encore.
Musick You mentioned Elizabethan pronunciation -why and how are you doing this; do you feel it's obligatory
Hillier I certainly don't feel it's obliga?tory, but I also don't accept the idea that it
makes the words hard to understand. It's like listening to a rather heavy dialect -once your ear gets attuned then there are very few problems. I first became interested in early English pronunciation years ago after studying Chaucer at school. Then about ten years ago the group was invited to give a concert of medieval English lyrics to launch the collec?tion jointly edited by musicologist Frank Harrison and philologist Eric Dobson, and we were coached in the pronunciation by Profes?sor Dobson. I then separately worked with Dobson on Elizabethan pronunciation for a lutesong project. Seeing how strongly the pronunciation changed my style and tech?nique, I resolved to do the same with ensem?ble vocal music, first with a Byrd record, then the madrigals. The most important aspect of it was the effect of what we might describe as a more speech-oriented vocal production on the music in general. The result was yet another example of moving away from the all-purpose legato sostenuto tradition, which we still apply to most renaissance polyphony.
Musick So then, what about the ques?tion of being "authentic"
Wilier As far as authenticity goes I am an agnostic. Perhaps it is a sense of direction rather than a goal; certainly it is the means towards an end, but not the end itself. To speak a language, incuding varieties of music, you have to establish a grammar and syntax in order to communicate and, indeed, to be able to communicate new, fresh thoughts at all. For me this is the great delight in per?forming medieval and renaissance music -you have to establish parameters within which to function, but having done that there is a tremendous sense of liberty, much more so than in later music.
Musick How does the group achieve its blend
Hillier I'm often asked this question, and the truth is I don't know. I'm not even sure that we blend or balance. But obviously it comes from working together a great deal, from having a similar vocal background; more specifically it is related to the minimal use of vibrato and the question of intonation. But surely the ultimate blend is when voices lose their individual identity, and the group sounds like one multi-pitched voice; we wouldn't always want this. For my own part I know that the bass voice should always be a positive presence -not particularly in volume, but in constant attention to what is
going on in the ensemble, always phrasing, always "alive."
Musick What is your philosophy of concerts vs. recordings
Hillier I think we are at our best in live concert. We need the reaction of the audi?ence, the sense of sound vibrating in space and, after all, we all communicate visually all the time, so it is difficult to make music as pure abstract sound. Difficult but not impos?sible. And I have to say that I love the business of planning a recording as a specific project, knowing that it will have a visual component -the cover; that it will exist apart from us; and clearly that it has a different raison d'etre than a concert, precisely because you do not have the audience's reac?tion. It's a bit like the difference between being interviewed and trying to interview yourself! The other important aspect is purely commercial: without recordings to generate interest and spread our reputation, we would not be enjoying the success that we do.
Musick Finally, what experience during the present year has been the most interest?ing
Hillier Without a doubt, it was a week I spent in Estonia. I was invited to conduct the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
-a marvellous choir, somewhat in the tradition of Swedish choral singing, but with little experience in singing renaissance music. We worked on Tallis and Taverner and gave a concert at the end of the week. All this was during the time when the Estonians were holding rallies and telling Moscow what they desired by way of greater self-determination
-it was well covered by the western press. To be part of all this, however briefly, was very moving and seemed to lend a great significance to our performance of Tudor church music -only a few years ago, sacred music was prohibited there. The next day, not only musicians, but poets and painters told me how beautiful the music had been. This doesn't happen in the West!

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