Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CONSORT OF MUSICKE
Emma Kirky and Evelyn Tubb, Sopranos
Mary Nichols, Contralto Andrew King and Paul Agnew, Tenors
Simon Grant, Bass Anthony Rooley, Director and Lute
Friday Evening, March 6, 1992, at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PRIMA E SECONDA PRATTICA
The Genius of Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Monteverdi was at the very center of a great and stormy debate around 1600. Attacked by the scholar Artusi for breaking the accepted rules of polyphony (embodied in the "prima prattica" style), Monteverdi went on to elaborate the new music with unerring genius ("seconda prattica" style). He was, however, able to keep a foot in both camps, and he continued to draw on the time-honored traditional polyphony.
This program balances the two worlds: between selections of five-part polyphonic madrigals from Books 1 to VI, which in themselves reveal a growing dramatic sureness, are placed vocal duets from Books VII to IX, which display an almost wanton virtuosity.
The extraordinarily varied compositions of Monteverdi's first six books were all created for the circle of the Mantuan Court, and particularly for the bizarre tastes of the old Duke, Vincenzo Gonzaga, who in 1608 had fallen for one of his young singers, Caterina Martinelli. Caterina was to have sung the title role in Monteverdi's new opera L'Arianna, commissioned by the Duke for his eldest son's wedding, but while in rehearsal she died of smallpox. The Duke was thus left to lament the loss of his desired beauty, while still having to celebrate the marriage of his son. The contents of Monteverdi's Sixth Book of Madrigals, published in 1614, especially the Sestina: Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro dell'amata, revolve around these tragedies and jubilations of the Mantuan Court.
The public is invited to attend a master class given by the Consort of Musicke and Ann Arbor's Academy of Early Music, arranged by the Musical Society for tomorrow morning (Saturday, March 7) from 11:00 a. m. to I -.00 p. m. Free of charge, it will be held at the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints, located at the intersection of West Jefferson and Fourth Street on Ann Arbors Old West Side.
Thirtieth Concert of the 113th Season Twenty-ninth Annual Chamber Arts Series
PRIMA E SECONDA PRATTICA
The Genius of Claudio Monteverdi
Baci soavi, e cari .................Libro I
Ecco mormorar l'onde ...............Libro II
Vattene pur, crudel ................Libro III
O sia tranquillo il mare...............Libro IX
Eccomi pronta ai baci ...............Libro VII
Ah dolente partita.................Libro IV
A un giro sol de'begl'occhi .............Libro IV
Ohime, se tanto amate...............Libro IV
Io mi son giovinetta ................Libro IV
Sestina: Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro
dell'amata ...................Libro VI
Come dolce hoggi l'auretta .............Libro IX
Lamento della ninfa ................Libro VII
Parlo, misero, o taccio...............Libro VII
Ch'io t'ami....................Libro V
E cost a poco a poco................Libro V
The Musical Society wishes to thank Dr. Glenn Watkins, U-M Professor of Music, the speaker for
tonight's Philips Pre-concert Presentation.
The Consort of Musicke is represented by Byers, Schwalbe & Associates, New York City.
Recordings: Hyperion, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Decca, Virgin Classics, Pickwick, Nonesuch
The University Musical Society is a member of Chamber Music America.
Activities of the UMS are supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and
the National Endowment for the Arts.
Baci soavi e cari (Guarini) Gentle and lovely kisses
Gentle and lovely kisses, food of my life,
Who now steal from me and now give back my heart:
It is right that I should learn through you
How a ravished soul
Does not feel the pains of death, yet dies all the same.
Love has so much sweetness, therefore I always kiss you,
Oh sweetest roses -everything rests in you.
And if 1 could give forth my life in kissing you,
What a sweet death it would be.
Ecco mormorar l'onde (Tasso)
Now the waves murmur
Now the waves murmur and bushes tremble in the moming breeze,
And above the green branches enamoured birds sing softly
And the east smiles: now the dawn already shows
And is mirrored in the sea, and the sky grows clear
And the mild frost decks with pearls
And with gold the high mountains.
O lovely, eager Dawn.
The breeze is your messenger, and you are hers,
Who freshens every parched heart.
Vattene pur, crudel (Tasso) Go, cruel, go
Go, cruel go! Go with such peace, such rest, Such joy, such comfort as thou leav'st me here; My angry soul, discharg'd from this weak breast, Shall haunt thee ever and attend thee near, And fury-like, in snakes and fire-brands dress'd, Shall aye torment thee whom it late held dear; And if thou 'scape the seas, the rocks, and sands, And come to fight amid the pagan bands. There lying wounded 'mongst the hurt and slain, Of these my wrongs thou shalt the vengeance bear, And oft Armida shalt thou call in vain At thy last gasp; this hope I soon to hear. Here fainted she, with sorrow, grief, and pain, Her latest words scant well expressed were, But in a swoon on earth outstretch'd she lies, Stiff were her frozen limbs, clos'd were her eyes. Wak'd from her trance, forsaken, speechless, sad, Armida wildly star'd and gaz'd about: And is he gone (quoth she), nor pity had, To leave me thus 'twixt life and death in doubt Could he not stay Could not the traitor lad From this last trance help or recall me out And do 1 love him still, and on this sand Still unreveng'd, still mourn, still weeping stand (Translation by Edward Fairfax, 1600)
Augellin Oh bird
Oh bird, singing at the top of your voice,
Take pity on my grief and spread your wings in flight:
Go to my Lady, or rather to my sun,
And say these words to her in sad accents:
Oh sweet cause of bitter torments, will you always suffer
The one who adores you to be so ill with weeping
0 sia tranquillo il mare Whether the sea is calm
Whether the sea is calm, or swelling with pride, Never from these waves shall 1 turn back my steps;
1 wait for you here, and here, a deceived lover, I lament and grieve over your infidelity.
I often go up on to these cliffs
To see if your ship is returning.
There I grow cold and weep, so that the sea thinks
I am a spring, and the sailors a rock.
And still I often send you as messengers
The light west winds of the beautiful air
To tell you of my pain and torment.
But you do not return, Oh Phyllis, amid the breeze
Disperses my lament, and this is all he can hope
Who entrusts his heart to a woman and his prayers to the wind.
Eccomi pronta ai baci
Here I am, ready for you to kiss me
Here I am, ready for you to kiss me:
Kiss me, Ergasto, but in such a way
That your teeth leave no mark on my face
That others may see and read there
Of my shame and your kisses.
Oh! oh! you are biting, not kissing me.
You have left a mark! Oh!
I'd rather die than kiss you again!
Ah dolente partita (Guarini) Ah, painful separation
Ah, painful separation! Ah, this is death to me!
Can I part from you and not die
And yet I feel the pangs of death,
And, in our separation, a smarting death
That makes pain come alive
So that my heart may die eternally.
A un giro sol de'begl'occhi
At a single glance from those eyes
At a single glance from those bright eyes, Everything brightens all around,
The sea becomes calm, the wind dies away
And the sky becomes more radiant.
I alone am sad and weeping.
Doubtless on the day that you were born
So cruel and wicked, my death was also born.
Ohime, se tanto amate
Alas, if you take such pleasure
Alas, if you take such pleasure in the word alas,
Then why would you slay the one who says alas
If I die, you will only hear
A single, moaning, miserable alas;
But if, my dear, you wish to let me live
And wish to live for me, you shall have
A thousand times a tender alas.
Io mi son giovinetta I am young
'I am young and 1 laugh and I sing to the tender spring!'
Thus sang my sweet shepherdess;
And suddenly my heart, when I heard that song,
Sang like a pretty, merry little bird:
'I too am young and I laugh and sing
To the sweet springtime of love
That blooms in your pretty eyes!'
And she: 'Fly, if you are wise!'
Ardour counselled: 'Fly, for in these eyes
There will never be springtime for you.'
Lagrime d'Amante al Sepolcro dell'Amata (Agnelli) The Tears of the Lover at the Tomb of the Beloved
Ashy remains, and you, unyielding tomb, Become the earthy sky for my bright sun, Alas, 1 bow before you in my grief! With you my heart is lovingly enclosed, And night and day do pass in tears and fire, In pain and anger for tormented Glaucus.
Tell, o streams, and you who o'erheard Glaucus Rend with cries the air of lonely meads above the tomb The nymphs and sky do know how pain was food to me And tears my drink, for that the chilly earth my love Did cover, and, marble blest, your bosom was my bed.
By night shall Sol illuminate the earth
And Cynthia in the daytime shine, ere Glaucus
Will cease to kiss and honour that fair breast,
The erstwhile nest of love, now by hard stone oppress'd;
Not only sighs profound, but tears shall the wild beasts
Lavish on him, and the sky.
But thou, o nymph, art gathered to the skies. For you now is the earth become a widow, The woods a desert, and the streams run tears. And nymphs and dryads echo mournfully Glaucus' sad laments, and o'er the tomb They sing the virtues of my heart's beloved.
O golden tresses, breast of softest snow,
And hands like lilies, which the envious heavens
Have torn from me; now in the blind tomb locked,
Who hides you there Alas, the humble earth!
The flower of every beauty, Glaucus' sun,
Do you conceal Here, Muses, shed your tears!
Beloved ashes, shall these eyes of mine Not weep a sea of tears, then, o'er the breast Of this cold marble Here the afflicted Glaucus Will make the sea and sky resound 'Corinna!' May the winds and the earth for ever say, Alas, Corinna! Ah, Death! Ah, Grave! Alas!
Let words, beloved heart, give place to tears: That heaven give thee peace, thy peace does Glaucus Pray, o honoured tomb and sacred earth. (Translation: Aim' Bardoni)
Come dolce hoggi l'auretta (G. Strozzi) How sweet the breeze today
How sweet the breeze today, how soft its balmy breath,
How wantonly it kisses, kisses my cheeks and breast.
'Tis Cupids cause the breeze when they soar in flight
On outspread wings from heaven to lift the veil of night.
The forest smiles, the meadow shines,
The fountain plays, the waves rejoice at the
First faint stirring of a cool, refreshing breeze.
When you come, o balmy breeze, may our hearts, too,
Be filled with that sweet delight
That you in every soul distil.
Lamento della ninfa
The Lament of the Nymph
Phoebus had not yet brought daylight to the world
When a young girl went out of her house.
Her grief could be seen on her pale face,
And often she let out a heartfelt sigh.
Trampling over flowers she wandered here and there,
Lamenting thus her lost love.
Love (she said, stopping and looking to the heavens)
Where is the faith sworn by the deceitful man (wretched girl)
Make my love come back as he used to be,
Or else kill me so that 1 torment myself no longer.
(Wretched girl, ah, she can no longer suffer so much coldness.)
I don't want him to sigh any more unless he is far away from me;
In faith, he will cause me no more pain
Because I am destroyed by him.
He is so proud that if he will beg me again to flee,
If he has a face more serene than mine,
Love has not yet formed such a steadfast faith
In his breast. Never will you have such sweet or more
Gentle kisses from that mouth. Ah hush,
For the knowledge is too much.
If, through the scornful meadows, voices are scattered
Towards heaven, so in the hearts of lovers
Love mixes fire and ice.
Parlo, misero, o taccio
Should I, poor wretch, speak out
Should I, poor wretch, speak out or hold my tongue
If I keep silence, is torment not in vain.'
If 1 speak will boldness be forgiven
Stay silent: for a smothered flame is clear
At once to one who has lit the flame herself.
I heed the promptings of mercy,
She heeds the promptings of beauty;
And the handsome face says to the stony heart:
Who can see me and not pine with love
Ch'io t'ami (Guarini)
If thou knowest not that I love thee
If thou knowest not that I love thee mote than my life,
Ctuel one, ask of these woods and they will tell you,
And so will the wild beasts, the tough scrub
And the stones of these mountains,
Which so many times my laments have moved to pity.
Ah, my beauty, my dear one, once my sweet reason
For living, when that it pleased heaven;
Turn once more, o turn those loving eyes on me
As thou were wont to do, so calm and full of pity,
Ere I die, that my dying be made sweet;
Tis right, that as I once read life,
Now should I read death in those beautiful, loving eyes;
And that the sweet glance that witnessed my love
Should now witness my death;
And that she who was my dayspring
Should of my fading day now be the evening star.
But thou, more harsh than ever, hast now no spark of pity;
Rather, thy harshness increases with my prayers.
Hast thou no word with which to answer me
To whom am 1 speaking, then, unhappy man A dumb stone
If thou wilt say nought else, at least say 'Die!'
And I shall die.
Hast thou no word, etc.
This, o villainous Love, is the extreme of wickedness,
When such an unyielding girl answers me not,
And you arm her only with scornful, cruel words,
Yet scorn to pronounce my death.
E cosi a poco a poco (Guarini) So, gradually
So gradually 1 flutter, a foolish moth, toward the flame again,
And in deceitful looks am again burnt and consumed.
He who would quench an old flame, makes it immortal.
Alas, the more we seek to cure the wounds of love,
The less they heal: all striving is in vain,
Once the young heart has been pierced
By the first honeyed dart.
He who would quench an old flame, makes it immortal.
About the Artists
The Consort of Musicke was founded in 1969 by its director, Anthony Rooley. Over these 23 years, the Consort has gone from strength to strength. After the first ten years, the Guardian said: "Few have done as much to revive the sensibility and thereby the stature of early English music as Anthony Rooley and his Consort of Musicke." And the accolades continue today for their perfor?mance of English and Italian Renaissance music.
Apart from Anthony Rooley himself, the personnel of the Consort has been con?tinually evolving over the years, changing according to the requirements of repertoire and individual careers. The present singers form the nucleus of all the Consort's work, spending much of the year touring at home and abroad. When occasion demands, this group is enlarged by the addition of other singers andor instrumentalists. The Consort is renowned for its innovative use of a rich and varied continuo, including organ, harp, chitarrone, and lute.
September 1990 marked the release of the first CDs in a series of the complete madrigals of Monteverdi on the Virgin Classics' Veritas label, the most recent of which are "Madrigali querrieri" and "Madrigali amorosi" from Monteverdi's Eighth Book of madrigals.
Anthony Rooley -lutist, sculptor, writer, and director of the Consort of Musicke --: has spent his life delving into and resur?recting the forgotten musical masterpieces of the Renaissance. But he is not content merely to present his finds in the scholarly manner of a musical archaeologist, but rather aims for an inspired communication to take place during the act of performance, involving performer, composer, and listeners alike.
The Consort of Musicke, which Rooley founded in 1969, has won the respect of audiences around the world, as has his duo combination with Emma Kirkby (sometimes extended to a trio with bass David Thomas or soprano Evelyn Tubb). And, as a sculptor, he continues his exploration into the mean?ing of performance by experimenting with the unexpected in wood, iron, and stone. His most recently released recording is of Dow-land Songs, with Emma Kirkby, on Virgin Classics.
"Emma Kirkby's remarkably clear agile voice has made her the world's most celebrated interpreter of early vocal music" (Vancouver Sun). She is constantly besieged with requests to perform throughout the world, from the United States to Japan. She regularly appears as soloist with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Taverner Players, and London Baroque, as well as being specially invited to perform with many other ensem?bles.
In addition to her solo work, Emma Kirkby spends a large part of each year on tour with the Consort of Musicke. Her recording output is too extensive to detail, numbering by now well over 100 records. Her incisive intelligence, uniquely beautiful voice, and brilliant musicianship have placed her in the forefront of today's early music performers.
Evelyn Tubb comes from a line of ballerinas and musicians, and, following in the family tradition, she has been a dancer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer in a wide variety of styles. Since completing her studies at the Guildhall School of Music, she has specialized in early music, performing and recording extensively as a member of the Consort of Musicke and other ensembles, with her own group Kaleidoscope, in duo with lutist Michael Fields, and with conductors including Gustav Leonhardt, Roger
Norrington, and Andrew Parrott. Her oper?atic appearances have included the title role in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Mrs. Donnithorne's Maggot and Pallas in the three versions of The Judgment of Paris staged at the 1989 Proms. Her first solo recording, of English lute songs, has recently been released and will be followed by a recording of songs by Sigismondo d'lndia.
Mary Nichols, born in Dallas, Texas, and presently living 75 feet from the North Sea facing Iceland, has been a member of the Consort of Musicke for 13 years. She studied at Carleton College in Minnesota and at the Vienna Conservatory of Music, and has lived and worked in Europe since 1976. Although most of her work is concentrated on early music, she recently premiered works of Arvo Part with the Theatre of Voices in the United States and Estonia. She returns to the U.S. with Musica Secreta this year, performing music from the Court of Ferrare. Ms. Nichols is Professor of Early Music Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music, and hopes to continue her combination of singing, teach?ing, and swimming in her future life on the Norfolk coast.
Andrew King enjoys a busy interna?tional career, performing music from the twelfth century to the present day. He re?mains committed to chamber music with such specialist ensembles as the London Consort, while pursuing his solo career. A regular visitor to the European festivals, he has traveled extensively, performing in Canada and the United Statesrjapan, the Middle East, and Australia. He has worked with a number of orchestras in different styles: the Academy of Ancient Music, English Con?cert, London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfo-nie, and the English Chamber Orchestra, ranging from Baroque opera to contemporary music world premieres.
Mr. King has recorded for most Euro?pean classical radio stations, and his disc recordings are found on EMI, Decca, Harmonia Mundi, and Virgin Classics. He has appeared on television many times, most recently in England for a series on music in Venice. His current activities include further
recordings with the Consort of Musicke, performances as the Evangelist in the Bach Passions in England, and Handel's La Resurrezione in Northern Italy.
Paul Agnew was born in Glasgow in 1964 and read music at Magdalen College, Oxford. He has worked for many leading ensembles, including the Taverner Consort, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort and the Tallis Scholars. In 1989, he joined the Con?sort of Musicke, with whom he has toured throughout the world and recorded exten?sively. Apart from ensemble work, he also enjoys a busy solo career. In 1991-92, his concerts include Stravinsky in Switzerland, John Cage in America, Bach in Brazil, and Arvo Part in Estonia. In April, he will give his first performance of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius. Mr. Agnew presently studies with Ian Partridge and Jessie Cash.
Simon Grant enjoys a varied career, covering a wide range of styles from Medieval and Baroque music to opera, jazz, and con?temporary. His involvement in early music has included numerous recordings and con?certs with the Taverner Consort, New Lon?don Consort, Consort of Musicke, and Les Arts Florissants. Recent solo recordings in?clude Monteverdi's Vespers (1610) and Orfeo, and Bach's Magnificat. In the field of lighter music, he has sung with the Swingle Singers, has been a soloist on BBC Radio-2's "Friday Night is Music Night," and helped to form the jazz group Vocal-Ease.
Tonight's concert marks Emma Kirkby's third Ann Arbor appearance under Musical Society auspices, after a concert with Anthony Rooley in 1982 and a performance with Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music in 1985. Anthony Rooley now makes his second appearance, and the Consort of Musicke is heard in its Ann Arbor debut.