Theatrum Musicum



An Evening of Pastoral Lute-Song

Hana Packard, soprano. Sean Smith, lute.

We are happy to present a good handful of the great songs of the Renaissance - from the first printed songbooks to the delightful French Airs de Cours with stops in the midcentury French songs (of questionable morals) to the upright Thomas Campion. Yes, there will be lute solos, too.

"Lyric soprano Hana Packard is a native of Kyoto, Japan. A recipient of the Donna Petersen Vocal Prize, she has recently graduated from Mills College with a BA in Music Performance (Voice) and continues her studies under Sara Ganz, an artist who has performed both at San Francisco Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera."

Wednesday, 4 June, 2014
7:00-9:00 p.m.

Admission: FREE

Le Bateau Ivre, 2629 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA.

In connection with the SFEMS Early Music Festival 2014 Fringe concert series,

The Lute Player as Traveling Jukebox
(c. 1570)

Sean Smith, lute with Leslie Ifshin, 2nd lute.

As the most popular of solo instruments in the 16th century the lute had a variety of repertories. We often think of the great number of dances (lute or in ensemble) from the English Golden age and from then on, all the dance suites throughout the baroque. In continental Europe in the 15th century its primary source, however, was vocal polyphony. In nearly every printed source and manuscript for the lute we find the balance strongly weighted to works by the Big Names: Clement Janequin, Clemens non Papa, Thomas Crequillon, Cypriano de Rore, Orlando di Lasso and even a cult-like obsession with Josquin. We find their most popular chansons, madrigals and motets "intabulated" repeatedly and with an endless variety of variation, passaggi and ornaments. For the lute player this was an opportunity to add their character, genious and humor to an existing framework that their audience may already know.

In this concert I will try to ask you to imagine a travelling lute player at a north European court who is requested to play the most popular composers of the day. (I should point out that a composer was expected to compose vocal music and that dance music was in a different class altogether.) To play something Italian was to choose a piece by Arcadelt or de Rore; French, a piece by the respectable non Papa, Sermisy or Rogier, and "something old" a piece or two by the late Burgundian, Josquin de Pres. Yes, there was that Francesco da Milano fellow but he was but the intabulator of great composers ... who also, in the eyes of most musicians at the time, composed some pieces for the lute. In the books of Albert de Rippe, lutenist to Francis I, beside his ricercars we find predominantly intabulations of vocal works; a pattern we find repeatedly in all the major lutebooks of Melchior Neusidler, Simon Gintzler, Francesco Spinacino and as well as all the vihuelists.

This Fringe concert will showcase intabulations collected by the serial publisher, Pierre Phalese, whose many books "appropriated" hundreds of intabulations from around Europe. In addition we'll include Clement Janequin's extraordinarily inventive Le chant de Oiseaux from a contemporary German lute manuscript. For this I must thank the East Bay's new local talent Leslie Ifshin, as well as co-TM founder Andrew Hartig for his musicological work in liberating it from obscurity.

Thursday, 5 June, 2014
4:00 p.m.

Tickets: $15 / $12 seniors

Chapel of Joseph of Arimathea, 2316 Bowditch St (at Durant), Berkeley, CA.

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