News

(UK) York Early Music Festival Announces 40th Anniversary Partnership with Hiscox in 2017

Contributed by admin on Jan 11, 2017

"2017 is a significant year for the York Early Music Festival, as the internationally acclaimed 10-day summer festival celebrates its 40th anniversary and announces a new three-year partnership with specialist insurer, Hiscox. ...


(US) Yahoo! News Article: "Scholars fret about fate of 'holy grail' German abbey books" (by David Rising, 26 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Jan 11, 2017

"It was filthy, cramped and in major disarray, but when art historian Eva Lindqvist Sandgren entered the library in Altomuenster Abbey, off-limits to all but the German monastery's nuns for more than five centuries, she immediately knew she was looking at a major treasure.

The dusty shelves held at least 500 books, by her estimate, including precious illuminated manuscripts from the 16th century, chants used by the uniquely women-led Bridgettine Order and processionals bursting with colorful religious and ornamental decoration in their margins. ...


(UK) New Scientist Article: "Norway is first country to turn off FM radio and go digital-only" (by Timothy Revell, 10 Jan 2017)

Contributed by admin on Jan 11, 2017

(Sign of the times ... EarlyMusicNews.org Editor)

"Norway will be the first country to start turning off FM radio. Over the course of 2017, the FM radio network will slowly be switched off, with listeners only able to listen to digital programmes instead.

The northern county of Nordland will cease to broadcast FM radio from tomorrow, with other regions following suit throughout the year. ...


(CZ) Arte Records CD Release: "Jan Dismas Zelenka: Psalmi Vespertini II - Ensemble Inégal, Adam Viktora"

Contributed by admin on Jan 11, 2017

Gabriela Eibenová, Lenka Cafourková – soprano;
Filippo Mineccia – alto; Tobias Hunger – tenor;
Marián Krejčík, Jiří Miroslav Procházka – bass
Ensemble Inégal, the Prague Baroque Soloists conducted by Adam Viktora

This is Arta Records second CD installment of the "Jan Dismas Zelenka: Psalmi Vespertin" set.

"Beginning late in 1725 and ending towards the end of 1728, he composed three cycles of 33 compositions for Vespers. Each cycle begins with a setting of the psalm Dixit Dominus and then develops to serve one or more Vespers sequences. Thus, the psalm texts set by Zelenka for this entire project could be used for almost every Vespers service of the liturgical year (Psalms for Saturday Vespers before the four Sundays of Advent, Saturday Vespers before Septuagesima, and Vespers of Wednesday of Holy Week were not set by Zelenka). ...


(CZ) Baroque dance workshop with Robert Le Nuz (16-19 Feb 2017)

Contributed by admin on Dec 27, 2016

Location: Prague

"Historical dance workshop will focuse on reconstruction of Sarabande d'Issé, theatrical dance for a couple (man and woman). Among different versions of this choreography of sarabande à deux, extract from Issé by Destouches, we have chosen to work on the choreography created by Mr. Pécour and notated by Mr. Gaudrau (1713). ...


(US) Unquiet Thoughts - Saturday Morning Post: "Puer natus est" (24 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 27, 2016

"This Christmas Eve we offer a dual discussion: first a brief mention of a 15th-century painting of the Nativity, and secondly a synopsis of a miniature musical masterpiece by Cristóbal de Morales (c. 1500 – 1553). ...


(UK) British Library - Medieval Manuscripts Blog: "Christmas Coronations" (by Becky Lawton, Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 27, 2016

"Throughout the Middle Ages, Christmas was a season of festivities and celebrations, just as it is today. 25 December was certainly a high point of this festive season, beginning the twelve days of Christmas which would last until Epiphany. On three occasions in the early medieval period, the Christmas Day celebrations may have been more extravagant than usual: on Christmas Day in 800, 855 and 1066, merrymakers also celebrated the coronations of the very first Holy Roman Emperor and two English kings with interesting legacies. ...


(UK) Opera Today Article: "The nature of narropera?" (by Claire Seymour, 23 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 27, 2016

"How many singers does it take to make an opera? There are single-role operas - Schönberg’s Erwartung (1924) and Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies (1969) spring immediately to mind - and there are operas that just require a pair of performers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart i Salieri (1897) or The Telephone by Menotti (1947).  ...


(CA) Holiday Wishes from EarlyMusicNews.org

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

EarlyMusicNews.org wishes all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

As the year draws to its close, please consider supporting your local early music group.
In most cases, tax receipts will be issued for any financial donations/gifts.

Marc Paré
Owner/Editor
EarlyMusicNews.org
 


(US) The Conversation Article: "Scientists are trying to uncover what makes Stradivarius violins special – but are they wasting their time?" (by Bruno Fazenda and Trevor Cox, 19 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

Stradivarius violins are renowned for their supposedly superior sound when compared to other instruments. This has resulted in numerous studies hunting for a scientific reason for why Strads sound so good. A number of these studies have focused on the chemical composition of the wood in violins made in Cremona by Antonio Stradivari in the 17th and 18th centuries. Others have considered the violins made by Stradivari’s contemporary, Joseph Guarneri del Gesu, whose violins are widely considered to be just as good. ...


(UK) Medieval Manuscripts Blog: "The Medieval Origins of the Christmas Carol" (23 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

"Most people today think of a carol as any song or hymn related to Christmas. In its origins, it is something both more and less specific than this. It is derived from the Old French word carole, referring to a round of dancers, singing and holding hands. What they sung was not limited to Christmas music, and musicologists often identify a refrain repeated after each stanza as the key feature of an early carol. Not all medieval carols were overtly religious, but most focused on the Virgin Mary or the winter holy days. ...


(US) American Theatre Article: "Is the Ticket Price Right?" (by Marshall Jones III, Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

"As a college student studying theatre in the early 1980s, I frequently paid 50 cents to take PATH to New York, stand on line at the TKTS booth in Duffy Square, and pay $12.50 to see a Broadway show. (A regular ticket was $25.) Venturing into midtown Manhattan during the Reagan presidency was an adventure, as you had to make your way through homeless people living in the street and avoid eye contact with the ladies of the night. Half the Broadway theatres were dark and shuttered. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, so young artists and enthusiasts had easy access to plays, which also served as an extended classroom for emerging artists. ...


(US) The Austin Chronicle Article: "Not Very Statesman-like" (by Seth Orion Schwaiger, 23 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 24, 2016

(A growing trend in media outlets of releasing their art critic journalists and closing down these departments should worry us. Here again is another example of such a closure.)

"There is a continual conversation about the lack of support for the arts in Austin that is so pervasive at openings and afterparties that it serves as a sort of dark, loathsome substitute for small talk. While universally accepted that funds are in short supply, there are signs that the scene is by other measures healthy. ...


(CH) Tobie Miller debut CD - Crowdfunding: "Bach for hurdy gurdy"

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

"My name is Tobie Miller, and I am a Canadian hurdy gurdy player based in Basel, Switzerland. 

The music of J.S. Bach has followed me throughout my musical life as a sort of leitmotif. I grew up listening to and playing his music in so many different and varied forms - both original versions and adaptations - that it was a natural next step to adapt some of Bach's most beautiful solo works for my instrument. Bach's music is often described as "universal", and has been transcribed, adapted and adopted by and for numerous different instruments and musical genres. However, this is the first time that Johann Sebastian Bach's music has been recorded on the hurdy gurdy! ...


(US) Journal of Seventeenth Century Music - New Publication: "Thematic Catalogue of Chamber Cantatas by Marc'Antonio Pasqualini" (compiled by Margaret Murata, Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

(From a recent post from Kelley Harness, Editor-in-Chief (outgoing), Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music)

... announcing the publication of Margaret Murata's Thematic Catalogue of Chamber Cantatas by Marc'Antonio Pasqualini  ...


(US) Bach Society Houston Invites You to Leipzig (Deadline date to sign up 25 Jan 2017)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

We invite you join us and our Bach Choir Houston for the 2017 Leipzig Bach Festival, June 8–19.  This international event is the world’s major Bach festival, and Bach Society Houston is the first professional American choir to be honored with an invitation for the 2017 Festival. The Bach Choir under the direction of Rick Erickson will sing for various parts of the Festival and in other locations outside of Leipzig. ...


(US) Createquity Article: "Everything We Know About Whether and How the Arts Improve Lives" (by By Salem Tsegaye, Ian David Moss, Katie Ingersoll, Rebecca Ratzkin, Sacha Wynne and Benzamin Yi, 19 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

The platitudes are on the lips of every arts supporter, ready to be recalled at the first sign of a public hearing or potential funding cut. “The arts are essential – a necessity, not a luxury.” “The arts help kids learn.” “The arts are the foundation of the knowledge economy.” It feels good to say those things, especially if you’re someone who has spent a life in the arts. But are they actually true? Are we pulling a fast one on ourselves and our audience by saying them? Or are we doing a service to the world by spreading the good news? ...


(US) Unquiet Thoughts Blog: "More on Jonathan Bekoff"

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

(In Memoriam ... from a recent post from the Unquiet Thoughts blog (Donna Stweart & Ron Andrico, Mignarda))

Having stumbled across a few old letters from old friend and amazing fiddler, Jonathan Bekoff (1959 – 2015), amusingly tucked away in old issues of the journal Early Music, I am prompted to add a few more reminiscences – and also make available more tracks from our tune session way back in 1983. ...
 


(UK) Fugue State Films Crowdfunding: "Max Reger: The Last Giant" (to be released in early 2017)

Contributed by admin on Dec 21, 2016

News from Fugue State Films regarding the status of their crowdfunding project of "Max Reger: The Last Giant".

As of mid-December: "Thanks to your support, we have reached a milestone with our Reger crowdfunding. We have now raised a grand total of:

£85,908. This is 95% of our goal of £90,000! We've got just £4,092 left to go. ...


(UK) Polonsky Digitisation Project: Call for Nominations

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

"Our latest digitisation project has begun as we work to digitise 400 pre-1200 manuscripts from the British Library holdings, with a generous support from The Polonsky Foundation. The joint project between the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France seeks to promote and explore the contacts between France and England from 700 to 1200, as witnessed in medieval manuscript culture. We have already started, and have compiled a list of around 250 manuscripts that are key to the project themes. However, we would welcome ideas from readers about illuminated manuscripts at the British Library that you would like to see digitised. ...


(US) Unquiet Thoughts Blog: "Performing Dowland"

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

Although ’tis the season for that particularly tactless style of unapologetic American commercialism, we sidestep the sales talk, share a video of a recent performance, and reflect upon one of the primary reasons we began performing as a duo—the ayres for voice and lute by John Dowland (1563 – 1626).  Although we have released only one recording devoted to Dowland, his music is and always has been a staple in our concert repertory.   Readers who have been with us for a while will recall that we have written an ample handful of earlier posts that discussed singing Dowland’s music, as well as our in-depth series that outlined the schooling typical of professional musicians in Elizabethan England in an attempt to understand Dowland’s training. ...


(IT) Dynamic CD Availability: "Gkuseppe Tartini ~ Tartini Sonatas vol.2"

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

Soloist
Črtomir Šiškovič
- violin
Luca Ferrini - harpsichord

"A perpetuator of Corelli’s style, but endowed with a more passionate nature and a more refined technique, Tartini fully embodies the musical taste of the 18th century, according to which “music ought to be expressive and not merely ornamented, insignificant and artificial”, thus truly earning the title of “master of the nations”. The works of the present CD embrace an arc of almost thirty years, spanning from the 1730s (Sonata No. 45) to the 1760s (Sonata No. 40).  ...


(AT) 2017 Innsbruck Festival of Early Music (18 Jul-27 Aug 2017)

Contributed by admin on Dec 19, 2016

"450 years of Monteverdi 
Baptised on 15 May 1567 in Cremona, Claudio Zuan Antonio Monteverdi’s impact on Western music culture is virtually second to none. By “inventing” the basso ostinato alone, his influence goes as far as jazz and rock, and his operas have had a lasting effect on the development of music theatre. Ever since the Monteverdi Choir sang some of his madrigals under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music in 1977, the composer’s music has been closely and continually linked to the Festival. The first staged production of a baroque opera as part of the Festival was Monteverdi’s “L’incoronazione di Poppea” in 1980 (musical direction: Alan Curtis). In the Monteverdi year of 1993 – the 350th anniversary of his death – René Jacobs conducted performances of Monteverdi’s opera “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria”. Incidentally, Alessandro De Marchi made his debut at the Innsbruck Festival as a harpsichordist with the opera orchestra Concerto Vocale in that production. Now he will conduct the same opera in his position as Artistic Director of the Festival in the Monteverdi year of 2017 – the 450th anniversary of his birthday – at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. The production from Oslo by Den Norske Opera & Ballett unites ...


(US) Harmonia Early Music: "John Blow Symphony Anthems" (by Janelle David, 10 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Dec 17, 2016

"Chapel music, coronations, criminal conspiracies, charitable concerts, a chancel consecration…all occasions around which English composer, John Blow, composed concerted music that as a genre, we call Symphony Anthems. ...


(ES) Glossa Music CD Release: "Jean Hanelle ~ Cypriot Vespers"

Contributed by admin on Dec 17, 2016

"The little-known composer Jean Hanelle was a petit vicaire (professional musician) at Cambrai Cathedral and possibly later a teacher of Guillaume Dufay, also spending more than 20 years from 1411 onwards at the French court of Lusignan in Nicosia, Cyprus, a stay which involved him becoming the chapelmaster there. According to leading scholars, Hanelle was the author of the ars subtilior cycle of Magnificat-antiphons - the so called “O”-antiphons traditionally performed during the last week of Advent - found in the Codex Turin J.II.9 and included in this new Graindelavoix production. Both the original plainchant and the Hanelle troped antiphons are presented in a series of nine pairs, between which the ensemble also performs an appropriate and context-defining selection of Maronite and Byzantine chants. ...

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