|Saturday 22nd November at 4pm|
Glebe Music Festival
In conjunction with The Glebe Society Inc
St Cecilia 2014
Josie and the Emeralds
Welcome to our St Cecilia 2014 concert. Welcome to all the pleasures! In London, November 22, 1683, Purcell’s Welcome to all the pleasures was performed in honour of St Cecilia, ‘the great patroness of music’. Purcell wrote four Odes to celebrate St Cecilia’s Day, such was the popularity of this annual music festival.
But who was St Cecilia and how did such a joyous music festival arise out of the sufferings of a Christian martyr? There are various accounts of St Cecilia’s life but most agree she was probably a Roman noblewoman of the second or third century. Against her will she was forced marry the pagan Valerian and on her wedding night, told him that she had vowed her virginity to God. If he violated her he would be punished by the angel of the Lord who was watching over her. If he respected her, the angel would love him too. Thus she arranged for Valerian and his brother to be converted to Christianity. After many other conversions, she was arrested, and eventually sentenced to death by suffocation. This meant being locked in the Roman baths for a day and a night while the fires were vigorously stoked. But miraculously she survived. Her sentence was changed to death by beheading but after unsuccessfully striking her three times, the executioner took fright and ran away. For three days afterwards she clung to life, continuing to preach, making more conversions as crowds gathered around her. Her remains were exhumed in 1599 and were declared incorrupt.
St Cecilia is said to have heard heavenly music 'inside her heart'
at her wedding and this is apparently enough for her to be
thereafter regarded as a patron of music. Musicians in need of
divine intervention need only pray to St Cecilia! In Europe since
Medieval times, St Cecilia’s feast day of November 22 has been
celebrated inside and outside churches with much music and poetry.
Raphael, Domenichino and Rubens are some of the many painters who
have depicted St Cecilia playing a musical instrument, often a bowed
stringed instrument such as the viol.
Claudio Monteverdi’s Lamento L'Arianna (Lasciatemi morire) was written in 1607–08 as the final part of his second opera and first performed at the Mantuan Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga’s wedding. It is all that has existed of the full opera’s music since its revival in 1640, though the complete libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini still remains intact. This is an immensely frustrating loss, especially as Monteverdi said: "It was the shortness of time that brought me almost to death's door in writing L'Arianna".
Due to the lament’s popularity as the opera’s “hit tune”, it was published in different versions arranged by Monteverdi himself, for solo voice and continuo (one version, Lamento della Madonna, with a new, sacred text) and for five-voice madrigal. Today’s performance combines the intimacy of the solo version with the rich polyphony of the madrigal, with four of the vocal lines played by viols.
Arianna is Ariadne or Ἀριάδνη, daughter of King Minos of the Cretan labyrinth. After helping Theseus escape the Minotaur and eloping with him, Ariadne has been left behind on the island of Naxos and laments her fate and the betrayal of her lover.
Dorothy Porter’s Smelling Tigers is a collection within The Bee Hut. Published posthumously, these poems offer fresh insights into how one might calmly approach death, while appreciating life.
For The Snow Line I have created a three part form: the outer parts represent the other-worldly walk up the mountain with the “glimmering young man” while the middle section portrays his seemingly paradoxical message: that “a good dose of death…is a gift”. Musically I’ve tried to reveal this love of paradox so that the thick deep-set chords in the outer sections might simultaneously remind us of the pull of the earth. I have to admit that the middle section with its Purcellian chaconne did arise because I was thinking of how this song would fit in today’s programme. But I hope this also evokes the poet’s wish that there will be no more “sleep-walking” through life once we understand the “gift” of death.
In Smelling Tigers the desolation of the beginning is transformed by hope as the voice of the poet determines she will eventually “wallow in the elixir of tiger.” The short repeated note figure in the treble viol gives a first hint of tiger, before it is taken over by the second bass viol. This bass viol draws us to the end of the song with a flamboyant solo when the tiger has fully revealed itself.
When I first read Spears I was overwhelmed by its powerful emotions. But this had a positive effect and generated the constantly moving inner parts against the descending bass viol line. This was a song that demanded the presence of a strong bass foundation so I was excited to be able to include the double bass. I wanted to create a sense of the text being both reflected and amplified like unconscious thoughts emerging into consciousness. The treble viol plays this role. In the last few bars everything reaches the highest degree of tension as the lower two bass parts rise up to reinforce the final demand.
Albanese is a lament from the perspective of a refugee mother whose child dies as they are trying to reach Italy, from Albania. In 1997, after an Albanian refuge boat was hit by an Italian Navy vessel patrolling the Strait of Otranto, 83 people drowned. In 2004 there was another Albanian marine tragedy in the same area, where 28 Albanians drowned. This song was composed by Andrea Pandolfo and his chamber group of voice, trumpet and bass viol: the latter played by his brother Paolo Pandolfo. After I wrote to Andrea, seeking permission to arrange this work for JATE, he asked that we dedicate the song “to boatpeople everywhere.”
Programme note on Lamento L'Arianna by Josie Ryan. Other notes by Brooke Green
Thanks to Allison Balberg, Helen Aladjadjian, Marjan Medhat, Rachel Walker, Belinda Webster, Richard and Joan Milner, Andrea Goldsmith.
Josie and the Emeralds are Josie Ryan and The Emerald City Viols. Based in Sydney, Australia, the group performs rarely heard works from the Renaissance and arrangements and compositions by their director, Brooke Green as well as contemporary repertoire by Ross Edwards, Elena Kats-Chernin, Arvo Part and Andrea Pandolfo. Brooke Green’s arrangement of Pandolfo’s Albanese - a moving lament from the perspective of a refugee mother – has been popularly viewed on You tube. Josie and the Emeralds’ programmes have been variously themed around topics as diverse as the lives of Jeanne d’Arc, Orlando Gibbons and Dorothy Porter. One of their most sumptuous programmes was for the National Gallery of Australia: Music and Painting of the Italian Renaissance exploring connections between music and art. Since 2011, Josie and the Emeralds have presented concerts in Sydney and Canberra and appear each year at the Glebe Music Festival. They have been critically acclaimed for performing “…adoringly: not merely with precision and finesse, but a palpable and abiding admiration….” (Brad Syke, Australian Stage 08/01/2013). Their recordings have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM. Their CD The Emerald Leopard is on Tall Poppies.
Brooke Green, graduated with a Masters in Early Music Performance from the Early Music Institute, Bloomington, Indiana University, where she studied viol and vielle with Wendy Gillespie. Previously, as a baroque violinist, Brooke spent several years in London, performing with ensembles such as The Hanover Band, The Brandenburg Consort, The London Handel Orchestra, Midsummer Opera and The City of London Chamber Players. In Australia, Brooke has performed as a soloist with The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, led various baroque ensembles and played in others led by Fiona Ziegler. From 1993 as director of Backgammon, Brooke directed many innovative programmes of music on period instruments, in London, Sydney, Tasmania and Honolulu. For The Viola da Gamba Society of America, Brooke has given a recital of 17th century music for solo treble viol and directed a program of Australian contemporary music for viol consort. As a vielle player, Brooke has toured with the US-based Ensemble Lipzodes and directed multi-media, theatrical productions including Machaut’s Le Remede de Fortune, Queer Medieval Tales and O Fortuna for MONA FOMA. In 2014, Brooke performed with Consort Eclectus and The Hilliard Ensemble for The Festival of Sydney. In 2013 Brooke’s The Shades for Viol Quartet won the Audience Prize at the Leo M.Traynor Tenth International Competition for New Music for Viols, at the Viola da Gamba Society of America. Her suite for Viol Quartet Shades of Presence Past is published by PRB Music.
Fiona Ziegler began her violin and piano studies with her mother, violinist, Eva Kelly, later studying violin with Christopher Kimber and Harry Curby, piano with Nancy Salas and cello with Lois Simpson. Fiona, also a prominent baroque violinist has performed with Ensemble de la the Reine, The Marais Project, The Sydney Consort, Concertato, The Australian Forte Piano Trio, the Renaissance Players and The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. She has also performed regularly with The Sydney Chamber Choir, Coro Innominata, The Sydney Soloists and has led the Sydney Philharmonia since 1992. As a chamber musician Fiona has performed with the Gagliano String Quartet, The Sydney String Quartet. Trio Pollastri, the Vuillaume Trio, the Grevillea Ensemble; and Plektra and Completely Plucked on mandolin and mandola. Fiona is an Assistant Concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony.
Catherine Upex studied cello with Dorothy Sumner and Georg Pedersen. She attended the University of Sydney, graduating with a BMus (Hons) (majoring in Performance) in 1997. In 1994, while studying Baroque performance as part of her degree, Catherine started learning the viola da gamba with Jennifer Eriksson. Since 2000, Catherine has performed regularly with the Marais Project and played on several Marais Project CDs including Viol Dreaming (2007), Love Reconciled (2009) and Lady Sings the Viol (2012). She has also performed on the viola da gamba in masterclasses with Wieland Kuijken, Jaap ter Linden, Susie Napper and Margaret Little and has played with several ensembles including the Renaissance Players, Salut! Baroque, the Sydney Consort, La Folia, Backgammon, Thoroughbass and The Opera Project. As well as the bass viol Catherine enjoys playing treble viol and has performed on it with the Seaven Teares viol consort since 2010. She has also taught cello at several Sydney schools and currently teaches at the Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School and Lane Cove Public School.
Imogen Granwal began cello lessons with James Tennant as a child in New Zealand. She moved to Sydney to embark on undergraduate studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. By 1998 she had completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Performance Cello with the late Lois Simpson. Imogen is currently pursuing a Masters degree on viola da gamba at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Daniel Yeadon and Neal Peres da Costa. Her diverse musical interests are perhaps the trademark of her career. Her long-standing fascination with the music of Latin American has led to over a decade of collaboration and performance with Chilean folk musicians in the contemporary Latin American ensemble Trio Matiz. This interest recently merged with her passion for Early Music and Historical Performance Practise with a concert of Early Music from Latin America with her group Baroque Iluminata. Imogen is co-artistic director of The Pearl and Dagger Company which produced the 17th century masque Cupid and Death to full houses in 2014. Imogen has recently joined Josie and the Emeralds on bass viol. As well as loving historical performance, Imogen has a keen interest in both historical clothing and cookery, and regularly dresses in Victorian era clothing just for fun.
Victoria Watts is an active Melbourne musician: a member of the viola da gamba ensemble Consort Eclectus and the Renaissance band La Compania. Originally from Sydney, she studied viola da gamba with Ruth Wilkinson at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1995. She has recorded Music for Viols & Voice with Consort Eclectus and El Fuego with La Compania (ABC Classics).
Jacques Emery has just completed Year 12 at Mosman High. He studies double bass with David Campbell and percussion with Phillip South. As a jazz player he performs with a number of ensembles, ranging from trio to big band. He has been principal timpanist with Sydney Youth Orchestra and a member of SYO Philharmonic on both double bass and percussion. He has a keen interest in composition: There’s a possum in the kitchen is one of his latest works.
treble viol: Jane Julier, Devon, England, 2002, after Henry Jaye,