|Sunday 22nd November, 4pm|
Glebe Music Festival
In conjunction with The Glebe Society Inc
Annual Saint Cecilia‘s Day concert as part of the Glebe Music Festival
Josie and the Emeralds
Sunday 22nd November, 4pm
Glebe Town Hall
Welcome to our Saint Cecilia 2015 concert. Welcome to all the pleasures... For this was
the title of one of Purcell's most adored odes written to celebrate Saint Cecilia's Day,
November 22, 1683.
We will begin with an arrangement I have made of one of its most popular arias:
There are no stories about Saint Cecilia's prowess as a musician but really, what a small quibble! That she is said to have heard heavenly music "inside her heart" was apparently enough for her to be celebrated since mediaeval times as the patron saint of music. And who are we to query this tradition?
is the first antiphon at Vespers of the Feast of St. Cecilia. A longer version of the text is found in the setting of brilliant Franco-Flemish composer Orlando de
Lassus (or Lasso or Roland de Lassus). Several composers including Palestrina and Cima set
this text as well as its original chant form.*
Lassus was said to have such a beautiful singing voice as a youth that he was kidnapped three times because of it. His vast output in both the secular and sacred musical world
seems to vary from the sublime to the ridiculous. Not afraid to raise a few eyebrows,
several of his masses were based on secular French chansons considered risqué at best. In Bonjour,mon coeur
he seems to be having a lot of fun with poetic and musical conventions
A sub-theme of today's program is dance, so we would like to include a work by the author of a seminal 16th century dance treatise, Thoinot Arbeau. His
Belle qui tiens ma vie
life as a French mediaeval carol and in this arrangement I have tried to keep some of that
simple beauty. But I could not resist giving some ornamental lines to the upper three instruments, which include somewhat unusually the inner voices of treble 2 and tenor
One muse that we are also celebrating today is Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance. But first, we present a more complex interpretation of the muse according to George Kirbye in
muse which sung the beauty of thy face.
Here we learn that the muse need not always sing
good tidings and indeed there is a dark side to this apparently sweet song.
Recently I have been searching YouTube for music sung by Syrian refugees. Perfumed with
is the title of a lament sung by a young Syrian refugee woman about the destruction
of war and particularly the destruction of her homeland. We will play this video today
with permission of its producers, the Norwegian Refugee Council. I have borrowed the title of her song to add a personal musical response. This is in two parts. The first part
continues her lament where the ascending and descending lines gradually diverge, building
up intensity to a point of great distress. The second part is inspired by a video I found of a
young Syrian refugee boy in a Lebanese refugee camp where he sings C
hou badna Nsawi.
This is a well-known Arabic song of longing for one's lost loved ones. I am grateful to Fadi El
Azzi for his translation of the text.
Handel's Ode for St. Cecilia's Day is a cantata setting the poem by the English poet John Dryden. The premiere was on 22 November 1739 at the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre,London. One of its most beautiful arias, What Passion Cannot Music Raise and Quell,features an extended cello solo where the cello represents the passion of Music.
Little is known these days of the once well-regarded English organist and composer Michael East. (or Easte, Est, Este.) HisFancies of Three Parts contain a fantasia for each of the nine muses. They bear the inscription that they are "for two Treble Viols and a Bass Viol, so made as they may be plaid and not sung". Today we perform hisTersicore (sic.), the
Muse of Dance.
You Meaner Beauties Of The Night is a setting by East of a poem by Sir Henry Wotton, and was one of the most popular poems of the time. It is addressed to "his mistress, the Queen of Bohemia", i.e., Elizabeth, daughter of James I. Each verse compares one powerful and shining example from nature, with its lesser multitude of similar beings – eg in verse 1, thestars pale beside the moon’s rays; in verse 2, the small violets are nothing compared to the rose, and in verse 3, the birds in the woods cannot compete with Philomel, or Philomela, a Greek goddess who was turned into a bird. All the above are mere metaphors for the point made in verse 4: that Princess Elizabeth far outshines all other female royalty!*
Young composer/performer Jacques Emery’s settings of two poems of e. e. cummings (1894 – 1962) cleverly use the quirky punctuation and layout of cummings (who eschewed
capitals) in their musical phrases. The melding sound worlds of marimba, viol consort and
voice are used most effectively in these atmospheric miniatures.*
In the last couple of months I've taken up beginner swing dancing classes where we are learning some basic Lindy Hop moves. Swing dancing ("Jitterbug") and Lindy Hop
developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s -1940s beginning in Harlem, New
York City. It is possible that Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears observed Lindy Hop during
When Britten was searching for a text for his Hymn to Saint Cecilia
he ended up asking the
poet W.H.Auden. They had previously collaborated on many works before they irrevocably
fell out in 1947.
The Hymn to Saint Cecilia turned out to be their last collaboration. Even though Peter Pears in 1980 claimed that Britten intended to say goodbye to Auden with this work, the poet must have been blissfully unaware, for throughout 1940 he sent his poem in sections along with advice on how Britten could become a better artist.
Debate continues as to the meaning of the poem but one interpretation places Auden as a self appointed mentor for Britten's "social development" and thinking he was possibly in
with a chance to become his lover. Thus the poem contains lightly veiled personal advice
for Britten, telling him to stop acting like a genius child and celebrate lost innocence as a consequence of growing up.
Whatever the case, I thought it would be fun to swing some of the musical motives and harmonies from Britten's Hymn to Saint Cecilia as a homage to him. Saint Cecilia must be
venerated too of course, and thus she is asked to bless our beloved Ben!
Programme notes by Brooke Green, *paragraphs by Josie Ryan
Thanks to Susan Christie, Allison Balberg, Catherine Carroll, Marjan Medhat, Rachel Walker,
Josie and the Emeralds are Josie Ryan and The Emerald City Viols. Based in Sydney,
Josie Ryan graduated from Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a grant from the Dutch Government enabled her to complete her Masters degree specializing in Early Vocal Music and Historical Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. She studied with Rita Dams, Jill Feldman, Barbara Pearson and Diane Forlano, participating in master classes and private lessons with Emma Kirkby, Evelyn Tubb and Barbara Schlick. During her thirteen years in the Netherlands Josie performed as an ensemble singer with various leading groups across Europe, including The Tallis Scholars, The Amsterdam Baroque Choir and Collegium Vocale Gent. Her operatic roles include Rameau’s Les fetes d’Hebe (Iphise), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Ninfa) and Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo (Anima beata). Josie is frequently engaged as a soloist with ensembles including the St Mary’s Singers, the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence, Australian Baroque Brass, The Sydneian Bach Choir, Coro Innominata, SUMS, Sydney University Graduate Choir, The Oriana Chorale, Salut! and The Marais Project. A regular performer with Pinchgut Opera, The Australian Brandenburg Choir and Cantillation, she is a frequent guest with the Choir of St James’ King Street and a member of the St Mary’s Cathedral Special Services Choir and Hallelujah Junction. In 2014 Josie particularly enjoyed participating in the 8-voice performance of Bach’s St John Passion conducted by Thomas Wilson in the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral. Her numerous CD and DVD recordings include the role of Liebe in Schmelzer’s sepolcro Stärke der Lieb, Monteverdi’s 5th and 6th books of Madrigals, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat in duet with Emma Kirkby. The ABC Classics CD Mysteries of Gregorian Chant, which topped the ARIA Classical Charts for several months in 2014, featured Josie as a soloist with The Singers of St. Laurence.
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, Viola da Gamba Society of America. Her suite for Viol Quartet Shades of Presence Past and her songs for soprano and viols: Emerald Elixirs are published by PRB Music, San Francisco.
In 2010, Laura Moore completed her Bachelor of Music Performance (Cello) at the
Victorian College of the Arts under the direction of Josephine Vains. During this time, she
also studied Viola da Gamba with Miriam Morris. Laura has participated in master classes
with Jordi Savall, Les Voix Humaine, Paolo Pandolfo and Vittorio Ghielmi. She is a regular
performer in Melbourne and Sydney with Consort Eclectus and Josie and the Emeralds.
She has also made guest appearances with The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ironwood,
Latitude 37, Camarata Antica and numerous other early music ensembles. In 2015, Laura
recorded for ABC Classic’s CD Royal Consorts with Latitude 37. She is a passionate primary
school teacher and values the importance of musical education.
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.
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
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
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.
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
Nicole Johnson studied percussion under the tutelage of Wyana Etherington, Gary France and Veronica Bailey. Niki was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra Young Symphonists Program from 2010-2013. In years 2011, 2012, 2013 she attended the Australian Percussion Eisteddfod and placed 1st Intermediate 4 mallet solo (2011-2012), 3rd in Senior 4 mallet solo(2013 ), and 2nd in Senior Two Mallet (2013). Niki was Principal Percussionist with the Canberra Youth Orchestra in 2013 and for the first half of 2014. In 2014 she was a top 10 finalist in the ACTcent showcase for musical excellence and was the recipient of the ACT Board of Studies Recognition of Excellence Award for outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts. Niki is currently the recipient of the Greenberg Gurney Jensen Scholarship at the Sydney Conservatorium where she is currently studying for a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree under the tutelage of Daryl Pratt.
Jacques Emery completed Year 12 at Mosman High in 2014, including composition as part of his HSC. 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.