|Friday 26th April 2019 at 6-30pm|
Glebe Music Festival
In conjunction with The Glebe Society Inc
Friday 26th April at 6-30pm,
The viola da gamba world was astonished to learn, in 2015, that Telemann’s Twelve
Fantasias for Solo Viola da Gamba (Hamburg, 1735) had been found in Germany
in a private collection. Previously, his Solo Fantasias for Violin, and Solo Fantasias for
Flute were thought to be his only surviving examples of this genre. Perhaps this is
equivalent to the moment when the Cello Suites by J.S. Bach were brought out of
obscurity by Pablo Casals. Suddenly the world’s hot-shot viola da gamba players had an
entirely new collection of solo works to explore, and over the next few years, recordings of
these works began to emerge, including an acclaimed one by Richard Boothby. So when
Brooke heard Richard would be visiting Australia this year, she invited him to include
some of these Fantasies in this program and the Fantasy theme became the basis of the
The earliest examples of the Fantasia appear in some German keyboard manuscripts from before 1520. By 1536, semi-improvisatory Ricercars and Fantasias were common in Spain, Italy, Germany and France. Here the term referred to an imaginative musical idea rather than a compositional genre and the form and style could alternate between freely improvisational sections and strictly contrapuntal. In England from the 16th century, the early Fantasias for viol consort by composers such as Coprario, Lupo and Ward were influenced by the Italian madrigal. Their propensity to highlight dissonance and chromaticism as expressive devices strongly influenced the brilliant and unconventional composer William Lawes. But as a young musician, he was equally enamoured of the 4 more instrumental, contrapuntal styles in the Fantasias of Jenkins, Gibbons, Ward and Ives: important contributors to the second wave in the English Viol Consort tradition.
Henry Purcell: O Solitude, arr. Richard Boothby
William Lawes: Songs
The bracket of songs we perform today is a selection representing various aspects of life at the time, and covering a gamut of emotions. Lawes’ songs display a deep comprehension of each text in pure, translucent communication.
As a member of the King’s Private Music: the Lutes, Viols and Voices, Lawes had close access to King Charles I who as a viola da gamba player also played in this group. It seems that Lawes was a personal and passionate friend of Charles who was heart-broken with his untimely death at the Siege of Chester in 1645. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Lawes enlisted in the Royal army and despite the King having arranged for him to be not placed in a dangerous position, Lawes apparently “boldly rushed forward” and suffered a “casual shot” which proved fatal. The grief-struck king wore black for months and declared a special mourning for ‘The Father of Music’ with many poetic tributes following. Unfortunately the location of his body today is unknown. Thomas Jordan concluded with a lachrymose pun reminding us that Lawes had died at the hands of those who denied the divine right of kings: Will. Lawes was slain by such whose wills were laws.
Josie and the Emeralds
“No polishing required when emeralds shine this brightly.” (Limelight, 2015) Josie and the Emeralds are the acclaimed soprano Josie Ryan and some of Australia’s finest viol players. Founded in 2011 by Brooke Green, JATE performs early and contemporary music, appearing each November at the Glebe Music Festival and giving concerts around Australia. In 2018, the group performed five concerts of 15th century music and several premieres commissioned by the Art Gallery of NSW for The Lady and The Unicorn exhibition. Their CD The Emerald Leopard (Tall Poppies TP233) has been frequently broadcast on ABC Classic and Fine Music.
Richard Boothby has been playing the viol since being introduced to it by David Fallows in 1977. He went on to study with Charles Medlam and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Richard founded two leading early music ensembles, The Purcell Quartet in 1984 and Fretwork in 1985 and recently co-founded Trio Aporia with Stephen Preston (baroque flute) and Jane Chapman (harpsichord), dedicated to exploring contemporary music as well as core baroque repertoire. Richard has recorded over 80 CDs with The Purcell Quartet and Fretwork for recording companies including Hyperion, Chandos, Harmonia Mundi USA and Virgin Classics. Among his most recently recordings are a CD of the complete solo lyra viol music of William Lawes and the recently-discovered fantasias by Telemann. Richard is professor of viola da gamba at the Royal College of Music in London and teaches in the Marnaves viol course in southern France. Richard appears courtesy of the Australian Viola da Gamba Society.
Brooke Green spent many years as a historical performance violinist before taking up the viol. After studying with Wendy Gillespie, Brooke graduated with a Masters in Early Music Performance from the Historical Performance Institute, Bloomington, Indiana University. Brooke writes mostly for Josie and The Emeralds with recordings on josieandtheemeralds.com and The Emerald Leopard (Tall Poppies TP233). In 2013, The Shades won the audience and judges’ prize at the Viola da Gamba Society of America’s Traynor Competition for New Viol Music. Several of her works draw attention to the plight of refugees, with performances at the Melbourne Metropolis and Queensland Music Festivals. Published by PRB Music, Brooke is an Associate Composer with the Australian Music Centre.
Catherine Upex performs 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. She has also taught cello at several Sydney schools and currently teaches at the Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School and Lane Cove Public School.
Melbourne-based viola da gamba specialist Laura Vaughan is a dynamic and wellrecognised member of the early music movement in Australia. Following her return from studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, she has established an active performing career on viol and violone, encompassing a wide range of solo and chamber repertoire across Australasia. Passionate about the unique sound world of the viol, Laura is committed to bringing this exquisite repertoire to audiences around the world. She is also one of the few exponents of the rare lirone. Laura can be heard regularly with her trio Latitude 37, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Antipodes plus many other fine Australian early music ensembles.
Daniel Yeadon is exceptionally versatile as a cellist and viola da gamba player and is a passionate chamber musician. His plays regularly with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), Ironwood, Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble and Bach Akademie Australia. Originally from the UK, Daniel read physics at Oxford University and then studied at the Royal College of Music in London. For many years Daniel was a member of the renowned ensemble Florilegium and later joined the Fitzwilliam String Quartet. Daniel is currently a Lecturer at the The University of Sydney, Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and he has a key role in the education team of the ACO.
Josie Ryan is equally at home singing early or contemporary music, and holds a Masters degree specializing in Early Vocal Music and Historical Performance Practice from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Having performed as an ensemble singer with European groups including The Tallis Scholars, Ton Koopman’s Amsterdam Baroque Choir and Phillippe Herreweghe’s Collegium Vocale Gent, Josie is now frequently engaged as a soloist with leading Australian ensembles as well as being the resident soprano with Josie and the Emeralds. She toured throughout NSW as soloist in chamber concerts with the Australian Brandenburg Ensemble featured with the same ensemble in Rembrandt Live, a theatre piece directed by John Bell, at the Art Gallery of NSW. Josie has recently appeared with the Song Company and collaborated with Genevieve Lacey performing early music and premieres in Melbourne.