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"De Gouden Eeuw" - The Golden Age or the consequences of Dutch Persistence

The “Gouden Eeuw” or Golden Age in the Low Countries during the 17th century was a period in which commerce, education, and the arts and sciences experienced major growth. Abendmusik focuses on the music published in the Netherlands by Dutch and foreign composers who flourished in the Netherlands during this prolific period including, Nicolaus à Kempis, Philippe van Wichel, Johannes Schop, Johann Schenck,  Carolus Hacquart, and Peter Philips.

Additional Artists: Adam Young, viola da gamba; Jason Priset, lute and theorbo

Oh Susanne!

Guillaume Guéroult’s (1507-1569) poem, “Susanne un jour” was first set as a chanson by Didier Lupi Second (c.1520-after 1559) and later by Orlando de Lasso (1530-1594). The text and melody became so popular that it is represented in close to 30 chansons, set by more than 20 composers, and appears in a variety of settings from the aforementioned chansons to consort songs, instrumental fantasias, dances, solo diminutions, a mass setting by Lassus, several, lute intabulations, and more. Abendmusik explores various settings of the melody by German, Spanish, French, and British composers, including Dowland, Somers, Byrd, Cabezón, Dalla Casa, Rognoni, and more.

Lawes and Jenkyns Guard Thy Rest*

The Age of the Industrial Revolution, is defined as a time in which society looked toward the future and rejected the past. At the same time, the Arts & Crafts movement was started by a group of decorative artists, lead by William Morris, who rejected the artistic endeavors of the age and looked toward the past for creative inspiration.  The leaders of this movement encouraged Arnold Dolmetsch  to pursue his interest in reviving instruments and repertoire from the 17th century. Dolmetsch's connection to the British Library lent him access to extant manuscripts including those attributed to Henry VIII as well the compositions of John Jenkins and William Lawes, among others.  It is his efforts that have made these works accessible in the 19th, 20th and now 21st centuries so that we can have the opportunity to explore some of most beautiful music written for string ensemble in the 17th century. The works of Jenkins and Lawes have kept modern viol players enthusiastically challenged and musically satisfied for over 100 years.  We devote this concert to some of the most celebrated consorts in 5 and 6 parts and smaller works by the two great masters of English consort repertoire; and to Dolmetsch who moved Ezra Pound to exclaim, “Lawes and Jenkyns guard thy rest, Dolmetsch ever be thy guest.”*

Guest Artist: Mary Springfels, viola da gamba

*Ezra Pound, Canto LXXXI

Italians in Vienna

The rage for Italian music led many northern European courts to import Italian musicians during the course of the 17th century. The first to do this on a large scale was King Zygmunt III of Poland in about 1600, bringing 23 Italians north to form the core of his royal chapel. The classic example, however, is the court of the Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna, where from 1619 Giovanni Priuli, Giovanni Valentini, Orazio Benevoli, Marco Antonio Ferro, Francesco Turini, Pietro Andrea Ziani, Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Antonio Draghi, Alessandro Poglietti, and Antonio Bertali were prominent, even if Monteverdi could not be lured north. They provided music for lavish productions of opera and ballet as well as for the church and chamber. Lewis Baratz (harpsichord) joins the ensemble for this program.

He Nailed It!   

Honoring Martin Luther and the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, a young priest, nailed to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany a series of criticisms of the Catholic Church, entitled, Ninety-Five Theses. Within weeks his critique went ‘viral” in Germany and by 1518, his theses had reached the entire European continent – ushering in the Protestant Reformation.  One hundred years later, Germany was entrenched in a war that would isolate regions politically, religiously and culturally for 30 years. Territories that adopted the Lutheran liturgy followed the service as it was outlined in the Kirchen-Ordungen and Martin Luther provided a Formula Missae in both Latin and German.  However, the order of the service was set region by region and eventually, services were conducted in the vernacular.  In the Mecklenburg Kirchen-Ordnung of 1650, the statement, Wenn die Predigt geendet / sol man einem Deutschen Psalm singen / vom Fest / oder der sich sonst auuf das Evangelium schicket (When the sermon is ended a German Psalm of the feast or concerned with the Gospel reading should be sung.) allowed for a number of compositions, based on devotional texts, to be included in the service under  the heading sub communione. It is these “sub communione” from which we program our vocal works for this concert including works by Franz Tunder, Johann Rudolf Ahle, Dieterich Buxtehude, Johann Christoph Bach, and instrumental works by Matthias Weckman, David Pohle, Clemens Thieme, Johann Wilhelm Furcheim, and Andreas Oswald. Derek Lee Ragin is our guest countertenor for this program.

Coprario's Music

Charles, Prince of Wales, considered music a major component of his household.  He was a faithful supporter and employer of some of the most eminent English composers of the period including, Alfonso Ferrabosco, Thomas Lupo, Orlando Gibbons, and John Coprario, to name a few.  Coprario was so respected by Charles that the household string ensemble bore his name, “Coprario’s Music.”  Abendmusik presents the string compositions by the composers in this circle who defined this prolific musical period in English cultural history. Abendmusik will be joined in this program by Rosamund Morley, viola da gamba.

Italy and Iberia – A Blending of Styles

In the cultural sphere of the 16th and 17th centuries, all eyes were on Italy as the center of musical innovation.  New harmonic theory along with the art of continuo practice, the introduction of monody and word painting, the art of improvisation or diminution, showcasing instruments in solo.  There are Italian composers that come to mind who supported these new forms including, Frescobaldi, Zarlino, Caccini, Monteverdi and Spanish composers who spent time in Italy, most notably, Diego Ortiz who published his treatise on improvisation in Rome in 1553 to Bartolomeo de Selma y Salaverde, a bassoon player and composer who spent time in Venice where he published his  Primo Libro Canzoni, Fantasie et Correnti da suonar in 1638. Abendmusik explores the symbiotic relationship between the Italians and Spanish and how they each contributed to the stile moderno.  We will feature  works  by Sebastian Raval,  Bartolomeo de Selma y Salaverde, Antonio and Hernando de Cabeçon, Diego Ortiz, P. A. Zani, Giovanni Maria Trabaci, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Alonso Xuárez, Francesco Flamengo, Bartolomeo Montalbano, Andrea Falconiero, Christóbal de Morales, Francesco Guerrero and more. Stephen Rapp (harpsichord) joins the ensemble for this program.

The Consorts of William White and his Contemporaries

William White is one of the least well-known composers of anthems and consorts in Jacobean England.  He is believed to be a contemporary of Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tomkins, Thomas Ford, Giovanni Coprario, etc.  We know that he was contracted to present at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and is mentioned by Thomas Mace in “Musick’s Monument” (1676) as a composer of “very Great Eminency, and Worth.” While it is difficult to date his compositions, current scholarship is of the belief that they may have been composed around 1620.  These fantasies and pavans are true examples of Jacobean consort music and we are presenting the instrumental works which are extant, including fantasias for 2, 3, 5, and 6 viols as well as 2 pavans for 6 viols.   Characteristic of these fantasies is White’s brilliant ability to pair two instruments together in featured sections, alone and without the support of continuo organ.  He weaves a tapestry of melody throughout which is tasteful and full of spirit.  Each work is unique and leaves the listener energized and wanting more.   Rosamund Morley (viola da gamba) joins the ensemble for this program.  This concert is part of Early Music Month sponsor EMA.

Il vero modo di abbellire – “The True Way to Embellish”

Abendmusik presents Il vero modo di abbellire – “The True Way to Embellish” featuring dances, diminutions and more, for violins and viols. Hear the rarely performed “Alla dolce Ombra,” an instrumental version of the 4-part madrigal by Cipriano da Rore and embellished in all four parts by Girolamo Dalla Casa from his treatise Il Vero Modo di  diminuir (Venice 1584).  The program also features solo diminutions for violin and viola bastarda by Dalla  Casa and Richardo Rogniono as well as repertoire for the ensemble by Vincenzo Ruffo, Giovanni Maria Trabaci, Orazio Vecchi, Biagi Marini, Antonio Valenti and more.

Music from the Kroměřiž Archive

Some of the most popular, original and striking of all 5-part music is that of Heinrich Schmelzer, Biber, and Biber's colleague Pavel Vejvanovský. The greatest source of their works in manuscript is the remarkable collection at the seemingly obscure court of Kroměřiž in Moravia, like Salzburg the seat of a prince-archbishop. Vejvanovský, in his capacity as librarian and copyist, is largely to thank for assembling this vast corpus of music. His connections with the court of the Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna ensured both the performance of Czech music in the capital and the preservation of the works of Viennese composers — chiefly Schmelzer — that would otherwise likely be lost.

Aus der Tiefe – "Out of the Depths"

Germany's Cultural Revolution as a consequence of the 30 Years War

“In no other period of its musical history has Germany given more cogent proof of its ability to adopt foreign ideas, in the sense of assimilating them, making them its own, reworking them, and finally refashioning its native inheritance by fusing the latter with what it had newly acquired.”  Frederick Blume, “Deutschland,” Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

With politics and religious ethics permeating every facet of life in Germany during the 30 Years War (1618 – 1648), Blume captures the essence of the times in his quote regarding the region’s quest to develop its own national musical style.  This program takes a look at a few of the composers who flourished in the German regions, masterful artists who weaved the styles of the Italians, French, Spanish, Dutch, and English into their own, ultimately creating a unified German style and setting the stage for the next generation of German composers.

Includes works by:
Heinrich Schütz
Andreas Hammerschmidt
Samuel Scheidt
Kaiser Leopold I
Johann Rosenmüller
Johann Schop

Rosenmüller in Venice

One of the most talented and accomplished German composers, and a younger colleague of Heinrich Schutz, Rosenmüller held a prominent position at the Thomasschule in Leipzig until he was accused of a morals offense in 1655.  He fled to Venice where he flourished, returning to Germany two years before his death in 1684.

Includes works by:
Johann Rosenmüller
Francesco Cavalli
Giovanni Legrenzi
Biagio Marini
Pietro Andrea Ziani

The British Invasion

John Dowland, William Brade and Thomas Simpson are the leaders of this invasion, armed with the repertoire that would have an immense influence on German instrumental composition (the dance suite, keyboard and instrumental solos and more).  The ayres and lute songs of Dowland also punctuate this program as sources of melody and temperament through text for the instrumental counterparts.

Guests Artists:
Jaqueline Horner-Kwiatek, mezzo soprano, Donald Meineke, tenor, John Mark Rozendaal, viola da gamba.

Includes works by:
Thomas Simpson
William Brade
John Dowland
Peter Phillips
Johannes Schop
Matthais Weckmann
Samuel Scheidt
Johann Stephani (Steffens)
Benedict Greebe (Grep)

Poland's Golden Age

Around the year 1600 King Zygmunt III of Poland imported 23 Italian musicians to form the core of his royal chapel.  Native Poles were also active, while large areas of present-day Poland were territorially German during this time with a flourishing musical culture, in cities such as Konigsberg, Silesia, and Breslau.

Includes works by:
Giovanni Valentini
Tarquinio Merula
Valentin Haussmann
Daniel Speer
Marcin Mielczewski
Adam Jarzebski


Małgorzata Ziemnicka, baroque violin; Patricia Ann Neely, viola da gamba; Lewis Baratz, harpsichord

Judson Griffin, baroque violin; Małgorzata Ziemnicka, baroque violin; Patricia Ann Neely, viola da gamba; Lewis Baratz, harpsichord


Małgorzata Ziemnicka, baroque violin; Patricia Ann Neely, viola da gamba; Rick Erickson, organ

Judson Griffin, baroque violin; David Shuler, harpsichord

Patricia Ann Neely, viola da gamba; David Shuler, harpsichord

strong>Recording Credits:

Michael P. Hesse - Rosenmüller; Dongsok Shin - Merulo, Cipriano de Rore, Rognoni, Lassus, Bartolomeo de Selma y Salverde