Troubadours of France & Spain, c.1100-1300
Saturday, March 2, 2013, 8PM at First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave
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Sunday, March 3, 2013, 3PM at First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive
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General Admission: $25; $20 seniors 60+; $15 students (advance sales)
$5 students with valid ID (at the door only)
Tickets available online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door
Call (512) 377-6961 for more information or to reserve seats.
The poetry, music, and culture of the troubadours of what is now southern France informed and inspired musicians and poets all over Europe for generations. Even now, a thousand years later, cultures around the globe refer to favored singers as troubadours. What did the original troubadours do that was so different from previous composers? Their poems were much more personal and the music was singable and relatively simple, yet, like the poems, complex and structured in its creation.
TEMP will perform songs about the absent boyfriend, politics, the death of a king, unrequited love, and even completely reciprocated love (!) along with chants and motets from southern France and northern Spain to evoke the passion, intellect, and cultural fervor that arose from Occitania, Castilla, and Galicia, making the region a center for the arts in the 11th–13th centuries. Rarely heard Aquitanian chant from St. Martial de Limoges and motets from Las Huelgas Codex, Codex Calixtinus, and Llibre vermell display the virtuosity and creativity prevalent in the sacred music of the region at that time.
One of the most important troubadour songs of the evening will be “Fortz chausa es que tot lo major dan,” by Gaucelm Faidit, a plaint on the death of Richard Lion-heart in 1199. The lament is both heartfelt and current, written shortly after the king’s death, as Faidit died just a few years later in 1205. Stephanie Prewitt, long-time Austin favorite, will be the soloist. Another featured set will be one of the first song cycles, “Cantigas d’amigo” or ‘boyfriend songs,’ written by the 13th-century Galician poet/composer Martim Codax. In this cycle of seven short songs, a young girl misses her sailor boyfriend and joyfully anticipates his return from the sea and very painfully laments his continued absence. Soloists for this cycle are Meredith Ruduski, Jenny Houghton, and Cayla Cardiff.
Special Guest Artists and TEMP Performers
Our featured guest is Mary Springfels, internationally renowned string player, performing on vielle (Medieval fiddle) and citole, a small plucked string instrument. Another featured guest is tenor Joel Nesvadba, formerly of UT Austin, who began his early music studies in the UT Early Music Ensemble with Daniel Johnson. He is now finishing his doctoral studies in the early music program at USC, where he is writing his dissertation on troubadour songs through the context of Medieval rhetoric.
Other featured performers are Jenifer Thyssen, soprano, Daniel Johnson, tenor and psaltery, instrumentalists Kit Robberson, John Walters, and Jane Leggiero on vielles, Elaine Barber (harp), Scott Horton (gittern), and Susan Richter (recorder).
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