Good thing taxes aren’t due until the 20th!
Thanks to all those who were able to attend Sunday’s benefit concert for Tom Zajac! If you missed the concert, but still want to make a donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for info! And special thanks to all those who were able to participate. It was heartwarming and magical in many ways! I know Tom & Lilli will be most appreciative!
Onward to Monteverdi and his compagni! Wear your ciaccona shoes!
The Full Monteverdi, Part 2
We end our love song to Italy with music by Monteverdi and by composers who were influenced by him and some who might even have influenced the master a bit! The early to mid-17th century in Italy was an exciting time, musically, as the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque was at full speed and composers were experimenting with harmony, rhythms, new modes of expressiveness, and virtuosity.
There are very few composers whose careers have spanned two musical eras and even fewer who have excelled majestically in both eras. More than 50 years separated Claudio Monteverdi's first book of madrigals (1587) from his final large sacred and secular works in 1642. Those 50 years witnessed the end of the musical Renaissance and the experimentations and changes that led to the Baroque, and Monteverdi was among the leaders of the transition. We take a cue from "The Full Monty," the delightful movie from 1997, and “expose” Monteverdi's artistic brilliance in his second career, that of the Baroque composer.
From his first opera (Orfeo, 1607) to his last one (L'incoronazione di Poppea, 1642), he consistently sought to improve the human aspects of musical drama, whether dealing with small-scale chamber operas or relatively large productions for the opera houses of Venice. Monteverdi incorporated this sense of drama into non-theatrical works as well, and TEMP will perform some of these most dramatic yet dissimilar works, from the pastoral and exhilarating Tirsi e Clori to the elegantly tragic Lamento della Ninfa. Zesty rhythms abound in the form of the ciaccona, and works by Monteverdi (Zefiro torna) and Giovanni Felice Sances (Cantata à voce sola sopra la Ciaccona) will keep your toes tapping—silently, please! Both fiery passion and rhythmic excitement are abundant in Barbara Strozzi’s Lagrime mie, for solo soprano. There will also be a bit of traditional 17th-century music from Italy with the traditional Ligurian tune La bella noeva and examples of the dance-like canzonetta in the form of a street song and also as refined by Monteverdi’s Chiome d’oro. Francesco Turini’s work Il corisino for two violins and cello has an imminently hummable melody, yet it is one of the most intricately virtuosic chamber works from the 17th century.
Some of Austin’s favorite vocal soloists are featured among the fourteen singers, including Jenifer Thyssen, Gitanjali Mathur, Meredith Ruduski, Cayla Cardiff, Jenny Houghton, Stephanie Prewitt, Jeffrey Jones Ragona, David Lopez, Paul D’Arcy, Brett Barnes, Steve Olivares, Thann Scoggin, and guest mezzo-soprano Erin Calata, from Seattle.
Frequent guest violinists Anna Griffis (Boston) and Boel Gidholm (Rochester) will lead our small chamber orchestra of cellos (Jane Leggiero & John Walters), theorbo & Baroque guitar (Scott Horton), triple harp (Elaine Barber), and harpsichord (Billy Traylor), and will provide accompaniment as well as instrumental variations.
TEMP’s final concert of the season will exhibit the beauty, passion, comedy, innovation, invention, and serenity of one of the most exciting periods in western musical history.