DAY 7 TREAT (DEC. 7, 2014):
Christmas in Killarney
This year we'll have Dennis Day and the Jack Benny Orchestra joining us for ... wait, what's that?
Oh, sorry, the TEMP Board tells me it’s not to be. Instead, just one of the pieces we have representing Ireland is Ye sons of men, which has become one of the mainstays of the TEMP Christmas concerts. Like most of the traditional pieces, its origins are murky.
The poem comes from Father William Devereux’s collection of texts from 1728; the tune is probably traditional; at any rate, it was usually sung during the main mass on Christmas Day. The tradition was passed down through the Devereux family, and was transcribed from a 1980 recording sung by Jack Devereux, who was then 80 years old.
It’s an amazing tradition and an amazing piece.
6 more days. Be there or be on the next boat to Killarney.
DAY 8 TREAT (DEC. 8, 2014):
For this year’s Christmas concert, we’re performing an a cappella choral work for 8 parts by a composer who is new to us. Giovanni Bassano (c. 1558-1617) was the nephew of the famous Bassano family who moved from Venice to London to be musicians in the court of Henry VIII. I had been aware of him as one of the most famous cornettists in Italy and through his books detailing ornamentation and theory—references I've used in teaching Italian performance practice.
It turns out that he was also a fine composer, and we’re performing his double choir motet Angelus ad pastores in just a few days!
But: the real reason I’m telling you this is because our September performance of La Pellegrina brought a lot of new patrons to us. One of those new patrons is a member of the Bassano family, and still has ties to Italy.
It's a small world!
An Early Christmas in Europe. In 5 Days.
Be there or be on a gondola to Killarney since you missed the last trains to Venice and Clarksville.