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Texas Early Music Project
13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402 
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 377-6961

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13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402
Austin, TX 78728
United States

(512) 377-6961

Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, the Texas Early Music Project is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music through performance, recordings, and educational outreach. 

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Explore more than 700 years of musical transformation

Filtering by Tag: Renaissance music

When April Showers Come In May . . .

Danny Johnson

Keep 'em Coming!

Photo: Alastair Muir

Photo: Alastair Muir

Just a quick update from us at TEMP Central, now that it’s my least favorite time of the year: the end of the concert season. It was fun to stay in Italy for the whole season—thanks for joining us—but the delights of France, England, Spain, and the Lowlands are begging for our attention next season.

We couldn’t have managed, of course, without our donors. You contributed to the La Pellegrina Indiegogo campaign, our general operating needs, Amplify Austin, and we simply couldn’t exist without you! Thanks so much! Donations are gratefully accepted on our website or by mail at:

Texas Early Music Project
2005 San Gabriel, Suite 204
Austin, TX 78705

We’re already making repertoire and artistic plans for next season’s Postcards from the Past: A TEMP Eurotour. You can see our itinerary on our 2015-2016 Season page. Season subscriptions AND single tickets are on sale now. Season subscriptions represent a 10% savings off regular prices and subscribers get to sit in the preferred seating areas. And new this year: Donors who contribute $500 or more will be able to join the season subscribers in the preferred seating area. We listened!

In the meantime, since I have no laurels upon which to rest, the Summer Toot workshop is coming right up, at breakneck speed, June 7-13, and then it will be time for the Amherst Early Music Festival.

Don’t’ forget about us in the meantime! We’ll see you in September for our multimedia season opener, Convivencia Re-Envisioned: The Three Worlds of Renaissance Spain. Below are some audio teasers of what you can expect to hear. These pieces and more are on our Convivencia CD.

That about does it!

Thanks again! Happy travels, few travails.
-
Danny

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And Now for Something Completely Different!

Danny Johnson

HEY! February is a short month, so let's do a Baroque concert and then in 3 weeks give a Medieval / Renaissance concert! "C'mon," they said; "it'll be fun," they said.

Darned if they weren't right. I love this stuff! You're going to, too!


More soon!
Danny

 

The Flowering of the Renaissance:
From Italian Chant to Ciconia

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 8PM
St. Mary Cathedral, 203 East 10th St., Austin, TX
(Free parking is available in the Capitol Towers Parking Garage located off San Jacinto Blvd.,
immediately behind St. Mary Cathedral. The gates will be lifted after the concert
so one can depart without paying between 9:45-10:15)
& 
Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3PM
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX

Single tickets can be purchased by clicking on the button below
and are also available at the door, payable with cash, check, or credit card:
$30 general, $25 senior (age 60+).

Discount prices for students with student ID are available
for purchase at the concert door for $5. 

One of the most magical and transformative periods in all of Western music history emerged in Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries, full of stylistic and theoretical developments that led to the golden period we call the Renaissance. Music from the ars nova period (the 14th century, called the trecento) displayed variety and expressiveness in ways not previously possible. Florentine composers such as Lorenzo da Firenze, Gherardello da Firenze, and Francesco Landini created music that was wildly exciting with incredible rhythmic variation and chromaticism and yet there was much that was incredibly delicate and tuneful. Some of the pieces that will be performed by these three composers include Lorenzo’s “Io son un pellegrin,” Gherardello’s exuberant canon for two tenors, “Tosto che l’alba,” and Landini’s “Abbonda di virtù.”

The Flemish composer Johannes Ciconia, whose professional career as a composer and theoretician was spent almost entirely in the papal chapels and in Padua, represents the next generation of composers in our program. His music is a blend of French and Italian techniques and the result is a style that is uniquely his. The aural effects created by Ciconia’s style of imitation are vibrant and absolutely refreshing! His works “Venecie, mundi splendor,” “Ut te per omnes celitus,” and others will display his jaw-dropping creativity and inventiveness.

Ciconia’s work in Italy in the early part of the 15th century paved the way for other Lowlands composers such as Heinrich Isaac and Josquin des Prez, both of whom spent major portions of their careers in Italy and helped make Italy the flower of the Renaissance. Isaac’s long-term working relationship with Lorenzo de' Medici established him as the preeminent Florentine composer at the end of the 15th century; his motet “Quis dabit capiti meo aquam,” written to commemorate Lorenzo’s death in 1492, is a truly touching testimonial to his patron. Isaac’s motet from the Song of Songs, “Tota pulchra es,” is among the most beautiful and spellbinding works from the Renaissance.

Peter Maund, Bay-area specialist in early percussion, returns for the concert, as will Mary Springfels, renowned virtuoso on Medieval fiddle and viola da gamba. Erin Calata, mezzo-soprano from Seattle, will be the featured soloist in Isaac’s ode to Lorenzo de’ Medici, and will be will be joining TEMP soloists Cayla Cardiff, Jenifer Thyssen, Stephanie Prewitt, Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, Paul D’Arcy, and Daniel Johnson.  The complete complement of performers includes sixteen singers and seven instrumentalists (vielles, violas da gamba, recorder, harp, and percussion) for a concert that will be in turns sweetly meditative and rousingly lively, both in the visually and acoustically magnificent space of St. Mary Cathedral and in the much more intimate (and acoustically renovated) First Presbyterian Church.

Join us for wild and saucy dances fit for Boccaccio's Decameron, shimmering and bold works by Ciconia, and progressive and iconic motets by Isaac. Experience the expressive beauty of the Renaissance blooming across Italy.

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Once again — From the top!

Danny Johnson

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Well, alrighty then. I, for one, would like to do our La Pellegrina concert about 10 more times in a few choice locations around the US—not to mention a few places elsewhere—but I think I would have to get some more sensible shoes if we did. Alas, I think we must be finished, because I don't see any rehearsals or concerts on my calendar. Drat. it was great fun, it was lots and lots and lots of work for the TEMP Board—good thing they're used to working hard to promote TEMP and work around problems that arise—and for Allison, Meredith, Jonathan, and Tiffany. Lots and lots of work. 

We might do this again. Who knows? But it can never again be the first time that it's been done in Austin, or in Texas, or in the U.S. [in at least 30 years and maybe longer]. That's a lot of 'first times' that the media missed, but, oh well. That's why we love Austin—there are always lots of artistic things going on. 

To all of the Board and staff and performers and supporters: A most solemn, sincere, and sacred Thank You! Grazie mille! We can all still continue to "Be a Medici - but Nicer" by supporting the arts and, of course, by not defenestrating people. 

And now on to the Madrigals. Eeeek. Only 6 weeks! 

Danny

P.S. You can pre-order the La Pellegrina CD here:
http://www.early-music.org/recordings/lapellegrina

P.P.S. Check out the Time Warner Cable News 8 Austin segment on La Pellegrina below! 

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TEMP’s Upcoming Performance — Yule, Britannia! Christmas Music in the British Isles

Danny Johnson

When imagining the Christmas season in Britain, scenes of Victorian period sleigh rides, Ebenezer Scrooge, and Ghosts of Christmas probably dance through your head. But the Texas Early Music Project will celebrate wonderful earlier Christmas traditions in Britannia with a sequence of music from the late Medieval period through the 19th century. From haunting Medieval carols and English psalm-tunes to traditional Irish dances and Celtic lullabies, TEMP puts its unique stamp on these beautiful and joyful selections with innovative arrangements for solo voices, small chorus, harps, violin, flute, and mandolin.

Among the Medieval pieces on the concert, TEMP will feature the well-loved "Ther is no rose of swych virtu" and also a lesser-known gem "Lullay, lullay: Als I lay on Yoolis night” with Scottish provenance, (although its source is from Cambridge University), and a hauntingly beautiful melody and story. The Christ-child, as a baby, asks his mother why she doesn’t sing to him as she rocks him and why she doesn’t tell him what his life will be like when he is older. Her response is that she knows very little about him except what Gabriel told her. The dialogue is bookended by a narrator who relays what she saw on that Yule night.

The Renaissance portion of the concert will feature a rousing psalm-tune, "While shepherds watched their flocks by night," the 16th century predecessor of Handel’s popular setting, as well as the very popular "Good people all, this Christmastime" ("The Wexford Carol"), arranged for solo voice, strings, and flute.

The English traditional music and Celtic music will include a few favorites from past years, such as "Baloloo my lammie," and "Ye Sons of Men." Newly arranged pieces include a lively instrumental by the 17th century Irish harpist Turlough O’Carolan, ("The O’Rourkes Christmas") for plucked and bowed strings and an Irish traditional song, "The seven rejoices of Mary" for solo voices and instruments. Throughout the years, the English traditional song "Drive the cold winter away" maintained its popularity and will be featured for the first time in a TEMP concert.

TEMP is pleased that Abby Green, a specialist in Gaelic songs, will be joining as a soloist and ensemble member, and TEMP again is proud to feature nationally acclaimed historical harpists, Therese Honey and Becky Baxter. Featured soloists include Jenifer Thyssen, Stephanie Prewitt, Meredith Ruduski, Abby Green, Cayla Cardiff, Jeffrey Jones Ragona, Daniel Johnson, Paul D’Arcy, and Chaz Nailor.

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Join Texas Early Music Project for a splendid evening of music encompassing 500 years of festive beauty that will delight your ears and heart!

PERFORMANCES

of Yule, Britannia! Christmas Music in the British Isles

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TICKETS

for Yule, Britannia! Christmas Music in the British Isles & other TEMP performances

 – Last chance to get discounted Partial Season Subscriptions! –

‣ purchase online

‣ by phone (512) 377-6961

‣ or at the door.

See you there!

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TEMP’s Upcoming Performance -- They Might Be Giants: Josquin and the Renaissance

Danny Johnson

Renaissance polyphony can be sublime, suspenseful, moving, and exhilarating! We hear the interweaving voices, the imitative entrances, the artfully prepared dissonance along with the excruciating sweetness of the resolution, and we simply know we are listening to the music for a master who could control the notes, rather than the other way around. Texas Early Music Project’s upcoming concert of music by Josquin des Prez and three of his Franco-Flemish colleagues will display the skill, precision, imagination, and variety available from the best of the generation of composers who lived from c.1440-c.1520 and who set the standards for future composers.

Josquin, the most renowned composer of his day, was really a giant among giants. This concert will immerse listeners in the music of Josquin and three of his Lowlands contemporaries: Antoine Brumel, Loyset Compère, and Pierre de la Rue.  Each of these composers, including Josquin, was named in Jean Molinet’s famous ode “Nymphes des bois,” written after the death of Johannes Ockeghem, their musical father, and each of these magnificent composers contributed his own unique vision to the sacred and secular repertories of the day. Josquin, Compère, and Brumel worked for courts and cathedrals in France and Italy and influenced the next generations of composers all over Europe. Pierre de la Rue lived and worked mostly in Burgundy (now Belgium) where he continued in the footsteps of his predecessors Dufay and Busnois at the Grande chapelle, the musical establishment of the Burgundian-Habsburg court.

Among the featured pieces are some of Josquin’s standouts, including “Nymphes des bois,” and two pieces from the beginning and the end of his career. Beautifully transparent and emulating some of the techniques of earlier composers, TEMP will feature the much-loved “Ave Maria” from the beginning of his career. “Missa Pange lingua,” composed during the last few years of his life, exhibits the powers of a composer who has nothing to prove. Rather than exhibiting new skills, Josquin went deeper and composed with calm mystery, especially in the “Agnus Dei,” which ends the concert. One of the most unique masses composed during the Renaissance was Brumel’s “Earthquake Mass” (“Missa Et ecce terrae motus”) for 12 voice parts.  The Gloria of the mass is perhaps the most celebrated movement and TEMP is excited to bring the splendid and exciting music to the Austin community!

TEMP founding member Christopher LeCluyse will return to perform in this concert. A small chamber choir of 12 voices will perform some of the most splendid a cappella motets and mass movements by the featured composers and will feature some of the best voices in Austin. A trio of viols will present lively secular pieces and solo lute will perform intabulations of sacred and secular music of these Renaissance titans.

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They Might Be Giants: Josquin and the Renaissance

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TICKETS

for They Might Be Giants & other TEMP performances

‣ purchase online

‣ by phone (512) 377-6961

‣ or at the door.

See you there!

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