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

For ticket and concert venue inquiries, email the Box Office

TEMP is a performing ensemble and not a presenting organization or an agency. Please do not contact TEMP about hosting other early music groups.
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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: Swete was the Songe

The post-Thanksgiving, post-Blagh Fridaegh blog

Danny Johnson

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Yes, I indeed missed my opportunity to write a blog last Friday and call it Blog Friday, but it just couldn't be helped. Here we go, though: The Early Christmas concert is just less than two weeks away. Say that slooooowly and try to avoid hyperventilating. It hasn't worked for me; maybe it will for you. 

Our Christmas concerts offer a multiplicity of delicious music from diverse styles from diverse traditions and diverse musical eras. The upcoming one (in just less than two weeks away—did I mention that?) stays in that mold with some new elements and some that we haven't performed in so long, they seem like they're new! In honor of all this diversity of style, etc., we're using a new word to describe the concert: Multilicious! Feel free to use it. Give us credit.

Read the full program description and listen to audio teasers below. 

We hope to see you at one of our multilicious Early Christmas concerts! Buy tickets now because they often sell out! 

-Danny

 
 

An Early Christmas

7:00 pm, Friday, December 8, 2017
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX

 7:00 pm, Saturday, December 9, 2017
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX

3:00 pm, Sunday, December 10, 2017
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message,
or email
info@early-music.org.

Join Texas Early Music Project for a multilicious feast of Christmas music through the ages. People in different cultures across the centuries have celebrated this season of expectation and rebirth with sweet Dutch lullabies and joyous English carols, rousing Spanish villancicos and dulcet French noëls, Celtic cradle-songs and exuberant folk-tunes.

We’ve chosen pieces ranging from Medieval Spain and England to Baroque France and Germany and beyond, encompassing more than 500 years of humanity’s hope, love, and joy. TEMP puts its distinctive stamp on the intangible essence and passion of Christmas, with arrangements for solo voices, small chorus, harp, violin, flute, mandolin, viols, and lute.

Enjoy these audio teasers from our CDs Gaudete: An Early Christmas and Swete was the Songe:

Enjoy more selections from Noël: An Early Christmas and Stella splendens: An Early Music Christmas.

Brett Barnes, Cayla Cardiff, Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, Stephanie Prewitt, Meredith Ruduski, and Jenifer Thyssen are featured soloists, and nationally acclaimed historical harpist Therese Honey joins TEMP's troupe of solo voices, small chorus, violin, flute, mandolin, viols, and lute.

Join Texas Early Music Project for a splendid and enriching evening of music. Encompassing 500 years of festive creativity and beauty, this music is sure to delight your ears and warm your heart. And you can use our new word, multilicious!

Click on the image above to      buy tickets now     !

Click on the image above to buy tickets now!

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On the Tenth Day of Early Christmas We Went to Ireland Again. A Little.

Danny Johnson

 
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This has become one of the most popular of the pieces we do an a regular basis; we haven’t done it since 2013 so here it comes again with slightly newly arranged parts…

It is known as The Enniscorthy Christmas Carol to much of the world except that when it was first printed in the Oxford Book of Carols in 1928 it was called The Wexford Carol. Things get really confusing in the world of traditional / aurally transmitted music sometimes. (Shhh. It might also be that the text is of English origin; I think I would be careful where I spread such rumors, though.) The melody is indeed of traditional Irish origin and is probably not very old: mid-19th century, maybe? Our arrangement goes through stages: from quietly meditative to a sort of early 19th century string quartet / or trio with voice style  to a reel with harp, flute, mandolin, violin, continuo, and voice. Really fun.

But the real reason we’re talking about this today is that I first arranged it in 2010 for Cayla Cardiff to sing and, man, does she ever sing the ifreann out of it! Here's a teaser audio from our CD Swete was the Songe:

As coincidence would have it, today is Cayla's birthday! Wish her  Lá breithe shona duit and come hear her sing!

In 3 more days. TEMP: An Early Christmas.

Click to buy tickets to our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13!

Click to buy tickets to our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13!

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On the Fourth Day of Early Christmas … the history of a famous carol!

Danny Johnson

 
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So there are these carols that many of us have sung since grade school—well, at least back in the old days when we sang them in school—and they are evocative of Dickensian times and visualizations fostered by viewings of many versions of “A Christmas Carol” and Scrooge and Tiny Tim, et al.; of course we didn’t really wonder about the true beginnings of these songs. (By the way, here’s a first: I’ve got a special gift for the first person to correctly name my first solo in school; it was in the 6th-grade Christmas concert. There are those who think I’ve gone downhill since then…)

“Good Christian Men, Rejoice” began as In dulce jubilo, which was taught to the mystic Seuse or Suso by angels in the 14th century. It went through some variations in the 15th and 16th centuries before Michael Praetorius made several settings of it as did many of the other leading composers. The harmonization that is commonly used in hymnals is John Stainer’s (19th century) based on the tune that is found in the Piae Cantiones (Finland, 1582), which happens to be the same source for the Gaudete from Day 3 of our journal.

And why am I mentioning this at all? Because TEMP performs a unique arrangement of In dulci jubilo that no one else anywhere does—as far as I know! Two different imitative settings by Michael Praetorius, one instrumental and one vocal—both are virtuosic—followed by a verse by him in chorale style for four voices and then one for three voices and instruments set by Buxtehude. The fourth verse is a massive 8-voice setting by Hieronymus Praetorius with rich textures and subtle harmonic surprises; we then return to the graceful Buxtehude setting for the ‘coda.' Here is an excerpt from the 8-voice setting from our CD Swete was the Songe.

And then Tiny Tim says, “God bless us, everyone!” Ok, not really. After that 7 minutes of musical calisthenics, we move to the Lowlands for…well, we’ll talk about that tomorrow!

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That is all. As you were.
See you in 9-11 days, depending on which concert you come to!

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13.

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13.

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Saint Nick & the Reindeer Games

Danny Johnson

A shout out to  shoeboxblog.com  for the reindeer humor!

A shout out to shoeboxblog.com for the reindeer humor!

I am actually happy Meredith didn't ask me what my favorite reindeer games were. (See Meredith's TEMP Holiday Interview!) I've kept it a secret all my life. But since you're wondering now, I'll tell ya: Cupid & Casper skydiving from Santa's sled at 35,000 feet and playing havoc with Norad / UFO watchers all over the world! Donner, Dancer, and Sneezy playing sky frisbee with errant toy drones and making goofy faces at the cameras all the while! Rudolph and Snoopy sneaking into the movies on Christmas Day for a much deserved day off. 

Ok, that's all I got. Now everyone knows. But seriously, check out Meredith's interviews with Scott, Therese, and Jenny and check out the concert listing below! We hope to see you there!

-Danny

 
 

An Early Christmas

8pm, Friday, December 11, 2015
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX

 8pm, Saturday, December 12, 2015
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 

3pm, Sunday, December 13, 2015
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message, or email info@early-music.org.

It’s time for another Early Christmas! The TEMP Eurotour continues as we explore music and the intangible essence of Christmas from the cultural capitals of Europe from the 13th through 18th centuries. TEMP puts its unique stamp on joyful chants, carols, lullabies, motets, and ballads from Western Europe and the British Isles, where many of the musical traditions we hold dear at Christmastime originated, with innovative arrangements for solo voices, small chorus, harp, violin, flute, mandolin, viols, and lute.

The familiar theme of the Nativity from the shepherds’ perspective, including their wondrous and terrifying experience with the angelic host and their subsequent gathering around the manger to adore the Christ-Child, figures prominently in most early music Christmas repertoire. We will present several works with this focus, including our original arrangement combining elements of two Nativity pastorals from 1684 by Marc-Antoine Charpentier with soloists (Jenifer Thyssen & Meredith Ruduski) and choir with orchestra. Charpentier had a particular ease and love of this repertoire and the results are ravishingly beautiful. 

The theme of the Mother and Child is especially poignant, of course; among the Medieval pieces on the concert, one popular gem is Lullay, lullay: Als I lay on Yoolis night. Its transparent texture and gentle pacing makes the conversation between Mother Mary and the Christ-Child extremely touching, heightened by the polyphony of the choir of angels witnessing the event. Listen to this excerpt from the CD Noël: An Early Christmas:

The popular tune In dulci jubilo, which has origins in the 14th century, went through many variations and revisions in the next 300 years before it became the modern carol Good Christian men, rejoice. We will present a seamless suite with settings by the German composers Michael Praetorius, Hieronymous Praetorius, and Dieterich Buxtehude for 2, 3, 4, & 8 parts. Listen to this excerpt from the CD Swete was the Songe: An Early Music Christmas in Northern Europe & the British Isles:

Motets by Sweelinck and Victoria, and lively works from Spain and France round out our Eurotour before we turn our sights to the west: Our Christmas concerts are never complete without a little taste of Celtic and English influences! Our popular versions of the Christ-Child Lullaby (with its Scots Gaelic solo by Jenifer Thyssen and audience participation) and The Wexford Carol (Cayla Cardiff, soloist) and more are in the program this year, as well as other favorites from the Celtic traditions, including a few sung by the popular Irish Gaelic singer Abby Green. We are again proud to feature nationally acclaimed historical harpist Therese Honey along with featured soloists Jenifer Thyssen, Stephanie Prewitt, Meredith Ruduski, Jenny Houghton, Cayla Cardiff, David Lopez, Brett Barnes, and Daniel Johnson. Our instrumental soloists include Bruce Colson (violin), John Walters and Jane Leggiero (viols), Marcus McGuff (flute), Susan Richter (recorders), and Scott Horton (lutes). 

 Join Texas Early Music Project for a splendid and enriching evening of music.
Encompassing six hundred years of festive creativity and beauty, this music is
sure to delight your ears and warm your heart.


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