16th century Italian music to lament a fallen god


Giorgio Ghisi, Venus and Adonis ca.1570

Through centuries of re-telling the myth of Venus and Adonis, the ritualistic Adonia festival held in ancient Athens has remained a part of the story which fascinated a number of literary figures during the Italian Renaissance. The ritual was both a lamentation of love cruelly stolen by the hands of fate, and a feverish “final dance” with all of life's short-lived pleasures and desires. The ensemble Phaedrus partakes in an experimental musical staging of the Venus and Adonis mythos as transmitted during the Italian Renaissance by setting extracts of Marino's 1623 Adone and from Girolamo Parabosco's La favola d’Adone, published in 1545, to early frottole music. Phaedrus surrounds these newly arranged frottole with instrumental music inspired by the tragic life of Adonis. Elevating the voice with traverso consort and lute, Adonia aims to find points of commonality between historical aesthetics and contemporary experiences of love, amorality, and ecstatic bereavement.

Program length: 66 minutes without pause



Miriam Trevisan, Voice

Bor Zuljan, Renaissance lute

Traverso Consort:

Mara Winter

Charlotte Schneider

Darina Ablogina

Luis Martinez Pueyo

Rhetorical Revolutions:

The Italian Madrigal 1530-1600

In this program, Phaedrus journeys through the metamorphoses of style embodied in the performance of the madrigal in 16th century Italy, boldly applied to performances by traverso consort with voice and lute. Phaedrus begins the concert with stylistic pioneers Philippe Verdelot and Jacques Arcadelt, then progresses through the shocking developments in harmony proposed by mid-16th century composers such as Cipriano de Rore and Nicola Vicentino. As a finale, Phaedrus portrays an example of the lighter hybrid style between the madrigal and canzona masterfully utilized by Andrea Gabrieli. From beginning to end, virtuosity abounds throughout this program. Phaedrus elegantly showcases an array of musical treasures from this dynamic time period.


The King's Flutes:

Early Tudor Court Music

Henry VIII's passion for singing, dancing and composing songs was well known during his reign. By the time of the King's death in 1547, he had amassed an enormous collection of instruments, including over 70 transverse flutes. In this program, Phaedrus aims to bring the sound of Henry VIII's flutes back to life, presenting a selection of music which might have been played by his instruments from the most beloved manuscripts which circulated in the English court during the king's lifetime: courtly love songs, instrumental fantasies, and some of the earliest English dance tunes arranged for traverso consort.