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: 60 minutes
Miriam Trevisan, Voice
Bor Zuljan, Renaissance lute
Renaissance traverso Consort:
Luis Martinez Pueyo
Le Diamant et La Marguerite
Burgundian Music from the Court of Maximilian I
This concert program by Phaedrus takes inspiration from the lost treatise owned by the early-16th century by Archduchess and daughter of Maximilian I, Margaret of Austria, known only by the mysterious title, Traité du Diamante et de la Marguerite (The Book of the Diamond and of the Daisy). Phaedrus takes the simultaneously impressive and tender imagery conveyed by this title to curate a musical display of treasures which may have provided a soundtrack to the Archduchess's public and private life. Thus, "Le Diamant et la Marguerite '' offers a balanced mixture of elegant basse danse from the famed manuscript, B-Br MS. 9085, melancholic chansons and virtuosic untexted polyphony from celebrated Burgundian court composers Agricola, Obrecht, des Prez, and others, which survives in the various musical manuscripts which originated in the provenances of Margaret's father, Maximilian I: the Augsburger Liederbuch, Leopold codex, and the surviving materials of A-LIb 529, known commonly as the Linz Fragments. The music in "Le Diamant et la Marguerite" is arranged in ensemble settings inspired by the surviving iconography in Maximilian's books, Freydal (1512) and Der Triumphzug (1523), depicting the development of the traverso alongside the voice, drum and dance as an important instrument in early-16th century musical expressions of power and decadence.
Program Length: 60 minutes
Miriam Trevisan, voice
Massimiliano Dragoni, percussion
Renaissance traverso consort:
Luis Martinez Pueyo
The King's Flutes:
Early Tudor Court Music
'The King's Flutes' sketches an image of the activities of professional flute players active in England during the early Tudor period. King Henry VIII's acquisition of no less than seventy-two transverse flutes by the time of his death (listed in an inventory from Westminster in 1542) shows that among the plethora of instruments collected by the King throughout his lifetime, the flute held a place of some significance at his court. The Tudor court not only possessed a large number of transverse flutes organized into consorts of similar instruments—they also employed members of the famous Italian Bassano family for over 125 years. With activities based both in London and in Venice, the Bassanos eventually became one of the most beloved wind instrument-making families in Europe in the 16th century. An original traverso consort made by the Bassanos survives today, and is housed in the Accademia Filarmonica in Verona. A copy of the Verona consort is used to perform this concert program.
The music performed in 'The King's Flutes' is representative of the celebratory, as well as the more intimate styles of music performed frequently at the English court, drawing from three manuscripts: GB-Lbl Add. MS 31922 (otherwise known as the “Henry VIII Book”), GB-Lcm MS 1070 (the Anne Boleyn songbook), and finally, GB-Lbl Royal Appendix 58, a collection of lute or keyboard intabulations with a written-out cantus voice dated from around 1540. Phaedrus has taken into account the research that exists which forms a social context for the musical sources, as well as what is known about the lives of wind instrument-players around the time of the production of the aforementioned manuscripts. Lastly, we have used our technical knowledge and personal understanding of playing modern copies of the Renaissance traverso to inform our interpretation of the pieces selected to be performed from these sources.
Program length: 60 minutes without pause
Emma-Lisa Roux, Voice, lute
Luis Martinez Pueyo