Cambridge Early Music Concerts 2014

BIRDS ON FIRE - JEWISH MUSIC FOR VIOLS

Fretwork

7.30pm, Friday 4 July, 2014
Howard Theatre, Downing College, Cambridge
Tickets:  £20.00,  £15.00
Student standby tickets on the door just prior to performance: £5.00
Early Summer Season tickets:  £32.00,  £25.00
 
In 1492 the Spanish forcibly expelled the Moors, and then the Jews, from the Iberian peninsula. Along with the rest of the Jews were expelled three Jewish musicians who had developed a method of playing the vihuela, a guitar-like instrument, not with the fingers but with a bow. They went to Italy; where what became known as the viol (the name being an Italianisation of the Portuguese) was quickly adopted. Isabella d'Este was an original patron of the viol, commissioning instruments of different sizes to form a rudimentary consort, and the instrument quickly spread across Europe.
Viol players arrived at the English court around 1520 from the Netherlands, and there were at least three in Henry VIII's employment at this time; but in 1540 Henry felt the need for an enhancement of his musical establishment and sent to Italy for new players to re-invigorate the band. What he got were two families of musicians, one predominantly wind-players, the other a string band. The former were the Bassanos and the latter became known as the Lupos. After 1540 it seems the majority of foreign musicians at Henry's court could have been Jews, and Jews formed the backbone of the English court musical establishment for over a century thereafter.
It is not possible to say that there is anything stylistically 'Jewish' about these Tudor composers' music - in fact, there are good reasons why they should have gone to considerable lengths to conceal their Jewish origins in the music they wrote.
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In 2001, Fretwork commissioned Orlando Gough to write a piece for viols and two dancers: he wrote 'Birds on Fire', basing it upon Aaron Appelfeld's novel Badenheim 1939.

PROGRAMME

    Orlando Gough:
        Birds on Fire part 1
    Salamone Rossi 'Ebreo': Hashkivenu
    Augustine Bassano: Pavan & Galliard 1
    Hieronymus Bassano: Fantasia No. 1 in 5 parts
    Joseph Lupo: Pavan in 5 parts
    Thomas Lupo: Two Fantasias in 6 parts
    Philip van Wilder:
        Fantasia con e senza pause
    Leonora Duarte: 2 Symphonies in 5 parts
    Orlando Gough:
        Birds on Fire part 2
        -- Interval --
    Suite of pieces from the Lumley Part Books:
        Desperada
        Pavan & Gallyard
        Seconda desperada
        Pavan & Gallyard of Albarti
        Terza desperada
    Thomas Lupo:
        Fantasia in 6 parts
        Pavan in 3 parts
        Two Fantasias in 6 parts
    Orlando Gough:
        Birds on Fire part 3
    Salamone Rossi 'Ebreo': Shir hamma a'lot

PERFORMERS

    Fretwork
    Liam Byrne
    Asako Morikawa
    Reiko Ichise
    Richard Tunnicliffe
    Richard Boothby:
         viols
Concert generously supported by the Howard Foundation.
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All concert information is correct at 26 February 2014.

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