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
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.
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.
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
Birds on Fire part 2
-- Interval --
Suite of pieces from the Lumley Part Books:
Pavan & Gallyard
Pavan & Gallyard of Albarti
Fantasia in 6 parts
Pavan in 3 parts
Two Fantasias in 6 parts
Birds on Fire part 3
Salamone Rossi 'Ebreo': Shir hamma a'lot
All concert information is correct at 26 February 2014.