CALLIOPE: A Renaissance Band

Saturday, November 20, 2010
at 8 pm
at Club Helsinki Hudson

Lucy Bardo, treble and bass viols, vielle
Allan Dean, cornetto, recorders, shawm
Ben Harms, percussion, bass viol, recorders, pipe and tabor
Steven Lundahl, sackbut, recorders, crumhorns

PROGRAM

I      Basse Danse “La brosse” – Pierre Attaingnant ca. 1530

II    15th Century Germany

Weit ghy –  Anonymous
Ich far dohin – Anonymous
La la ho ho – Heinrich Isaac (ca. 1450-1517)
Ich stund an einem Morgen – Heinrich Finck (ca. 1445-1527)
Ich stund an einem Morgen – Heinrich Isaac
Mit ganczem Willen – Conrad Pauman (ca. 1410-1473)

III    Ich far dohin – Allan Dean 1994

INTERMISSION

IV    Settings of L’homme armé

Robert Morton (d. 1475)
Anonymous
Jean Japart (ca. 1500)
CALLIOPE Improvisation (1979)

V     Americana

Songs of Stephen Foster (1826-1864) arr. Allan Dean
Slumber My Darling
Beautiful Child of Song
The Merry, Merry Month of May
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
My Old Kentucky Home
Oh! Susanna

Rags by George Hamilton Green (1893-1970)
Jovial Jasper
Rainbow Ripples

ABOUT CALLIOPE

The Calliope Renaissance Band was formed in the early 1970’s by four young musicians who wanted to explore the rich instrumental literature written prior to the eighteenth century and which – at the time – was little known to modern concert audiences.  The ensemble received national attention in 1976 when, in competition with string quartets and other ensembles playing traditional “classical” repertoire, it won the Naumburg Chamber Music Award.

For the following twenty five years Calliope toured North America, frequently introducing to audiences for the first time the music and instruments of the 13th through the 17th centuries. The ensemble has performed in many of the nation’s most prestigious concert halls in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Cleveland and other cities, and has made numerous appearances on college campuses doing concerts and workshops. The group has made five recordings and numerous soundtracks for TV and radio. As part of winning the Naumburg Award, Calliope was able to commission two new works for mixed renaissance instruments. With the commission of Peter Schickele’s BESTIARY in 1984, the group was influential in creating a new niche for early musicians, that of playing new music on old instruments as well as some crossover into jazz, folk, and popular music.

Although Calliope ceased national touring in 2001, the group continues to perform concerts and outreach programs in the Northeast.

The Members of CALLIOPE

Allan Dean is Professor of Trumpet at the Yale University School of Music, where he also  coaches brass chamber music and directs the Yale Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble. In addition to Calliope, he performs with Summit Brass, the St. Louis Brass Quintet, and the New York Cornet and Sacbut Ensemble.

Dean performs and teaches each summer at the Mendez Brass Institute and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut. He has also appeared at the Spoleto and Casals Festivals, the Banff Centre (Canada), the Orford Arts Centre (Canada), Musike Blekinge (Sweden), Puebla Instrumenta (Mexico), the Morella Festival (Spain), and with the Columbia Festival Orchestra. He can be heard playing both modern trumpet and early brass on over 80 recordings on most major labels including RCA, Columbia, Nonesuch, Summit and others. On early instruments he has recorded with Calliope, New York Cornets and Sacbut Ensemble, Waverly Consort, Ensemble for Early Music and the Smithsonian Chamber Players.

Lucy Bardo is a long-time member of Calliope, the New York Consort of Viols and the Berkshire Bach Society. She has performed with many other organizations over the years, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Musica Viva and Columbia Festival Orchestra. She has appeared as viola da gamba soloist for the Bach Passions with many choral organizations including the Washington D.C. Choral Arts Society and the Berkshire Choral Festival.  Her recording credits include Nonesuch, Vanguard, Telarc, Musical Heritage, Columbia, Summit, Equilibrium and Lyrachord.

Ms. Bardo teaches viola da gamba at Simons Rock College as well as gamba and cello privately. She is the editor of two publications for viola da gamba:  the J. S. Bach Art of the Fugue and Le Nymphe di Rheno by Johann Schenck for viola da gamba duo.

Ben Harms’ career as a percussionist includes performing medieval and renaissance music with Calliope as well as with the Boston Camerata, Waverly Consort, and other ensembles. He has played timpani with numerous period instrument orchestras, including the Boston Early Music Festival, New York Collegium, Rebel, and Amor Artis.  He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1968, playing not only percussion but also recorder. As a viola da gambist he performs in the annual presentation of the Brandenburg Concertos by the Berkshire Bach Society.  Other performing credits include the Steve Reich Ensemble, Queens Symphony, Columbia Festival Orchestra and New York’s Musica Viva.

Educated at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Curtis Institute, and the City University of New York, Mr. Harms held an academic Fulbright scholarship in musicology to Germany. In addition, he builds historical percussion instruments at his workshop in the Berkshires.

Steven Lundahl specializes in recorders and early brass including sackbuts and Medieval slide trumpet.  He has performed throughout North and South America, Europe and Hong Kong with such groups as
Calliope, the Boston Camerata, Boston Baroque, Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Tafelmusik, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Project Ars Nova, Waverly Consort and more.  He has participated on over 25 recordings on such labels as Telarc, Warner Classics, Angel/EMI, Harmonia Mundi (France and Germany), Erato (France), New Albion Records and others.  He resides in Canterbury, NH with his family.

PROGRAM NOTES by Lucy Bardo

This concert offers a selection of some of our favorite melodies from the 14th through the 16th centuries.  They were selected 500 years ago for improvisation and song arrangements, probably for the same reasons we have chosen them. They are memorable melodies, or they contain melodic intervals coinciding with a distinctive rhythm, which make them desirable as compositional materials.  Ich far dohin and Ich stund an einem Morgen are haunting tunes, while La la ho ho and L’homme arme are useful, malleable ones.  The tune, Mit ganczem Willen, has some of both qualities.

Pierre Attaingnant, a French music printer, published collections of dances and songs between 1528 and 1549. They were sold in sets of four part-books containing popular court dances of the time (pavanes, galliards, basse danses, etc.).  We open the concert with a basse danse, La Brosse (The Brush), which, as we “dance”, demonstrates many of the instruments you will be hearing:  pipe-and-tabor, recorders, crumhorns, cornetto, sackbut and vielle.

The music in the second set is from Germanic song collections from the 15th and 16th centuries. The text for Ich far dohin is: “I must depart from here; it is my fate. I must leave my dearest.” For Ich stund an einem Morgen ( “I stood one morning in a secret place, where I heard words of lamentation from a fair and gentle lady…”)  we have chosen two of many settings of this lovely tune.  In the first, the tune can be heard played by the cornetto, hovering slowly over the more active lower parts. In the second, the tune is used in imitation. La la ho ho must have been an in-joke between Isaac and some musician or patron friends. Conrad Paumann used the folk song, Mit ganczem Willen, as the basis for an improvisation which he included in his tutor for organ, Fundamentum Organisandi from1452. We have re-arranged and re-orchestrated that version.

Allan Dean couldn’t resist making a jazz waltz out of Ich far dohin.

L’homme arme – Oh, the man, the man at arms
doibt on doubter – Fills the folk with dread alarms
On a fait partout crier – Everywhere I hear them wail,
Que chascun se viegne armer – “Find, if you would breast the gale
d’un haubrigon de fer. – A good stout coat of mail.”

These are the words of one of the most famous tunes of the musical world of the Renaissance.  Obscure in origin, it became the cantus firmus for over 30 masses as well as settings of secular pieces from around 1450 to the end of the 16th century.  CALLIOPE has also found the tune irresistible for an improvisatory set of variations.

After “arming the man”, CALLIOPE will swing.

Lucy Bardo

Leave a Reply