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Concerts

Recorder Concert: Chrome Attic

*POSTPONED* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

People’s Museum of Limerick

Theresa Burton, recorder

Vlad Smishkewych, voice

Yonit Kosovske, harpsichord

Sarah Groser, viola da gamba

(40 mins, followed by Q&A)

Music in early 17th-century Italy was considered the avant-garde of its time, revolutionary and experimental. Composer Giulio Caccini even named his collection of solo songs Le nuove musiche (The New Music).  Ground-breaking compositional trends were part of a seconda prattica (second practice), also called the stile moderno (modern style). Both vocal and instrumental music aimed to dramatize the emotional power of poetry and move the listener by way of bold musical contrasts, symbolic rhetorical gestures, juicy dissonances, wild chromaticism, and flashy virtuosity, also called stylus fantasticus (fantasy or free style).

This programme features the Baroque recorder on a journey through virtuosic sonatas, variations, and a ciaccona. You will hear works by Antonio Bertali, Dario Castello, Giovanni Paolo Cima, Giovanni Battista Fontana, and Tarquino Merula, as well as Barbara Strozzi’s Lagrime mie (Tears of Mine)—her passionate cantata for solo voice and continuo— and a solo harpsichord toccata by Girolamo Frescobaldi.

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Concerts

Medieval Concert: Unexpected Innovations

*POSTPONED* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

People’s Museum of Limerick

Vlad Smishkewych, voice, sinfonia, percussion

Sarah Groser, vielle

Michelle O’Connor, vielle

(40 mins, followed by Q&A)

Most modern impressions of the medieval period tend towards an antiquarian and dismal view of this period, so often referred to as the “Dark Ages.” Although it had its share of social backwardness (one could equally argue the same of our present age) it was nonetheless a time of great musical, literary, and artistic flourishing. Each generation of the so-called “long medieval period”—between the 9th through to the 14th centuries—saw itself as the vanguard of its time. Musical styles shifted rapidly in Europe, as plainchant incorporated the novel forms of polyphony that arose from within its own musical matrix (organum) and interwove this with versus, the new song genre that brought the troubadours to the fore in the 12th through 14th centuries. Freer polyphonic styles incorporated modal rhythmic structures, evolving into highly ordered motets that would eventually culminate in the Ars Nova, even giving rise to such esoteric forms as the jazzy Ars Subtilior. The opening concert of H.I.P.S.T.E.R.’s Early Music Day celebrations brings together many of these innovative musical styles, representatives of various forms of medieval-style Avant-garde from the 11th through 15th centuries, from Machaut’s songs and Dufay and Vitry’s motets to the offbeat wackiness of Ars Subtilior composers Ciconia, Solage and Cordier.

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Concerts

Musica Transpyrenaica: song journeys across European borders

10 March 2020 – 1:15pm

MIC Chapel, Foundation Building, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

Eamon Sweeney, guitars

Wolodymyr “Vlad” Smishkewych, tenor

Featuring songs by John and Robert Dowland, tonos by José Marín, airs de cour by Etienne Moulinié and Spanish airs from French collections as well as styles from the Spanish period in Naples, in a programme that is a veritable grand tour of solo song during the 1600s.

Part of the Borderlines Project

The 16th century saw the art of the madrigal take flight across Europe. From its origins in the so-called Burgundian School, it was carried forward through the Renaissance by multiple generations of Franco-Flemish composers, until it found a happy home in Italy with composers such as Cipriano de Rore, Giaches de Wert, Luzzasco Luzzaschi and Luca Marenzio. This last composer’s name would fly back over the Alps, crossing the Continent and the Channel so that in 1588 a certain Nicholas Yonge collected several of Marenzio’s madrigals, setting them to texts in English by poet Thomas Watson. Yonge ordered publisher Thomas East—William Byrd’s assignee—to print them in an anthology titled Musica Transalpina. The success of this collection led Yonge to create two more anthologies in the decade to come and firmly embedded the madrigal style into the Anglophone world of the Renaissance.

The wonderful—and closely related—genre of solo song during the 17th century has an equally interesting and no less travelled story. In their programme ‘Musica Transpyrenaica: song journeys across European borders’, tenor Vlad Smishkewych and guitarist Eamon Sweeney journey across the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean, and the Alps too, flying upon wings of song to discover the many paths by which poetry was set to music during the cusp of the 16th to 17th centuries.

Categories
Concerts

Stars and Stones: an evening of medieval music

7 March 2020 – 7:30pm

Anita’s Gallery, Mountshannon, Co. Clare

Michelle O’Connor, vielle

Wolodymyr “Vlad” Smishkewych, harp, sinfonia/organistrum, percussion

Musical explorations and poetic symbols from Ireland to Iberia

Part of the Borderlines Project

From sacred medieval songs filled with poetic symbolism, from the dolmens and stone crosses of Ireland to the Campus Stellae of Santiago, and from ancient Celtic hymns to troubadour and trouvère music with origins along the pilgrimage and cultural paths of historic Europe, STARS & STONES explores the symbolic meaning behind these recurring medieval themes, including musically-inspired carvings on stone crosses, monuments, figures in the tympana and statues in churches where musical allegory was frozen into the carved stone, and music inspired by melodies that originated in the great stone sanctuaries of the middle ages: cathedrals and cloisters. This musical pilgrimage crosses the North Atlantic and includes stops in Ireland, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and more, and explores the intertwined history of place, pilgrimage, physical and allegorical symbol, using as inspiration the images found along these paths of stars and stones.

Tickets available on Eventbrite.ie.