Another live broadcast holiday tradition from WDAV. This year soprano Abigail Haynes Lennox – whose crystalline voice has thrilled audiences in the Carolinas with her performances ranging from high Baroque cantatas to traditional Appalachian folk tunes – is front and center with the Seicento String Band (led by former CCM Artistic Director Henry Lebedinsky) in a program of French, Spanish and even Scottish Baroque holiday music. (An original WDAV production)|
Listen to the entire program
Abigail Haynes-Lennox, soprano
Seicento String Band/Henry Lebedinsky, director
The Seicento String Band
Elizabeth Field and Aaron Westman, baroque violins
Barbara Krumdieck, baroque ‘cello
Henry Lebedinsky, chamber organ
Ad Gaudia, ad Jubila - Maria Xaveria Peruchona (ca. 1652-1717) (5:00)
Listen to Ad Gaudia, ad Jubila
Noels en Trio - Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726) (9:00)
Ou s'en vont ces gays Bergers
Une jeune pucelle
C'est à la venue de Noel
Or nous dites Marie
Joseph est bien Marié
Listen to Noels en Trio
Cantada al Nacimiento 1759 - Juan Francés de Iribarren (1699-1767) (5:00)
Recitado. Por aquel Horizonte
Aria. Allegro Todo el mundo en alborozo
Listen to Cantada al Nacimiento
The Virgin's Bower - James Oswald (ca. 1711-1769) (2:40)
Allegro. Brilliante - Adagio - Giga. Vivace
Rorate Caeli Desuper
Listen to The Virgin's Bower
The Thistle - Oswald (5:00)
Pastoralle. Andantino - Brilliante - Amoroso - Brilliante
Listen to The Thistle
About the Program
Maria Xaveria Peruchona (or Parruchona) was born around 1652 in the northern Italian town of Gozzano and at the age of sixteen entered the Ursuline convent in Galliate. She suffered from poor health throughout her life, and died in the convent in 1717. Only one publication of her music survives, a collection of motets for one to four voices published in Milan in 1675, when Peruchona was only in her early 20s. Ad gaudia, ad Jubila is one of two motets that she wrote for soprano, two violins, and basso continuo. The text, most probably by the composer, unfolds the mystery of the Incarnation from the clarion call of the angels to the shepherds’ rustic lullaby – accompanied by the violins imitating the sound of the zampogna, a folk bagpipe made from sheepskin – concluding with the most intimate and tender of songs, sung by a young mother to her newborn child.
The French organist and composer Michel-Richard de Lalande and spent most of his professional life in the service of the court or Louis XIV, where he was most famous as a composer of grands motets, large-scale sacred works written for the King’s royal chapel, of which de Lalande was music director from 1714 until his death. Among his small output of non-vocal works is a collection of popular French Christmas carols arranged for instrumental ensemble, which might have been performed for the King’s family during supper or at social gatherings during the Christmas season.
The villancico is a unique Spanish musical form, a rich and rustic blend of African, South American, and native Spanish ideas. However, by the mid 18th century, the influence of Italian opera rendered the villancico, the motet, and the cantata virtually identical in their alternation of recitatives and da capo arias. Juan Francés de Iribarren spent the final 34 years of his life as the director of music at the Málaga Cathedral. Over 900 of his sacred works are extant, including a large number of Christmas pieces. The opening recitative of Por aquel horizonte paints the coming of Jesus in bright, bold colors, taken up by the violins, which lead the celebration in a joyous, dancing aria.
A native Scotsman, James Oswald worked variously as a composer, dancing master, and publisher. After moving to London in 1741, Oswald gained fame as a successful and shrewd publisher and in 1761 was appointed Chamber Composer to King George III. He published two sets each of Airs for the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each of the 96 small-scale trio sonatas is named after a particular flower, inspired by poems by fellow Scotsman Allan Ramsay (1686-1758). Many movements exhibit a distinctly Scottish melodic and rhythmic flair superimposed on Italianate forms and harmonic constructions. The vivid imagery of early 16th century Scottish priest and poet William Dunbar’s macaronic Rorate Caeli Desuper has inspired many musical settings, most notably paired with what the Oxford Book of Carols called a “little-known Scottish melody.” The tune’s true provenance was not uncovered until 2006, when Henry Lebedinsky recognized it as Strily Vale by Mr. Oswald, first used in Oswald’s music for Macbeth and again published in his Collection of curious Scots Tunes, (London, ca. 1742.)
About the Performers
Elizabeth Field is a sought after performer on both period and modern instruments. She is the founder and co-director of the Vivaldi Project and concertmaster of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. She has also served as concertmaster for several period instrument ensembles including The Washington Bach Consort and Opera Lafayette. She and Vivaldi Project co-director Stephanie Vial, are also founders and directors of The Modern Early Music Institute (Historical Performance Practice on modern instruments) held annually in Washington DC. Field is currently a professor of violin at George Washington University and is a sought after coach of performance-practice for modern string players and is a guest instructor at the Curtis Institute of Music. Her collaborative DVD with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson titled Performing the Score, which explores 18th-century performance practice of violin/piano repertoire is available at www.performingthescore.com. A live recording of the Vivaldi Project’s highly acclaimed performance of the six C.P.E. Bach String Symphonies, conducted by Maestro John Hsu will be released by Centaur Records in the Fall of 2011.
Abigail Haynes Lennox completed her master’s degree in voice at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music in 2007. In addition to participating in master classes with Martin Katz, Stephen Layton, and David Daniels, she has performed as soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion and Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri under Simon Carrington, Mozart’s Vespers with Sir David Willcocks and again with Sir Neville Marriner, Bach’s Magnificat in E-flat Major with Helmuth Rilling, a program of French Baroque music with the Ensemble Européen William Byrd, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Apollo’s Fire and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Mass in B minor and Handel’s Laudate pueri with the American Bach Soloists. In addition to pursuing a solo career, Lennox enjoys teaching in the NYC area, where she now lives, and engaging in collaborative projects with fellow artists.
Hailed by The Miami Herald for his “superb continuo… brilliantly improvised and ornamented,” Henry Lebedinsky performs on historical keyboards across the United States and the United Kingdom. He currently plays with Triumvir, Quince, Tableau Baroque, and Ensemble Vermillian. He has also performed with The Charlotte Symphony, The Vivaldi Project, Revels, and Seraphic Fire, among others. He is the founder of the Music @ St. Alban’s concert series in Davidson, and served as interim Artistic Director of Charlotte Chamber Music, Inc. and Director of Rochester, NY’s The Publick Musick. Mr. Lebedinsky has lectured and led workshops on 17th and 18th century music at the University of Edinburgh, Davidson College, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Appalachian State University. He holds a Master of Music in historical organ performance from the Longy School of Music, where he studied with Peter Sykes. He currently lives in Minnesota, where he serves as interim Director of Music at historic St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, and is a contributing writer at Fanfare magazine.
Barbara Blaker Krumdieck grew up in the East Bay, studying cello with Mildred Rosner and Jeff Stauffer. She changed her focus to Baroque cello after attending the San Francisco Early Music Society’s Baroque Workshop, and went on to study with Viola de Hoog in the Netherlands, and Pheobe Carrai at the Conservatory of Music in Hilversum, NL. She has toured all over Europe and recorded with Concerto Köln, of Germany, and is currently a member of various early music groups including the Wild Rose Ensemble, Vita Nova and Ensemble Vermillian. Barbara is the Artistic Director of the Music @ St. Alban’s concert series in Davidson, North Carolina, and the founder and director of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. She is also a sought-after cello teacher and can be heard on Ensemble Vermillian’s CDs “Stolen Jewels” vols. 1 and 2, as well as on the Disc Continuo series of recordings.
Aaron Westman has become "one of the most popular period instrumentalists on the West Coast" (Santa Rosa Press Democrat). In demand as both a violinist and a violist, he has performed as a soloist with the American Bach Soloists, Seicento String Band, the Live Oak Baroque Orchestra, and El Mundo, and as a principal player with ABS, Berkeley West Edge Opera, Bach Collegium San Diego, LOBO, Magnificat, Ensemble Mirable, Music at St. Alban’s, Seraphic Fire, and the San Francisco Bach Choir, and regularly with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. With Musica Angelica alone, he has toured the US, Mexico, South America, and Europe. He recently co-founded the Live Oak Baroque Orchestra along with his wife, violist da gamba Shirley Hunt, and eminent baroque violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock. He currently resides in West Marin County, California, where he and Shirley also direct the award winning chamber ensemble Agave Baroque. Agave was selected as a finalist in the Early Music America/Naxos Recording Competition in 2011. Aaron holds a Master of Music from the Indiana University School of Music. He has recorded on the Dorian/Sono Luminus, Magnatune, NCA, and Philharmonia Baroque Productions labels, as well as live on KPFK (Los Angeles), ORF (Austrian Radio), and NPR's Performance Today.