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phillipwserna
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Newberry Consort - Nov. 2nd
« on: Nov 2nd, 2008, 7:26am »
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http://www.newberry.org/consort/L3pconsortcontent.html
 
For I have Been a Stranger in a Strange Land &mdash Jewish Musicians at Tudor Courts  
 
Although the Jews had been expelled from England in 1290, not to be permitted officially to return until 1655, there is good reason to believe that two of the most famous musical families brought from Italy to Tudor England--the Lupos and the Bassanos--were Marranos: Jews who had nominally converted to Christianity but privately maintained their Jewish identity. This short concert presents consort music by Thomas Lupo and Hieronymo and Augustine Bassano. It's in no way "Jewish music", but rather music by Jews who had found through Henry VIII, who had sought out their services, a license to freely practice their craft. It's probable that Henry even knew they were Jews: Involved in the political fight of his life with the Catholic Church, he did well to hire employees with ultimate allegiance only to him, and not to Luther or the Pope. The concert concludes with psalm settings by William Byrd, who was a favorite of Elizabeth and perhaps the most prominent Catholic of that era. No, he had not converted from Judaism, but in these poignant songs we may be hearing not music by Jews but music for Jews. Elizabeth was at least outwardly tolerant of Catholicism following the brief but violent reign of her Catholic sister "Bloody Mary", yet English Catholics faced attacks, arrest, and even execution at every whisper of an imagined Papist plot. Though Byrd lived well, he never knew from one day to the next how many of his friends might still be alive. These settings of Old Testament texts, lacking any of the doxological endings as would have been written for Christian liturgical use, may have been meant for--or at least in profound empathy with--his Jewish musical friends, whose religion would have been an open secret in Court circles. And maybe not so secret: One of the few songs that Byrd set twice (once in five parts, once in six) is the concert's concluding piece--a psalm for Sukkot.  
 
Sunday, November 2, 2008, 11:15 am
Chicago Sinai Congregation, 15 W. Delaware Pl., Chicago
(This 45-minute program is free and open to all.)  
 
http://www.newberry.org/consort/L3pconsortcontent.html
 
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Phillip Serna

Websites: http://www.phillipwserna.com/, http://www.spiritofgambo.org/, http://www.chicagoearlymusicconsort.org/, http://www.violsinourschools.org/ & http://www.vdgsa.org/3rdCoast
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