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   Author  Topic: Early Music from the Italian Trecento  (Read 195 times)
Charles Q. Sullivan


Early Music from the Italian Trecento
« on: Jan 24th, 2012, 2:45pm »
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Early Music from the Italian Trecento
For Immediate Release:
for further information contact Charles Q. Sullivan
414.225.3113 or info@earlymusicnow.org
The Dawn of Joy – Celebrating Medieval Creativity
Milwaukee's Early Music Now continues its 25th anniversary celebration with a program of 14th Century Italian songs and dances performed by three expert performers of Medieval music: Shira Kammen and Margriet Tindemans (vielle, harp, and voice) and percussionist Peter Maund, at the Cathedral of All Saints  on Saturday, February 18th at 5:00.
Chominciamento di gioia, or The Dawn of Joy, is the title of a dance from a collection of instrumental pieces in what is known (quite prosaically) as British Library, Additional 29987. This manuscript, now in London, contains 119 compositions, all by composers of the Italian Trecento, such as Francesco Landini, Niccoló da Perugia, and Jacopo da Bologna. The instrumental works in the manuscript are grouped together and consist of several Istanpitte, Salterelli, and other dances.
The Istanpitta, or Estampie, is the only medieval dance form for which descriptions as well as music have survived. Each phrase, or punctum, in an estampie is repeated.  It is quite extraordinary that these dances were written down at all, since we know that the players of these pieces, known as minstrels or jongleurs, mostly improvised their art. Successful minstrels needed a tinker’s bagful of talents. According to Guiraut de Calançon (Fadet Joglar), they were expected to play at least nine instruments, have a knack for storytelling and songwriting, sing, improvise dances, juggle, perform magic tricks, demonstrate acrobatic skills, catch little apples on knives, imitate birdsong, jump through four hoops, and, if possible, dance with bears!
No dancing bears in this performance. Just an imaginative concert of delightful Medieval music by three of this centuries finest composers. Shira Kammen and Margriet Tindemans cover the range of early to modern string instruments, from the medieval vielle, rebec and harp to the viola da gamba, violin, and viola. Their collaboration, which has lasted over 30 years, has been enriched by Shira’s exploration of traditional music and untraditional venues.  Margriet’s fascination with music, poetry and languages of the Middle Ages has taken many forms over a long career. Peter Maund has performed with early and contemporary music ensembles throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Israel.
This Saturday, February 18th performance at the Cathedral All Saints, 818 East Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, begins at 5:00:, and will be preceded by a 4:00 lecture. Premium seating is sold out, but tickets in the preferred and general admission sections may be purchased online at www.earlymusicnow.org, or by phone at 414.225.3113. Available ticket prices are adult/senior $25-$40 and student $10-$20.
The concert will be followed by a special gourmet Medieval Italian Dinner, a fundraiser for the organization. Reservations will close on February 9, and are $125 per person, including a $65 tax-deductible donation. The menu and further information is available at www.earlymusicnow.org or by phone at 414.225.3113.
For further information about this Saturday, February 18 event, visit www.earlymusicnow.org, call 414.225.3113, or email info@earlymusicnow.org.
NOTE:  An hour-long version of this program will be performed at St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Waukesha on Friday, February 17 at 7:30. For information or tickets go to www.stmatthiasonline.org, or call the church at 262.547.4838.
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