concert programme - Early Music Society of the Islands

Henry Lawes
Songs of an English cavalier
Jeffrey Thompson, tenor
La Rêveuse
Saturday 28 March 2015 at 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
Victoria Conservatory of Music
2014–15 Concert Season
Hildegard of Bingen
Songs and Visions
VocaMe Germany
25 April 2015 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
Mystic, poet, saint, visionary, Doctor of the Church: Hildegard
was many things, but perhaps above all she was a composer
of inspired music. This internationally acclaimed ensemble
transports audiences back to the 12th century and makes it
possible to share Hildegard’s ecstasy.
“A rewarding, musical (very) Early Music adventure—
a harmoniously unique, deeply spiritual aural experience.”
La Rêveuse appears with the support
of the Institut français,
the Conseil régional du Centre
and the Spedidam
Henry Lawes
Songs of an English cavalier
Jeffrey Thompson, tenor
La Rêveuse
Florence Bolton, treble and bass viola da gamba
Bertrand Cuiller, harpsichord Benjamin Perrot, theorbo
Oft have I sworn I’d love no more . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes (1595–1662)
Perfect and endless circles are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Lawes (1602–1645)
Or you, or I, nature did wrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
Tregian’s ground (bass viol and continuo) . . . . . . . . Daniel Norcombe (17th century)
Wither are all her false oaths blown? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
Why so pale and wan, fond lover? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Lawes
Neither sights, nor tears, nor mourning . . . . . . . . . . Nicholas Lanier (1588–1666)
Ground in G Major (bass viol and continuo) . . . . . . . Godfrey Finger (c.1660–c.1730)
I rise and grieve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
Bid me but live, and I will live . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
Wert thou yet fairer than thou art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
When thou, poor excommunicate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Have you e’er seen the morning sun? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Slide soft you silver floods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
O tell me love! O tell me fate! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Henry Lawes
Henry Lawes
Henry Lawes
Henry Lawes
Ground (bass viol and continuo) . . . . . . . . . . . Christopher Simpson (c.1602–1669)
Sweet stay awhile; why do you rise? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
I’m sick of love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Lawes
No more shall meads be deck’d with flowers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nicholas Lanier
The Queen’s delight/Lady Catherine Ogle, a new dance . . . John Playford (1623–1686)
( treble viol and continuo)
Sleep soft, you cold clay cinders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
Out upon it, I have lov’d . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Lawes
Why should great beauty virtuous fame desire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Lawes
Oft have I sworn I’d love no more
Oft have I sworn I’d love no more,
Yet when I think on thee,
Alas, I cannot give it o’er,
But must thy captive be.
So many sweets and graces dwell
About thy lips and eyes,
That who so ever once is caught
Must ever be thy prize.
Or you, or I, nature did wrong!
Or you, or I, nature did wrong!
You made too fair, and I too true;
Most beauteous you ne’er heard my song.
Yet was it ever fram’d to you:
And I can never turn the leaf,
Though I sing still, and you are deaf.
O be you still the same you were,
Though I would not be what I am;
Your beauty’s change is poor care,
I doting, master of my blame:
For your fresh colours will away,
But my true love shall ne’er decay.
Sure thou hast got some cunning art
Made by the god of fire,
That doth not only catch men’s hearts
But fixes their desire.
For I have laboured to get loose
Some dozen years and more,
And when I think I am released
I’m faster than before.
Your precious blossoms being shed,
And my eternal love alive;
I’ll say your beauty is dead,
And what it was to praise I’ll strive.
For in your worth I’ll not be dumb,
Since of it I must make my tomb.
Then welcome sweet captivity,
I see there’s no relief,
And though she steals my liberty,
I’ll honour still the thief;
And though I cannot hope to see
The mistress of my pain,
The comfort is that I do love
Where I am loved again.
Wither are all her false oaths blown?
Wither are all her false oaths blown?
Or in what region do they live?
I know no place where faith is known,
Dares any harbour to them give.
My wither’d heart, that love did burn,
Shall venture one sight with the wind;
O may it never home return,
Until one of her oaths it find:
There may they wrestle in the skies,
Till they both one light’ning prove,
Then falling, let it blast her eyes,
That was thus perjur’d in her love.
Perfect and endless circles are
Perfect and endless circles are,
And such of late mine and my love’s heart were,
But if now the red
Be from my poor heart fled,
You are the cause, why it is pale and dead,
For gazing on your eyes, my heart stood still,
Amazed was, and thus became both pale and ill;
Smile now, and what before was white you’ll view
Carnation, being restored by you.
Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prithee why so pale?
Will, when looking well can’t move her,
Looking ill prevail?
Prithee why so pale?
Mend thou my state
O Jove, I thee implore,
Or end by fate what thou hast made before.
Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Prithee why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can’t win her,
Saying nothing do’t?
Prithee why so mute?
If I but close
The covers of my sight,
Then slumb’ring woes
With dreams my sleeps affright;
And if awake I seek to ease my mind,
Some new bred cares my troubled thoughts do find.
Mend thou my state
O Jove, I thee implore,
Or end by fate what thou hast made before.
Quit, quit, for shame; this will not move,
This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her: the devil take her.
Or if it be
Thy will I should endure
What unto me
Is almost past recure,
Give me but strength to undergo those pains
Which like a torrent runs through my veins;
Or mend my state,
Which as my days do fade;
Or end by fate what thou before hast made.
Neither sighs, nor tears, nor mourning
Neither sighs, nor tears, nor mourning,
Move not her, nor quench my burning;
She so frigid,
And so rigid,
That my love procures but scorning.
Bid me but live, and I will live
When I follow her, she flies me,
Swiftly running
With more cunning
Than the hare or bird that spies me;
Still disdaining
My complaining,
And to hear my grief denies me.
Bid me but live, and I will live,
Thy votary to be;
Or bid me love, and I will give
A loving heart to thee.
A heart as soft, a heart as kind,
A heart as sound and free
As in the whole world thou canst find,
That heart I’ll give to thee.
Say alone, must it be so then?
Shall she glory
In my story
And I unrevenged go then?
Prithee Cupid
Be not stupid,
Bend in my defence thy bow then.
Bid that heart stay, and it shall stay
And honour thy decree;
Or bid it languish quite away
An’t shall do so for thee.
Bid me to weep, and I will weep
While I have eyes to see;
And having none, yet I will keep
A heart to weep for thee.
I rise and grieve
I rise and grieve,
I walk and see my sorrow,
I eat, I live
Perchance not till tomorrow.
I lay me down to rest and then again
I rise, I walk, I feed and lie in pain.
Thou art my life, my love, my heart,
The very eyes of me;
And hast command of ev’ry part
To live or die for thee.
When all thy tears shall be as vain
As mine were then, for thou shalt be
Damn’d for thy false apostasy.
Wert thou yet fairer than thou art
Wert thou yet fairer than thou art,
Which lies not in the pow’r of art;
Or hadst thou in thine eyes more darts
Than Cupid ever shot at hearts;
Yet if they were not thrown at me,
I would not cast a thought at thee.
Have you e’er seen the morning sun
Have you e’er seen the morning sun
From fair Aurora’s bosom run?
Or have you ever seen on Flora’s bed
The essences of white and red?
Then you may boast, for you have seen
My fairer Chloris, beauty’s queen.
I’d rather marry a disease
Than court the thing I cannot please:
She that will cherish my desires
Must court my flames with equal fires:
What pleasure is there in a kiss
To him that doubts the heart’s not his.
Have you e’er pleas’d your skilful ears
With the sweet music of the spheres?
Have you e’er heard the sirens sing,
Or Orpheus play to Hell’s black king?
If so, be happy and rejoice,
For thou hast heard my Chloris’voice.
I love thee not because th’art fair,
Smoother than slumber, soft as air;
Not for the Cupids that do lie
In either corner of thine eye:
Would you then know what it might be?
‘Tis I love you ’cause you love me.
Have you e’er smelt what chymic-skill
From rose or amber doth distill?
Have you been near that sacrifice
The phoenix makes before she dies?
Then you can tell (I do presume)
My Chloris is the world’s perfume.
When thou, poor excommunicate
When thou, poor excommunicate
From all the joys of love, shalt see
The full reward and glorious fate
Which my strong faith hath purchas’d me,
Then curse thine own inconstancy.
Have you e’er tasted what the bee
Steals from each fragrant flower or tree?
Or did you ever taste that meat
Which poets say the gods did eat?
O then I will no longer doubt
But you have found my Chloris out.
For thou shalt weep, entreat, complain
To love as I did once to thee;
O let me die on this fair breast,
Far sweeter than the Phoenix’ nest;
Love, raise desire with thy sweet charms
Within the centre of her arms,
And let those blissful kisses cherish,
My infant joys, which else would perish.
Slide soft you silver floods
Slide soft you silver floods,
And ev’ry spring
Within these shady woods;
Let no bird sing, nor from this grove
A turtle dove
Be seen to couple with his love;
But silence on each dale and mountain dwell,
Whilst that I weeping bid my love farewell.
I’m sick of love
I’m sick of love, Oh let me lie
Under your shades to sleep or die;
Either is welcome, so I may have,
Or here my bed, or here my grave.
Why do you sigh, and sob, and keep
Time to my tears, whilst I do weep?
Can ye have sense, or do you know,
What cruxifictions are in love?
I know you do, and that’s the why
You weep, being sick of love as I.
You nymphs of Thetis’ train,
You mermaids fair
That on the shores do plane
Your seagreen hair,
As you in trammels knit your locks
Weep ye, and force the craggy rocks
In heavy murmurs through broad shores to tell
How that I weeping bid my love farewell.
O tell me love! O tell me fate!
No more shall meads be deck’d with flowers
O tell me love! O tell me fate!
Or tell me some other pow’r;
Who did inconstancy create,
That changeth ev’ry hour?
Why should one creature seem this day
The object of content,
Tomorrow lose that new born joy,
And prove a punishment?
No more shall meads be deck’d with flowers,
Nor sweetness live in rosy bow’rs,
Nor greenest buds on branches spring,
Nor warbling birds delight to sing,
Nor April violets paint the grove,
When once I leave my Celia’s love.
The fish shall in the oceans burn,
And fountains sweet shall bitter turn;
The humble vale no floods shall know,
When floods shall highest hills o’erflow:
Black Lethe shall oblivion leave,
Before my Celia I deceive.
Fair shapes and gilded honours raise
Rebellion in our hearts;
Then blame not Cupid if he shoot
Such sev’ral sorts of darts:
Such sullen miseries as these
Will wait on fickle love;
Be thou a saint, it is decreed
She must inconstant prove.
Love shall his bow and shafts lay by,
And Venus’ doves want wings to fly:
The sun refuse to show his light,
And day shall then be turn’d to night;
And in that night no star appear,
Whene’er I leave my Celia dear.
Sweet stay awhile; why do you rise?
Sweet stay awhile; why do you rise?
The light you see comes from your eyes;
The day breaks not; It is my heart;
To think that I from you must part.
O stay! or else my joys must die,
And perish in their infancy.
Love shall no more inhabit earth,
Nor lovers more shall love for worth;
Nor joy above in heaven dwell,
Nor pain torment poor souls in hell:
Grim death no more shall horrid prove,
Whene’er I leave bright Celia’s love.
But the spite upon’t is no praise
Here is due at all to me;
Love with me had made no stay
Had it any been but she.
Sleep soft, you cold clay cinders
Sleep, sleep soft, you cold clay cinders that late clad
So fair, the fairest soul the vast earth had:
In thought (aye me) of you I inly feel
A numb ice (through each failing art’ry) steal
Like a death’s sleep, welcome as ease to pains,
Water to thirst, freedom to who remains
Hasp’d in strict irons.
Here, here, still let me mourn,
Till I (like Niobe) to stiff marble turn,
Or falling melt away in this sad dream
(Cyane like) into a silver stream.
Had it not been she alone,
And that very, very face,
There had been at least by this
A dozen dozen in her place.
Why should great beauty virtuous fame desire
Why should great beauty virtuous fame desire,
Since beauty cannot fame protect?
Ev’n he that means your beauty to admire,
Your virtue gladly would suspect.
Out upon it, I have lov’d
Out upon it, I have lov’d
Three whole days together,
And am like to love three more
If it hold fair weather.
Men having little virtue of their own,
Urge reason for their jealousy:
That women weaker than themselves, have none,
So each admirer is a spy.
Time shall moult away his wings
Ere he shall discover
In the whole wide world again
Such a constant lover.
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Programme Notes
Henry Lawes, born in the late sixteenth century,
belongs to the generation that succeeded the great
composers of the Elizabethan era. At the end of
that sumptuous period for the arts, the first signs of
important changes were felt in Italy, where in certain
aristocratic milieus theorists and artists were thinking
in a new way about the role of music. They gradually
abandoned the polyphonic and contrapuntal style—
too unwieldy in their view—in favour of monody,
which gave precedence to the outer voices, the treble
and the bass. Notation of the accompaniment was
simplified to the point where it became a mere bass
line, with the harmony suggested by a few figures.
This new semi-improvised style of accompaniment
thus gained in flexibility and gave greater freedom to
the singer, who now ‘carried’ the text, like an actor
in the theatre. This stile nuovo, launched by artists
such as Giulio Caccini in Florence and Monteverdi in
Mantua, had a lasting influence on the rest of Europe
and took the form in England of the ‘declamatory
ayre’, in which declamation gradually came to prevail
over melody, while the lute part, now barer than in
the previous period, stuck exceptionally closely to
the text, already prefiguring, notably in the music of
Henry Lawes, the style of Locke and Purcell.
The end of the reign of Charles I, his execution,
and the troubled period of the Civil War and
Cromwell’s Commonwealth caused tremendous
upheavals in the lives of musicians. With the
dissolution of the King’s Musick and the Chapel
Royal, most of the leading composers and musicians
of the period found themselves out of a job. Nicholas
Lanier (1588–1666), for whom Charles I had created
the post of Master of the King’s Musick in 1626,
fled London and took refuge on the Continent.
Thus England lost this outstanding figure, a perfect
example of the ideal cultivated courtier, who was at
once composer, singer, lutenist, violist, poet, etcher,
and painter.
Henry Lawes, born in 1595 in the Wiltshire
village of Dinton, was probably taught by the great
Coperario in person. He joined the King’s Musick
in 1626. When the monarchy fell, Lawes stayed in
London and, while waiting for better days, took a
position as music master in a leading aristocratic
family. He briefly evoked these hard times in the
preface to the Ayres and Dialogues of 1653: ‘Now, we
live in so sullen an Age, that our Profession it selfe
hath lost its Encouragement.’ At this time he appeared
regularly in private concerts, events much appreciated
by music-lovers, which attracted the finest London
society. Sales of his music, which coincided with the
expansion of music publishing in England, brought
him a healthy income and a certain fame. Lawes
was one of the most productive composers of his
period: more than 350 songs have survived, including
a considerable number published in the extensive
anthologies of successful ayres issued by John Playford.
At the Restoration of Charles II, Lawes rejoined the
King’s Musick, as did most of his colleagues.
Despite the popularity he enjoyed in his lifetime,
Henry Lawes has been somewhat overshadowed
by his hot-headed younger brother William, King
Charles I’s favourite musician, who was constantly
seeking bold musical innovations. Fighting on the
Royalist side during the Civil War, William was
cut off in his prime at the battle of Chester on 24
September 1645.
To sing while accompanying oneself on the lute
was a common practice, and it is highly probable that
Henry Lawes and Nicholas Lanier were experienced
exponents of it. From the end of the Elizabethan
period, new accompanying instruments came into
vogue, including the virginal (until then essentially a
solo instrument), the harpsichord, the organ, the bass
viol, the theorbo, and the guitar. With the fashion
for the lyra viol, the solo viol played chordally (‘lyra
way’) could sometimes even substitute for the lute,
and the violist Tobias Hume does not conceal his
taste for accompanying songs in this way (‘to be sung
to the Viole, with the Lute or better, to the Viol alone’:
Musicall Humors, 1605). The periods of Charles I and
Cromwell were a veritable golden age for the viol: its
technique developed considerably, with high positions,
chordal playing, and frequent use of scordatura.
‘Divisions’, or variations on ostinato basses called
‘grounds’, often of great technical difficulty, were
then very fashionable and form the major part of the
repertory along with pieces for solo viol.
Christopher Simpson (c.1605–69) is one of the
most inspired and respected composers of grounds.
Daniel Norcombe, who wrote more than thirty
divisions, is still little known. He was probably
a violist in the service of the Archduke Albert in
Brussels between 1602 and 1647. Simpson mentions
him as a composer worthy of interest in The Division
Violist: ‘I would have you peruse the Divisions which
other men have made upon Grounds; as those of Mr
Henry Butler, Mr Daniel Norcombe, and divers other
excellent men of this our Nation… .’
Charles Malinsky, Fado Angel, oc,61x78
Florence Bolton. Translation: Charles Johnston
2260 Oak Bay avenue 250-595-2777
758 Humboldt Street 250-382-7750 / 250-386-2773
The Artists
La Rêveuse
to the Théâtre de Caen and Théâtre National Populaire
de Villeurbanne.
The ensemble’s recordings (Locke/Purcell, K617
(2006); Purcell (Mirare, 2008); Buxtehude/Reinken
(Mirare, 2009); Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre
(Mirare, 2010), Sébastien de Brossard (Mirare, 2011);
Henry Lawes (Mirare, 2013); Telemann (Mirare,
2015)) have all been acclaimed by the French and
international press.
In 2011, La Rêveuse created a new stage show, Les
Mille et une nuits, a dramatic adaptation by Louise
Moaty and Bertrand Cuiller of Antoine Galland’s early
eighteenth-century translation of The Arabian Nights;
the group also provided the musical sequences for a
new production of Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme,
directed by Catherine Hiegel with François Morel
in the role of M. Jourdain (CADO Orléans, Théâtre
de la Porte St Martin Paris and a nationwide tour in
2012–13). In 2012, after a concert tour of the USA
and Canada with the tenor Jeffrey Thompson, La
Rêveuse created Concerto Luminoso, in collaboration
with the visual artist Vincent Vergone (Compagnie Le
Praxinoscope), at Noirlac Abbey. In 2014, La Rêveuse
created Zadig’ dance, a puppet show directed by Pierre
Blaise (Le Théâtre Sans Toit).
In 2016, La Rêveuse will collaborate with Kristof
Le Garff on a new puppet show around Jack and the
Founded by Benjamin Perrot and Florence Bolton,
La Rêveuse is an ensemble of solo musicians which
aims to bring back to life selected works of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that effervescent
age so rich in artistic experiments and inventions
of all kinds. By favouring an approach founded on
eloquence, mastery of colour and a rich continuo
sound, the musicians of La Rêveuse wish to convey
to audiences the rhetorical, spiritual and poetic
substance of these repertories.
La Rêveuse has attracted favourable attention
with its concerts in France (notably at Les Concerts
Parisiens, La Folle Journée de Nantes, Fontevraud
Abbey, Pontoise, the Radio-France Montpellier
Festival, and Lanvellec), and also appears abroad, at
such events as the Cambridge Summer Festival, the
Organizatie Oude Muziek season in the Netherlands,
La Folle Journée in Japan, the French Cultural Centre
in Cairo, and in Switzerland, the USA, and Canada.
The group also works regularly in co-production with
Benjamin Lazar’s company Le Théâtre de l’Incrédule,
notably on L’Autre Monde ou Les Etats & Empires de la
Lune by Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, which enjoyed
great success at the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris in
April 2008 and has toured widely since then, notably
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Beanstalk, and another show about wine in music,
In Vino Veritas, directed by Nicolas Vial with some
original music of Vincent Bouchot. La Rêveuse also
plans a programme about the link between baroque
and rock music.
roles of Osiris and Aruéris in Rameau’s La Fête de
L’ hymen et l’amour in Washington DC and New
York, a recording of early forgotten Italian music by
Giulio San Pietro De Negri with ensemble La Faenza,
a recording of Palestrina and a newly discovered
Scarlatti Mass with the French ensemble Le Parnasse
Français, concerts with Les Arts Florissants, and
the title role in Rameau’s Platée and the Vespers of
Monteverdi in Budapest.
Future projects for Mr. Thompson include a
European tour and recording with lutist Bor Zuljan
in a programme of lute songs by John Dowland,
numerous concerts with Le Poème Harmonique, a
recording of madrigals by the forgotten composer
Giovanni Zamboni with ensemble La Faenza,
a concert and recording of les Grands Motets de
Mondonville in Budapest and Versailles, and concerts
of sacred music by Purcell with La Rêveuse in France
and Utrecht.
Mr Thompson is a native of Rochester, New York,
but now resides in Paris, France.
Jeffrey Thompson, tenor
Tenor Jeffrey Thompson has received accolades
around the world for his concert and opera
performances. Soon after completing his studies
at the Cincinnati conservatory under William
McGraw, he was awarded first prize in the Concours
International de Chant Baroque de Chimay in
Belgium by a jury led by William Christie. In 2002,
he was selected to participate in the first Jardin des
Voix with William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants, in
a tour of baroque works in Europe’s most prestigious
theatres. This resulted in a series of concerts with
Les Arts Florissants, including Handel’s Acis and
Galatea and Hercules, motets of Etienne Moulinée
at the palace of Versailles, and La Pythonisse in
Charpentier’s David et Jonathas. In 2004, he sang the
tenor solos in Rameau’s motet In Convertendo with les
Arts Florissants for a DVD recorded for Opus Arte.
Mr. Thompson has also sung the role of Zotico
in Cavalli’s opera Eliogabalo under the direction of
René Jacobs, the role of Atys in Rameau’s Les Paladins,
the role of Ninus in Rebel; he has also appeared in
Francoeurs’ Pirame et Thisbé, Purcell’s The Fairy
Queen, Philidor’s Sancho Pança, Gretry’s Le Magnifique
(recorded under the Naxos label) and Montsigny’s
Le Roi et Le Fermier (also recorded for the Naxos
label), and Handel’s Judas Maccabeus and Theodora.
He has recorded a disc of motets and cantatas by
Sebastian Brossard on the Mirare label, and a solo disc
dedicated to the forgotten composer Henry Lawes,
with the French ensemble, La Rêveuse. He also sang
and recorded the role of Castor in Rameau’s Castor et
Pollux with Pinchgut opera in Sydney.
Highlights of his 2013–2014 season included the
title roles in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie and Leclair’s
Scylla et Glaucus, the role of Acamas in Royer’s
Pyhrrus (recorded with Alpha), a recording of the
Te Deums of Charpentier and Lully, the Evangelist
in Bach’s St. John Passion in a tour throughout
France and the United States, the role of Monsieur
Riss in Philidor’s Les Femmes Vengées in New York
and Versailles (recorded for Naxos label), the role
of Giancuir in J.C. Bach’s Zanaida in Malta, the
Florence Bolton, viola da gamba
Florence Bolton began studying music at the age of
seven, learning the harpsichord and the recorder, but
her penchant for string instruments finally led her
to specialize in the viola da gamba. After gaining
premiers prix in viola da gamba and chamber music
at the Saint-Cloud Conservatoire (class of Sylvia
Abramowicz), she entered the early music department
at the CNSMD in Lyon, where she studied with
Marianne Muller, obtaining a premier prix there
in 2001.
As soloist and continuo player, she appears at
festivals in France and abroad with such ensembles
as Akadêmia, Doulce Mémoire, La Fenice, Musica
Favola, Il Seminario Musicale, The Ensemble
Pierre Robert, Le Poème Harmonique. Along with
Benjamin Perrot, she is co-founder of La Rêveuse.
In the field of Baroque theatre, she worked with
Alain Zaepffel on Racine’s Esther at the Comédie
Française in 2003, and with Benjamin Lazar on
Cyrano de Bergerac’s L’Autre Monde ou les Etats
et Empires de la Lune, first produced in 2004,
subsequently revived many times on tour, notably
at the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris, and the TNP
in Villeurbanne.
Ms. Bolton teaches the viol and chamber music
on Baroque music courses.
She has taken part in many recordings on
Alpha, Arion, K617, Ligia Digital, Mirare, Naïve,
and Zig-Zag Territoires.
supérieur de musique in Paris. Also interested in the
sound of the horn, he learned to play both Baroque
and modern horn.
In 1998, at age 19, he won the third prize of
the Bruges International Harpsichord Competition.
Retained the following year by William Christie, he
participated in numerous productions by Les Arts
Florissants. As an orchestral musician, he also played
with conductors Hevé Niquet, Vincent Dumestre and
his father, Daniel Cuiller.
Primarily interested in working in smaller groups,
he has developed a great affection for chamber music,
an affection which he has nourished with his friends
at La Rêveuse as well as with Les Basses Réunis, since
his meeting the cellist Bruno Cocset. He also plays
in duo with Sophie Gent, Marine Sablonnière and
Jana Semeradova.
Deeply interested in instrumental playing,
Bertrand Cuiller has devoted himself to the solo
repertoire for harpsichord, in particular works by the
Englishmen William Byrd and John Bull. He has
twice recorded these composers: “Pescodd Time” for
Alpha, and “M. Tomkins his lessons of worthe” for
Mirare. He has also recorded Johann Sebastian Bach’s
harpsichord concerti for Mirare with his father Daniel
on the violin leading the ensemble Stradivaria, as well
as a disc devoted to Scarlatti and Soler. His recordings
have received a very warm reception from both the
critics and the public.
Bertrand Cuiller has created several productions
with the comedian Louise Moaty: La lanterne
magique de Monsieur Couperin; Mille et une Nuits;
and D’Anglebert—Les Lettres Portugaises. His
theatrical collaborations have led him to appear with
Nicolas Vaude and Nicolas Marié in Diderot’s
Le Neveu de Rameau.
Bertrand Cuiller made his first sortie as a
conductor in the winter of 2012–2013, conducting
Alain Buet’s Ensemble and Choir of Les Musiciens du
Paradis in a production of the opera Venus and Adonis
by John Blow, with soloists Céline Scheen and Marc
Mauillon. This production of the Théâtre de Caen,
staged by Louise Moaty, with performances at the
Opéra de Lille, the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg,
MC2 Grenoble, Paris—Opéra Comique, and
Opéras d’Angers et Nantes, increased his enthusiasm
for conducting.
Benjamin Perrot, theorbo
Benjamin Perrot studied lute, theorbo and Baroque
guitar with Eric Bellocq and Claire Antonini at the
Conservatoire National Régional in Paris, where he
graduated in 1997 with the Diplôme Supérieur de
Musique Ancienne. He then went on to advanced
studies with Pascal Monteilhet. In 1996–97 he
was also trainee accompanist at the Studio Baroque
de Versailles (Centre de Musique Baroque
de Versailles).
Since then he has been invited to appear as a
soloist and continuo player in France and abroad.
Giving priority to chamber music, he performs with
such ensembles as Il Seminario Musicale (Gérard
Lesne), Le Concert Brisé (William Dongois), Musica
Favola (Stephan Van Dyck), the Ensemble Pierre
Robert (Frédéric Désenclos), Le Poème Harmonique
(Vincent Dumestre). He also appears in orchestral
music, notably with Le Concert Spirituel (Hervé
Niquet) or Les Arts Florissants (William Christie).
He is co-founder of the ensemble La Rêveuse
with Florence Bolton. He also created the production
l’Autre Monde ou les Etats et Empires de la Lune with
the actor and director Benjamin Lazar.
Benjamin Perrot has taken part in more than
fifty recordings for labels including Accent, Accord,
Alpha, Calliope, Glossa, K617, Mirare, Naïve,
Zig-Zag Territoires.
He teaches lute and theorbo at the Conservatoire
de Versailles and is a répétiteur at the Centre de
Musique Baroque de Versailles. He also teaches
several early music training courses.
Bertrand Cuiller, harpsichord
Born in 1978 into a musical family, Bertrand began
studying the harpsichord with his mother, Jocelyne,
at the age of eight. He studied the instrument for
many years following with Pierre Hantaï as well as
with Christoph Rousset at the Conservatoire national
2015–16 Concert Season
26 September 2015 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
Byron Schenkman & Friends (Seattle)
to escape from three raging Furies, wild as wolves,
and finally finding salvation from Swithun, saint of
all miracles.
“As an aural and visual experience it was one of the
most moving events of this year’s Festival.” Handel and Haydn
Harpsichord Concerti
Edinburgh Herald Angel
Byron Schenkman, one of EMSI’s favourite
performers and known for his effervescent virtuosity,
returns to Victoria with a programme of keyboard
masterpieces by Handel (op. 4, no. 2 and no. 4) and
Haydn (H.XVIII:3).
“Byron Schenkman & Friends display dashing
musicianship” The Seattle Times
19 December 2015
Saturday 8pm
Christ Church Cathedral
Early Music Vancouver Vocal and
Instrumental Ensemble
Jolle Greenleaf, Catherine Webster,
Laura Pudwell, Jacques-Olivier Chartier,
Sumner Thompson
La Rose des Vents cornetto and sackbut
ensemble (Montreal)
St. Christopher Singers
David Fallis, music director (Toronto)
17 October 2015 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
Ensemble Caprice (Montreal)
Chaconne! Voice of Eternity
In the baroque era chaconnes, with their steady
harmonic progressions, were associated with the
concept of eternity. Composers from across Europe,
including Bach, Falconieri, Merula, Vitali, and Rebel
used the chaconne form to transcend the boundaries
of time.
“The artists’ physical involvement and infectious
enjoyment, conveyed through body rhythms and
expression, were what music should always be about.”
A Praetorius Christmas Vespers
Thirteen vocal soloists, string band, cornetti and
sackbuts, three theorbos, multiple keyboards and the
St. Christopher Singers join together to recreate the
joyful celebration of Christmas Vespers as it might
have been heard under the direction of Michael
Praetorius in 17th-century Germany. In the spirit
of celebration, the audience will join the assembled
mass musical forces in singing favorite early
Christmas carols.
Washington Post
14 November 2015 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
Diologos (France)
“The music was balanced and period-perfect.
The whole effort felt authentic in a natural, unforced
way...David Fallis is a magician.” Toronto Star
Swithun! One saint, three Furies
and a thousand miracles from
Winchester c.1000
A Northwest Baroque Masterworks Project produced by
Early Music Vancouver in partnership with EMSI, the
Portland Baroque Orchestra and the Early Music Guild
of Seattle. Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts,
BC Arts Council and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres de
Quebec. In cooperation with Christ Church Cathedral.
Dialogos explores early polyphony from Winchester
(10th–11th centuries). Through the voice of Wulfstan
the Cantor, we follow the path of a penitent man
haunted by his visionary or terrifying dreams, trying
16 January 2016 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
5 March 2016 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
Victoria Baroque Players
Steven Devine, harpsichord and direction (UK)
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Toronto)
Dramatic Baroque Suites with
Four Horns
House of Dreams
A magical journey to the meeting places of baroque
art and music—five European homes where exquisite
works by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Marais were
played against a backdrop of paintings by Vermeer,
Canaletto, and Watteau. Includes stage direction,
narration, and stunning projected images.
Spectacular large scale baroque suites by Handel,
Telemann and Rameau are performed by one of
the largest baroque orchestras ever to appear on
a Victoria stage. Directed by Steven Devine, one
of Britain’s most distinguished harpsichordists
and conductors.
“…much more than a concert … an experience that
transcends its many components to create a special,
all-encompassing experience that makes one forget time
and place for two bliss-filled hours.” The Toronto Star
“…oozing virtuosic exuberance.” BBC Music Magazine
Victoria Baroque Players are “Lively, sensitive, and
stylish” Times Colonist
20 February 2016 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
16 April 2016 Saturday 8pm
Alix Goolden Hall
Piffaro: The Renaissance Band (Philadelphia)
Collegium Vocale Ghent (Belgium)
Philippe Herreweghe, director
Back Before Bach
This programme explores the repertoire familiar to
Bach’s father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, a Stadtpfeiffer
in the town band of Arnstadt: polyphony by Isaac
and Finck, hymns by Luther and Praetorius, virtuosic
displays by Obrecht and Brumel, the chromaticism of
Lassus and Handl, plus the popular dances of the day
that underlie and inform all Baroque music.
Tears of St. Peter: 21 Sacred Madrigals
Founded in 1970, Collegium Vocale Ghent is one of
the most venerable and celebrated ensembles in the
world of early music. They have traveled the world
to ecstatic acclaim and now, at long last, make their
Victoria debut, performing Orlande de Lassus’s
monumental Lagrime di San Pietro.
“Energetic but fastidious performers: the recorder
playing has a gorgeous, woody transparency; the reeds
and sackbuts are raucous, bright and precisely tuned”
“a superb performance of Orlande de Lassus’s
powerful 16th century Lagrime di San Pietro.”
New York Times
The Times (London)
Tickets on sale May 1, 2015
For more details visit
Supporting the Society
Make a Donation
The Early Music Society of the Islands relies on
individual donations, memberships and grants to
sustain its operations each year. Your donation will
help to present concerts featuring internationally
renowned artists and to promote interest and
appreciation of early music in the community.
help the Fund grow. These operating grants will
assist in presenting artists that would otherwise be
unaffordable, and to ensure the long-term sustainability
of the Society. Tax receipts will be provided.
Ways to Donate
ONLINE To make a secure online donation
by Visa, MasterCard or AmEx, visit:
Early Music Endowment Fund, Victoria Foundation,
Suite #109–645, Fort Street Victoria, BC V8W 1G2
You can contribute directly to this Fund in three ways:
MAIL By sending a cheque to:
ONLINE Donate online by Visa, MasterCard,
MAIL Please send cheque payable to EMSI to:
EMSI Donations c/o McPherson Box Office,
#3 Centennial Square, Victoria BC V8W 1P5
CAMPAIGNS If your employer participates in
AmEx at the Victoria Foundation’s Web site:
Click on “give now” to go to CanadaHelps, select
“Donate Now” and choose “Early Music Endowment
Fund” from the drop-down list.
the United Way or other employee campaigns,
you can support the Early Music Society of the
Islands by writing in the gift on your pledge
card. Our charitable registration number is
Bequests or gifts of life insurance or securities may
be arranged through the Victoria Foundation. For
more information, visit
or phone the Foundation at (250) 381–5532.
To discuss donation options, please leave a message
at the Society’s voice mailbox: (250) 882–5958 or
email us at [email protected]
Tax receipts are issued for all donations of $10
and over.
BUSINESS SPONSORS The Society welcomes business
sponsorships and will provide appropriate public
acknowledgement of such support.
Donate for the Future
The Early Music Endowment Fund is owned and
managed on our behalf by the Victoria Foundation.
Each year, part of the investment income is given as
a grant to EMSI, and the balance is re-invested to
PRIVATE SPONSORS The Artistic Director would
be pleased to offer guidance and information relating
to large gifts for a special purpose or to support a
specific concert.
Please contact us at:
[email protected]
Thank you for your generosity in supporting
early music on southern Vancouver Island