A Medieval Masterpiece Revisited
This powerful, highly-praised production returns to Boston in 2017 as part of a national tour. The themes of justice, and of truth spoken to power, are once again front and center as the Jewish captive Daniel confronts the tyrannical Belshazzar. The magnificent musical play of Daniel, composed eight centuries ago in Beauvais, France was newly transcribed from the original manuscript source and powerfully staged for modern audiences by Anne Azéma, it was premiered in Boston in 2014 to critical and public acclaim. Presented in collaboration with Trinity Church; with the Trinity Choristers, Boston City Singers, and Longy School of Music of Bard College.
8:00pm, Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO *
5:00pm, St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH *
Treasures of Devotion:
Spiritual Song in Northern Europe 1500-1540
Music of personal devotion from the early Renaissance, reflecting the spirituality of homes, family circles, and small chapels in an age of intense religious renewal. Prayers, songs, chants, including music for the Virgin, meditations on the cross, and astonishing reworkings of the day’s popular melodies to sacred texts by Josquin, Agricola, Compère, Senfl, Clemens non Papa, and others. Anne Azéma, Michael Barrett, Daniel Hershey, Joel Frederiksenvoices; Andrew Arceci, Shira Kammen, Carol Lewis, viola da gamba
7:00pm, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON Canada *
8:00pm, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON Canada *
In Dulci Jubilo:
A German Christmas
In the European North, the forests are deep; the nights are dark and long. Perhaps this is why, in reaction, the early Christmas music of the German-speaking peoples is so intensely joyful, so profoundly rich. Our program explores the marvelous music of German Christmas festivity through chants and chorales, simple carols, grandiose polyphony, and instrumental fantasias of the 15th to early 17th centuries. This new program will feature the stellar Boston Camerata Wind Ensemble and an expanded consort of voices and early instruments. Anne Azéma, Daniel Hershey, Camila Parias, Deborah Rentz-Moore, John Taylor Ward, voices; Brian Kay, Steven Lundahl, Liza Malamut, sackbuts; Nathaniel Cox, cornetto, theorbo; Carol Lewis, viola da gamba.
Puer Natus Est:
A Medieval Christmas
A glimpse of Christmas spirituality from Medieval France, Italy, England, and Provence, including music of the church and songs of private devotion around the joyous theme of the Nativity. Included are songs to the Virgin Mary, processionals from Saint Martial of Limoges, hymns, lyrics, and miracle ballads sung in Latin, Old French, Old Provençal, and Saxon, interlaced with Medieval English texts of the Nativity. Our cast features an extraordinary trio of women’s voices with harp and vielle. Presented by the Da Camera Society.
Dante Festival at the Gardner
Anne Azéma, Artistic Director, will surprise visitors to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with impromptu renditions of vocal music from Dante’s time, including songs the great poet himself might have heard in the palaces of fourteenth-century Florence.
City of Fools:
Medieval Songs of Rule and Misrule
Shortly before an important American election, this new program of songs and poems from the Middle Ages evokes the age-old themes of justice and corruption in the public sphere. Minstrel songs from medieval France, Provençe, and Germany, amazingly contemporary in their language, provide an amusing and sharply-etched perspective on our current travails. Includes pungent selections from the Play of Daniel, Carmina Burana, and Roman de Fauvel; works by gifted musican-poets Philippe le Chancelier, Bertran de Born, and Thibault de Champagne; and a very American ending. Anne Azéma, director, voice, hurdy-gurdy; Jordan Weatherston Pitts voice; Christa Patton, winds, harp; Shira Kammen, vielle, harp; Joel Cohen, narrator, lauta; with young professionals from the Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Roman de Fauvel
Boston Camerata presents Roman de Fauvel for “Festival Voix et Route Romane”. Jean Lorrain, narrator, voice; Anne Azéma, voice, hurdy-gurdy (Fortune); Tim Evans, voice (Fauvel); Joel Cohen, lauta, voice; Shira Kammen, vielle, harp, voice
8:30pm, Eglise Saint Pierre Le Jeune Protestant, Strasbourg, France *
The Sacred Bridge
The Camerata presents our beloved interfaith program “The Sacred Bridge” at the Festival de Música Barroca de Alcântara. Experience the connections of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian music and spirituality of medieval Europe. Anne Azéma, voice, director; Joel Cohen, lauta, voice; Boujemaa Razgui, ney, oud, voice.
8:00pm, Igreja da Sé, São Luis, Brazil *
8:00pm, Igreja do Carmo, Alcântara, Brazil *
3:00pm, Alcantara Historical Museum, Alcântara, Brazil *
The American Vocalist
Camerata’s pioneering exploration of folk hymnody in the young Republic includes spiritual songs, hymns, and anthems in a vigorous and authentic homegrown manner. This style, recalling many elements of European early music, grew up in the singing schools of colonial New England, travelled South and West in the 19th century, and continues to live on thanks to a new generation of motivated singers in all parts of the country. This collaboration with the newly-renovated Cathedral Church of St. Paul includes singers from local parish choirs.
The Night’s Tale, A Tournament of Love
Another astonishing music-theater production by Artistic Director Anne Azéma. Based on an authentic, colorful narrative of festivity, tournaments, and love games in a medieval French castle, our performance captures the day’s celebrations through song and gesture. Daylight is the domain of men, who joust and fight in ritual encounters, as the women shout encouragement; when night falls, the women converse in music and dance, far from the masculine violence of the daytime. Mutual longing aroused during the day culminates in the evening’s rites, as the sexes come together in courtship, both playful and passionate. Camerata’s musicians are joined by graduate students from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in this beautiful and intense evocation of medieval desire. Produced in partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College.
A Mediterranean Christmas
The Christmas narrative retold using songs, chants, and instrumental pieces from the countries of the Mediterranean basin: Spain, Italy, and southern France, as well as north Africa and the Holy Land. Works are drawn from medieval manuscripts and more recent, though still archaic, folklore and oral traditions. With voices, early instruments of Europe and the Middle East, and readings of the Christmas story. Camerata is joined by SHARQ Arabic Ensemble. Anne Azéma – voice, hurdy-gurdy & director Camila Parias – voice Deborah Rentz-Moore – voice Steven Lundahl – brass, recorder Karim Nagi – percussion, voice Boujemaa Ragui – oud, ney, voice, percussion Mehmet Sanlikol – voice, oud Beth Bahia Cohen – vielle
Close Encounters in the New World
Latin American Baroque music at its best! This program calls attention to “the meeting places of light and beauty that did indeed exist in those terrible, hard centuries”–the Age of Exploration in the New World. Here we show the fruitful intercultural exchanges that transpired between indigenous American cultures, the Spanish, and the Africans, and indeed, this is beautiful music. Lively and driven at times by the sunny strumming of the baroque guitar and the maracas, tambourine, and claves, at other times stately with the grandeur of voices with organ. The Camerata is joined by the Trinity Choristers, Boston City Singers, and the Haitian women’s choir Les Fleurs des Caraïbes.
Patriots and Heroes:
Music of the Young Republic
Who are our heroes? How did they go to battle and with what songs? Whose side were they on? A medley of early American music featuring a portrait gallery of eminent Americans, but also high spirited celebrations, of the new nation, and around the quintessential American themes of freedom and independence. This program constitutes a chapter in the Boston 2015 celebrations of the Marquis de Lafayette and the historic return of his rebuilt 18th century “freedom frigate”, the Hermione. Drawing on original print and manuscript sources, we will include songs in celebration of Lafayette’s friends and associates, Washington and Jefferson, as well as both American and French compositions reflecting the social and political climate of the turbulent years 1775-1830. Liberty, martial glory, loyalty, and a healthy dose of satire and irreverence are all present in the lively ballads and broadsides of that crucial time. Anne Azéma (director), Camila Parias, Deborah Rentz-Moore, Daniel Hershey, and John Taylor Ward, voices, are joined by Sarah Darling, violin and Libor Dudas, fortepiano.
6:00pm, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, *
Drawing on the original 13th-century manuscript, The Boston Camerata’s Carmina Burana presents a panoramic portrait of student and clerical life in medieval Europe: paeans to the Goddess Fortune, funny and ferocious critiques of Church and State, earnest meditations on truth and righteousness, and a generous serving of songs about drinking, gambling and amorous adventure. With its usual verve and vivacity, the Camerata gives a deepened, in turn exuberant and contemplative reading of this manuscript, under the direction of vocalist Anne Azéma. Our stellar cast (Anne Azéma, Daniel Hershey, Don Wilkinson, voice; Shira Kammen, strings) is joined by students from the Festival’s apprentice program.
Highlights from the Medieval Carmina Burana
3:00pm, Barnstable Performing Arts Center, 744 W. Main St., Hyannis, MA
The Sacred Bridge
Concert runtime: 1 hour 45 min
Of All the Flowers:
Sacred and Secular Song of the Later Middle Ages
The constantly evolving and inventive musical minds of Italian and French masters during the fourteenth century has left us with repertoires, both sacred and secular, that successfully unite the search for new and different creative paths with astonishing lyricism and sensual beauty. In this specially commissioned program for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, you will hear music spanning the worlds of God and Man, by the greatest composers of their day: Machaut, Landini, da Bologna, and others, performed by Camerata’s virtuoso soloists and instrumentalists.
8:00pm, MIT Walker Memorial Hall, Cambridge, MA *
Portes du Ciel (Gates of Heaven):
Spiritual Songs from Medieval France
3:00pm, The Cloisters, New York, NY
7:30pm, First Presbyterian Church, Asheville, NC *
Puer Natus Est:
A Medieval Christmas
5:00pm, Eglise Saint Pierre Le Jeune Protestant, Strasbourg, France
7:00pm, Église Sainte Croix, Grussenheim, France
8:30pm, Eglise Protestante, Haguenau, France *
A Medieval Masterpiece Revisited
The prophecies, tribulations, and triumph of the young Biblical hero Daniel, as retold in music from medieval Beauvais. Probably the most powerful and musically evocative of all the medieval mystery plays, in a splendid new production conceived by Anne Azéma. A translation of the play can be viewed here and downloaded here.