The Consolation of the Heart : La consolation du cœur
Feb 23rd 2015 at 7:30pm |
400 Saint-Paul Street West
The Montreal Highlights Festival 2015 and the Theatre of Early Music present:
The Consolation of the Heart : La consolation du cœur
The Orchestra, Choir and Soloists of the Theatre of Early Music
Daniel Taylor, conductor
Ellen McAteer and Agnes Zsigovics, sopranos
Josée Lalonde, alto
Michiel Schrey, tenor
Alexander Dobson and Nathaniel Watson, baritones
A concert dedicated to a tumultuous period in history, the 30 Year War,
featuring five German baroque composers;
JC Bach (1642-1703)
and Bruhns (1665-1697).
To a suffering people music brought comfort, joy and
the spiritual elevation for which they longed.
Though music at this time was the product of profoundly religious belief,
today we can appreciate these masterpieces for their intrinsic
regardless of our own personal path to faith.
Information : Montreal Highlights Festival 2015
Tickets : Ticketmaster
ot Tel: (1-855-985-5000)
Juno Nomination for The Heart's Refuge!
Jan 26th 2015: Daniel Taylor writes:
" What an accomplishment for our students at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music in Historical Performance and
Voice in partnership with the Choir and Orchestra of the Theatre of Early Music! "
Here is the list of Juno nominations for 2015 :
CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: VOCAL OR CHORAL PERFORMANCE:
Schubert: Winterreise Gerald Finley & Julius Drake (Hyperion)
Handel & Porpora: The London Years Julie Boulianne, Clavecin en concert & Luc Beauséjour (Analekta)
Mozart: Opera & Concert Arias Karina Gauvin, Les Violons du Roy & Bernard Labadie (Audiogram)
Terra Tremuit Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (ATMA)
The Heart's Refuge Theatre of Early Music, Schola Cantorum & Daniel Taylor (Analekta)
To see all Juno Nominations for 2015 click here: Juno Nominations
September 9 2014
The Heart’s Refuge / Le Refuge du cœur
1. Buxtehude, Dietrich (1637 - 1707)
Jesu, meines Lebens, BuxWV 62 (Aria)
2. Bach, Johann Cristoph (1642 - 1703)
Es ist nun aus mit menem Leben (Aria)
3. Schmelzer, Johann Heinrich (1680)
Harmonia a 5
4. Kuhnau, Johann (1660 - 1722)
Gott, sei mir gnädig nach diener
5. Bruhns, Nicolaus (1665 - 1697)
Ich Liege und schlafe mit Frieden
Schola Cantorum and The Theatre of Early Music:
Daniel Taylor, Director
#1 on the Classical Soundscan
Canada WholeNote Magazine
To listen to The Heart’s Refuge or
to order a CD on line
or download MP3 from Analekta
please click here: Order Now
Dripping with beauty and style, they establish their seriousness from the off - Buxtehude's passacaglia meditating on
Christ's sacrifice and continue it through Johann Christoph Bach's aching strophic death aria.
The choir shows its youth in a light and pleasing sound. This snapshot of 17th-century German sacred music is a heartwarming and worthy one.
Gramophone February 2015
The most recent recording of the Theatre of Early Music (TEM) and the Schola Cantorum entitled The refuge of heart,
published by Analekta, offers images of peace and serenity like many pearls on a unlikely necklace.
Of course, great baroque music is made up of a large and varied repertoire and perhaps we should not be surprised
to hear such beautiful interpretations. But what sets this album apart from many others is the care taken by the
conductor and artistic director of the Theatre of Early Music Daniel Taylor and his research and selection of composers and works.
This may be first time on one recording that the well-known figures of Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Christoph Bach
(cousin of the father of Johann Sebastian Bach) are paired with rare compositions by lesser-known composers Johann Kuhnau,
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer and Nicolaus Bruhns.
The purity and depth of what is offered to the listener is made even better by the impressive cast of soloists:
the mezzo-soprano Rebecca Claborn, countertenor Kyle Guilfoyle, tenor Isaiah Bell and bass Alexander Dobson deliver
inspired performances and the impression of a contagious spirituality.
In perfect harmony with the chorus and soloists, musicians of the TEM show guided restraint required
for this type of repertoire in which the voice and text must occupy the largest share of the listeners focus -
the particular sound of old instruments is offered here in all its flavour. The thoughtful, unhurried work
immediately transports us elsewhere and for quite sometime. Such music, such purity!
Thank you Mr. Taylor!
Whether one is a believer or not, it’s always with an attitude of deep meditation that we surrender to
listening to the music of the German masters of the Baroque era. With a new album from the Analekta catalog,
entitled Refuge of the Heart, featuring the Theatre of Early Music (TEM) and Schola Cantorum under the direction of
Daniel Taylor, we dive a little deeper inside the heart and soul of contemporaries of one of the most turbulent times in
history, that of the 30 Years War (seventeenth century). True to its mission to rediscover old music,
TEM and its founder and artistic director, Daniel Taylor, revealing here five gorgeous cantatas by German
composers of the Baroque era, all together in one album. Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 - 1707), Johann Christoph Bach (1642 - 1703),
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (1623 - 1680), Johann Kuhnau (1660 - 1722) and Nicolaus Bruhns (1665-1697).
These German cantatas were constantly renewed by the great Italian masters of the Baroque.
The ensemble’s distinctive style, coupled with the expertise and enthusiasm of Taylor, leads to
exciting and authentic readings of these works in a musical testimony of agony, torment,
but also offering consolation for this century’s torn repression and internal conflict.
This repertoire covers a breadth in time of 4 centuries. Between 1618 and 1648,
a series of devastating wars decimated half the population of Europe. If believers found refuge in their faith and their
hope for a better world, the composers of the time found an endless source of inspiration. During the seventeenth century,
Lutheran musicians created a magnificent repertoire of sacred music. The texts emphasize Christ’s message in an original and
varied way. Death and deliverance ... the suffering of Jesus ... the distress of the soul are shown by ingenious methods of
musical imagery: motifs are repeated to emphasise their message in the mind of the believer;
very simple melodies have been refined to create a deep sense of peace and harmony ; a rapid succession of contrasts;
voices change from soprano to bass successively to evoke the descent into the tomb..
All this reflects the emotional landscape for those that were brought face to face with the horrors of war and destruction.
A non-profit organization, the TEM's mission is to allow early music to shine in all its glory.
The excellent musicians share their passion alongside prestigious guests, through their series of
concerts in Canada and through touring nationally and internationally (France, Argentina, Brazil,
England and Asia in particular). Under the baton of Taylor, the Schola Cantorum of the
University of Toronto - the elite of students of all levels - are guided by a desire to make known early music in
its original version, joining the TEM to offer us a brilliant and authentic presentation. Restoring the
works of great masters so that they regain lustre in our eyes, Daniel Taylor and musicians from TEM are
meticulous in their work, this is an offering that reveals every dimension of humanity.
Listen to this album, it is like rediscovering an old world in a new light.
Translation from french of Marie-Josée Boucher : original : info-culture.biz
Heavy and happy is the music that crowns a king
PETER ROBB, Ottawa Citizen
November 26, 2014
Since the coronation of William the Conqueror at Westminster Abbey in 1066, every British monarch has been crowned in a service full of glorious music. Ottawa-native counter tenor Daniel Taylor tells Peter Robb a little bit about the service and a performance of the music he is delivering on Dec. 3.
Q. What an interesting project. Where/when did the idea germinate?
A. The coronation of the Queen took place 60 years ago on June 2, 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. The Diamond Jubilee marked the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. On the BBC, a shining example of what the CBC could be with proper management and effective government support, 30 million British citizens tuned in to watch a Coronation Festival. Last year, at the residence of the governor general, I was awarded the Queen’s Medal in recognition for my work in the arts. A few days later, I listened to the Gabrieli Consort’s Venetian Coronation and days later to the King Consort’s stunning rendition of Parry’s I Was Glad- it reminded me how much music can move us. In our current political climate, in a time when there still exists inequality in our society, when child poverty continues to go unnoticed by our ruling government, as our population ages I feel more and more the need to bring music to people.
Q. Please tell me about how you researched the music and the ceremony?
A. I traveled to Westminster Abbey, to St. George’s Chapel in Windsor and to the Chapel Royal. I spoke at length with the well-known British Period-Orchestra conductors Paul McCreesh and Robert King. We know that there are no indisputable documents that detail a specific order of service for the Coronations. We can be sure that the Clerk of the Cheque’s account of the service is fairly accurate in indicating that there was an introductory anthem as well as a setting of a work by Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Tallis confirming the tradition of returning to compositions of the past composers with works found in the music library of the Chapel Royal. Thus this concert/ceremony honors the ‘old’ music and music from the greatest of the English composers in a reconstruction of the pageant.
One of King George I’s last acts before his death on June 11, 1727 was to sign an act of naturalization of George Frederick Handel. Handel’s first subsequent commission was to write music for the coronation of King George II which took place on Oct. 11, 1727. To celebrate the ascension to the throne, a magnificent service full of pomp and ceremony was planned. The commissioning of new music was usually entrusted to the Composer and Organist of the Royal Chapel, however with the unexpected death of William Croft, the King appointed "Mr. Handel, the famous composer to the opera."
We will be playing Handel’s coronation anthems Zadok the Priest and The King Shall Rejoice. Their festive character brought the works great popularity, the performances being hugely successful and have been played ever since, Handel re-used excerpts notably in Deborah and Ester. Zadok the Priest has been sung at every subsequent coronation and was traditionally performed, as it will be in our concert, during the anointment of the King. (At Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 music by Gibbons, Purcell, Tallis and Handel, including Zadok the Priest, was played.)
Q. Any interesting stories to tell about the coronation music that you uncovered?
A. It is to some extent that we owe some thanks to Sir Frederick Bridge for his decision to shed a light on the best of the British composers.
Bridge, the English composer and organist, became known to historians for organizing great state occasions including Queen Victoria’s
jubilee in 1887, the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 and the Coronation of George V in 1902. On receiving his commission as Director
Music, Bridge courageously decided to make a coronation a celebration of 400 years of English music including works by Orlando Gibbons,
Henry Purcell and Thomas Tallis alongside compositions of the day. New works commissioned included Hubert Parry’s setting of Psalm 122, I Was Glad, which has been used at every subsequent coronation, it was made famous in modern times when it was performed at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
Q. Tell me about your upcoming performance.
A. The concert is played on period instruments and combines choristers from the Theatre of Early Music, the University of Toronto Schola Cantorum and the York University Chamber Choir. Just as Choirs were combined for the major events, so do we bring together 60 young choristers and musicians. We open with the tolling of the bells, a trumpet fanfare and cries of Vivat either side of the procession of the drums — it’s fantastic stuff.
A regal affair with Daniel Taylor, Lisette Canton and the Theatre of Early Music
Performed at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa
Reviewed Wednesday night, Dec 3rd 2014 by Natasha Gauthier, the Ottawa Citizen
Royal pomp was on offer Wednesday evening at Christ Church Cathedral - complete with trumpets, drums, a jowly bishop and a boy king - as Daniel Taylor and Lisette Canton co-conducted the Theatre of Early Music and assorted guests in a program of music fit for a coronation.
The TEM choir was augmented by members of University of Toronto’s Schola Cantorum, which Taylor directs, and the York University Chamber Choir, led by Ottawa’s Lisette Canton.
Presented as a mock crowning ceremony, the concert opened with a sonata for two violins by French Baroque composer Jean-Marie Leclair. It was jauntily played by Cynthia Roberts and Adrian Butterfield...
After a drum procession and a trumpet fanfare the performance began in earnest with Hubert Parry’s soul-shaking anthem I Was Glad, directed by Taylor. He conducts from a deeply spiritual place and coaxed a fresh, mentholated sound out of the largely student choirs, with crisp if not entirely Westminster diction. Organist Matthew Larkin provided grand, spacious accompaniment.
Canton took over to direct Handel’s Coronation Anthem, The King Shall Rejoice. Canton’s style is quite different from Taylor’s: more extroverted and rhythmically driven; clearer to follow perhaps, but also less obsessive about details in the text.
Gibbon’s stunningly simple, open-hearted anthem Drop, Drop Slow Tears and Elizabeth Poston’s lovely carol Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, both conducted by Taylor, were the emotional and musical highlights of the concert, crystalline in their transparency and softly glowing with humility. The singers showed admirable focus despite loudly popping speakers and hacking audience members.
The coronation on Queen Street concluded with two kingly Handel works. Taylor took Zadok the Priest - the most famous of the four Coronation Anthems - at a more sedate tempo than many early music specialists. It had nobility........they rallied to crown the concert with a golden chord at the very end.