Early Music Ensembles Perform Music of Renaissance England

November 11, 2014
The Baylor University Early Music Ensembles will present a program called “Deo gracias Anglia: Music of Renaissance England” on Thursday, November 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Armstrong Browning Library’s McLean Foyer of Meditation.
A long-standing tradition in the School of Music, the Baylor University Early Music Ensembles perform repertoire from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, exploring cultural contexts and historical performance practices. These historically informed musicians are led by Assistant Professor of Musicology (and early violinist) Jann Cosart. In addition to Dr. Cosart, this program will feature seven other string players, two recorder players, and a harpsichordist. The soprano will be Amy Farnell, a senior Church Music major from Fort Worth.
Despite the political and religious upheaval of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, English culture reached a high point it had never before known. The political supremacy attained under Elizabeth I was mirrored by intellectual and artistic triumphs, from the plays of Shakespeare to the groundbreaking compositions of Thomas Tallis and Henry Purcell. And, of course, English carols have retained their popularity through the centuries.
Included in the program will be the Sarum plainchants “Alma redemptoris mater” (“Nourishing Mother of the Redeemer”) and “Audivi vocem” (“I Heard a Voice”), including the Thomas Tallis setting of the latter.
Also to be heard are nine excerpts from Henry Purcell’s opera of 1691, King Arthur. One of this stage work’s highlights is the vocal piece known as “Fairest Isle.”
Concluding the program will be three early Christmas carols: “Ecce quod natura,” the Coventry lullaby “Lully lulla thow littell tyne child,” and “Now Make We Joy.”
This concert is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.
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