News and discussion
Read through my latest blog posts and feel free to comment on them if you like.
Sara’s musical career includes concerts, recordings and research of early music and commissions and performances of contemporary music. She has made several tours for the British and Dutch Early Music Networks and for the British Council throughout Europe and in South America and Africa.
Artists she has performed and recorded with include Emma Kirkby, Catherine Bott, James Wood, Sirinu, Academy of Ancient Music, the Elizabethan Consort, Taverner Consort, New London Consort, Broadside Band, Chalemie and Sinfonye, with whom she has recorded the complete works of Hildegard of Bingen.
Theatre work includes singing for the Royal Shakespeare Company (King John) and the Oxford Stage Company in Britain and the Far East (The Tempest). She has also performed in the Covent Garden Opera Venture (Last Tango on the North Circular).
She has sung in many different ethnic styles and in many different languages. These range from charango songs in Quechua (language of the Incas) to Persian songs in Farsi, songs in the Trouvères dialect and traditional Scottish songs.
Sara Stowe’s vocal workshop of musical discovery explores the richness and beauty of 12th and 13th century European song. Modern scores of songs from France, Germany and Spain are explored, including the famous cantigas de Santa Maria, the courtly songs of the troubadours and trouvères, the love songs of the Minnesingers and some of the earliest sacred and secular English songs. Modern notation will be used and Sara welcomes players of soft mediaeval instruments to join in and accompany the songs.
Venue: Grappenhall Church, Church Lane, Grappenhall, WA4 3EP
In the evening (19:30) Galliarda will perform their concert A Tale of Two Cities in the church - see http://www.galliarda.org.uk/Regular%20programmes.htm, information from firstname.lastname@example.org
Henry 8 - the workshop is on 9th November. It is really worth listening to the new recording that Cantores, directed by David Allinson, have just released. This is of the music of Philip Wilder the favourite composer at Henry's court. The Guardian gave the recording 4 stars and said it was worth buying for David's notes alone. Fine music sung very beautifully.
The period performance group ARIOSO continues its Autumn programme of French baroque music with a concert on
Saturday October 19th at 7.30pm at Stones Chapel, Rochdale Road, Ripponden
'A la cour du roy soleil'
The concert is an exciting selection of vocal and instrumental music by composers linked to the spectacular court of Louis XIV, the 'Sun King', such as Lully, with extracts from his operas and opera-ballets, and instrumental and vocal works by Couperin and others active at the court. The programme provides a wide range of textures and styles which will appeal to a variety of tastes. Works include solo and duet vocal music, including arias from two of Lully's most famous Tragedies-lyrique (operas) 'Persee' (in which Mercure sings to send Medusa - and her snakes! - to sleep) and 'Phaeton'; also extracts from his most well known 'Comedie-ballet' (a more developed French version of the English court masque) 'Le Bourgeoise Gentilhomme'. Noteably also rare performances some of Corbetta's wonderful songs with guitar. The concert opens with the very first setting of Ombra mai fu by Cavalli performed at the Sun King's wedding.
Unusual works include Moulinie's amusing dialoque between a noble Spaniard trying (unsuccesfully!) to chat up a French lady (and her put final down) and ballet music by Dumanoir - probably the first danced by the young king himself. The concert will also include Monteclair's much acclaimed work for tenor (narrator) and soprano 'Le morte di Lucretia' recounting the triumph over tyrany, even after death, of the eponymous herione. Other instrumental music will include one of Couperin's Concert Royaux and chamber music (trios pour le couchez de Roy.....) used to put the king to bed! In short a melange of different music with much for everyone. More background information is available on our website http://www.arioso.org.uk/
Le mariage et les aventures
'Ombra mai fu' from 'Xerxes' (Paris, 1660) Francesco Cavalli (1602 - 1676)
Airs de court: 'Les souffrances des amoureux'
'Iris, depuis que je vous aime' (ten) Sebastien Le Camus (c.1610-1677)
'Vos mepris chaque jour' (sop) Michel Lambert (1610 -1696)
'Fuyons cette rive charmante' (duet) Le Camus
‘Le roy danse'
Suite: Charivaris, A Limpero D'amore, Petit Bransle Guillaume Dumanoir (1615-1697)
Les charmes du Sud
Dialogue 'Souffrez beaux yeux' (ten) 'Espagnol je te supplie' (sop) Etienne Moulinie (1599-1676)
Airs seul: 'Repicavan las campanillas' (sop), 'Por la verde orilla' (ten)
Duet 'Cede al vostro valore' and La petite chaconne from 'Le Ballet D'Alcidiane' Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 - 1687)
'La guitare royalle'
Gavotte aymee du Duc de Monmouth 'J'ay bergere et nuit et jour' (ten) Sarabande:Tombeau de Madame 'Falloit il o Dieux' (sop)
Allemande Cherie du Duc D'York 'Chi vuol la liberta' (duet) Francesco Corbetta (c.1615- 1681)
'Le Comedie-ballet donne par le Roy'
Extracts from 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme' (Paris 1670): from Entree Les Espagnol;
from Entree Italiens; Chaconne des Scaramouches, Trivelins et Arlequins. Lully
'M. Lully: sur-intendant de la musique du Roy'
Passacaile from Trios de chambre pour le coucher du Roy
'O tranquil Sommeil' (ten) from Persee (1682) Lully
Les tragedies lyrique
Symphonie, Gavotte, Chaconne from Trios de chambre pour le coucher du Roy
'Il me fuit, l'inconstant!' (sop) from 'Phaeton' (1683) Lully
'Couperin le grand'
'Doux liens de mon coeur' (sop) Francois Couperin (1668 - 1733)
Les concerts royaux
Prelude, Allemande Fuguee, Muzette, Forlane (Concert Royaux Paris 1722) Couperin
'Les pensees crepuscule'
'La morte di Lucretia' for soloist (sop) and narrator (ten) Michel Pignolet de Monteclair (1667-1737)
Anne Fallon soprano
Roger Betterton tenor
Sue Marshall violin
Caroline Goddard violin
Ann Betterton recorders/flutes
Vikki Hoodless cello
Martyn Hodgson (Director)baroque guitar, theorbo
We have had to cancel Summer School 2013. There simply not enough applications to make the event either musically or financially viable.
The day with Jeffrey went very well about three dozen singers plus Bajon to explore some of the 17th repertoire from Latin America. Jeffrey made a mass setting by Padilla the core of the day and around were carols, hymns and villancicos several of which to be song in the local languages.
The hall was very cold for the first half we could have done with some of the climate from Puebla by the afternoon things were a bit warmer but the conditions did not spoil an excellent day.
The details for the workshop by Jeffrey Skidmore are on the workshops page.
Take a sun-filled voyage of discovery into the hidden treasures of 17th-century Latin America, where European, African and South American cultures combined to create a colourful fusion of musical styles. There will be something for everyone but the emphasis will be 'fun' and mainly vocal with music from Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and perhaps a taste of Brazil. Jeffrey has just got back from a research trip to this extraordinary country and has returned laden with gold and precious gems in the form of music and manuscripts.
Excellent day with John Nixon. The music challenging and some seriously tricky but under John's direction the day went well. A great help was that we had seen the music in advance. This I think contributed greatly to the success of the day - perhaps something to think about for future workshops.
Thanks to John and Peter for all the work in making this so sucessful and to the staff at Lancaster Cahtedral for letting us use this beautiful venue and to making us welcome.
Chant Workshop: The Ceremony of the Star
Saturday 19 January 2013, 10.30am-4.30pm
at St Agnes’ Church, Ullet Road, Liverpool L17 3BA
Liturgical dramas were types of plays usually based on a Bible narrative, and performed in a church setting. An addition to the official liturgy, they were performed in Latin, sung to Gregorian chant or other simple monody.
In the shadow of the feast of the Epiphany, celebrated on 6 January, we will study and perform one of the liturgical dramas for which Rouen and other French Cathedrals were famous: the Ceremony of the Star Officium Stellae, from 13th century Rouen.
The Officium Stellae followed the singing of the office of Terce. Three clerics, robed as kings, arrive from north, south and east and meet before the altar, their servants carrying the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Antiphons are sung, a procession is formed, and the Magi go to a place where the virgin Mary, attended by two midwives (priests wearing dalmatics) invites them to worship the Christ-child. The three kings present their gifts, and the clergy and people make their offerings while the Magi fall asleep, to be warned by an angel to avoid Herod by returning home another way.
The Ceremony originally preceded the Mass of the Epiphany, and we will study the chants of the Epiphany Mass. If time allows, we will also look at music for the Feast of Candlemas (February 2nd). The event will conclude with a performance of Officium Stellae and the Epiphany music.
The day will be led by Philip Duffy, Associate Director of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, and former Master of the Music at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral.