Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
I mentioned in a post below the Middle Gel’s upcoming fall concert. Well, that concert was this evening.
The Gel, who is now a HS junior, made it into Madrigals this year – what amounts to Varsity Choir at her school – which, if I may say so, has a reputation for one of the best musick programs in the Great Commonwealth of Virginny.
At any event, their portion of the evening’s offerings was as follows:
- A Cantate Domino by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
- “Je ne L’ose Dire” by Pierre Certon (d. 1572)
- “I Love, Alas, I Love Thee” by Thomas Morley (1557-1603)
- “Jungfrau, dein schöne Gestalt“ by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)
- “Fair Phyllis I Saw” by John Farmer (1570-1601)
I mean to say, what? Ol’ Robbo does love him some closely-reasoned Renaissance polyphony, especially if it is well done, as was this evening’s selection.
After the Madrigals did their stuff, they were joined on stage for the finale by the rest of the Concert Choir, of which they are the hub. The final three selections were:
- The beginning and concluding sections of the Gloria from a Mass setting by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
- “My Flight For Heaven” by some contemporary fellah named Blake Henson and based on a poem to Musick by the great Cavalier poet Robert Herrick
- “Let Everything That Hath Breath”, a modern setting of Psalm 150:6 by some fellah named Jeffrey Ames.
You will notice in these lists a healthy amount of religious musick. The same was generally true of the selections served up by the junior choirs as well. I swear that I heard an older man sitting behind me exclaim to his wife, “So many Christian pieces? By Allah!”
A close friend of the Port Swiller Family (ex-Catholic, but I’m hoping to turn her back) came to see the Gel sing, and also remarked to me her surprise at the distinctly Christian flavor of the program, given that this is a public school.
“Shh!” I said, “Don’t give anyone any ideas……”
Oh, and here for your enjoyment is a YooToob of the Morley, a distinctly secular piece – apparently with all five parts sung by the same fellah: