May 2017

I’m in Halifax this week getting my wisdom teeth removed. While here, I get to conduct the Early Music Society of Nova Scotia Madrigal Group, and sing with St George’s Round Church choir. Both choirs are working on some beautiful pieces. St George’s is singing Monteverdi’s Messa a quattro voci, and Philips Ascendit Deus, the latter of which is part of Helios’ Treasures from the crypt program.

The Madrigal Group is singing Arcadelt’s gorgeous Il bianco e dolce cigno this term. I’ve been singing this piece with different groups for a couple of years now, and will never tire of it’s simple beauty. It was in Helios’ very first concert! Johannes Jeep (1582–1644) is new to me; we’ll be doing his Musica, die ganz lieblich Kunst for the first time tomorrow morning. My friend Andrew Pickett, who conducts the Madrigal Group when I’m in Toronto, described Tomkins’ O let me live as containing ironic falalas. As madrigal singers, we have to include falalas! But have you ever heard them in minor?? Crecquillon’s Petite fleur is a lovely legato piece with pretty scalar runs. The last piece in the booklet Andrew made for this session had one of the tenors asking who chose all these dreary pieces—In deep distress by Mundy.

This evening, I met my harpsichordist for the Cavalli opera I will be conducting in July and August, L’Egisto. That’s starting to come together, and it looks like we will have violins for the show as well as the basso continuo team. It will be lovely to get that real Cavalli sound.

All in all, recovery has been slower than I hoped, but it’s nice to be doing a little bit of music in the meantime!

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