Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

In the Mode

Sundays at noon

Every week on In the Mode, listeners travel back in time to the Renaissance and medieval eras to hear early music performed on with attention to authenticity. Host and producer of In the Mode, Kristina Herrick, has been involved in the performance and research of "ancient music" since the 1980s, and each week  shares with listeners some of the most exciting recorded performances of early music, often including folk and modern music as it can be related to the ancient forms.

The consort of viols called Parthenia is featured next time on In the Mode, an ensemble in residence at Corpus Christi Church in New York.  The CD featured is called Within the Labyrinth, exploring a collection of music intending to reflect the healing and spiritual aspects of the Labyrinth-walking experience.  We’ll hear a suite of dances by Samuel Scheidt, a couple of Brownings, a fun form from Renaissance England-- and more. 

CD Title: Within the Labyrinth

Performer: Parthenia

CD label: available at www.parthenia.org

In the Mode will feature the lute---a bunch of lutes next time, voices too. We usually think of the lute as a solo instrument, or accompanying a singer, often the lutenist was both.  This program shows that lutes were frequently brought together into ensembles, most often duets, but sometimes the groups were larger, trios and quartets might have played for dancing, and masques. 

CD title:  Three, Four and Twenty Lutes

Performers: Jakob Lindberg, Robert Meunier, Nigel North, Paul O’Dette

CD label: MHS 512204

Music of the Trecento next time on In the Mode.  14th century Italy was a strange time of contrasts-- wars, the black plague and the schism in the church with 2 popes –but at the same time a new creative surge in the arts was taking place.  Names that are still familiar; poets Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, the painter Giotto and in music too, the most important being Francesco Landini.  

CD title: Rosa e Orticha

Performer: Ensemble Syntagma

CD label: CARPE DIEM 16287

Wildcat Viols will play for us next time on In the Mode. Members of the trio are three of San Francisco bay area’s favorite early string specialists, Joanna Blendulf, Julie Jeffrey and Elisabeth Reed. We’ll hear them play music by England’s Henry Purcell, hailed as the English Orpheus, the motto, “a greater musical genius England never had."  

CD title: Fairest Isle

Performer: Wildcat Viols

CD label: Wildcat Viols Fairest Isle

This week on In the Mode, some especially beautiful choral music from the 16th to the 21st centuries.  We will hear eight completely different settings on the text O Magnum Mysterium which tells the wonderful story of the animals being the first to see the baby in the manger, from Byrd to Poulenc to Lauridsen, sung by diverse ensembles.  

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Music heard in the new world about the baby boy in Bethlehem next time on In the Mode. By the 18th century, the Bogota Cathedral in Colombia was a major center for Western musical activity in South America, mostly due to the arrival of the Archbishop from Mexico who really encouraged the arts. It had an organ and a number of paid musicians on its staff, including both singers and instrumentalists and this religious music includes local folk elements.

Next time on In the Mode we’ll again hear Jordi Savall and the ensemble La Capella Reial de Catalunya with music by Bartomeu Carceres, an ensalada, literally a salad, or a bunch of stuff. This ensalada is called La Trulla, which is translated to hubbub, and begins with seven shepherds all from different places, who sing their praises to the Virgin and to Jesus in the crib in their respective languages.

The next two programs on  In the Mode will feature music for the season from the 16th century Spanish court at Calabria—Villancicos and Ensaladas by Bartomeu Carceres,   performed by La Capella Reial de Catalunya, directed by the great Spanish viol player Jordi Savall and featuring his late wife, soprano Montserrat Figueras. A celebration of Spanish music, sacred and secular.

CD title: Bartomeu Càrceres Anonymes XVI siècle Villancicos & EnsaladasPerformer: Monteserrat Figueras, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Jordi SavallCD label: ASTRÉE 9951 

A Worcester Lady mass, next time on In the Mode, sung by the women of Trio Medieval, though it is unlikely that women would have sung it originally, it was written by and for the 13th century Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St Mary’s at Worcester. The title "Ladymass" refers to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Some of it was lost and has been reconstructed for Trio Mediaeval by a modern composer.  

Dreams and Imaginations, Elizabethan music for voice and Consort of viols next time on In the Mode. The singer is known as a great Bach tenor, here singing music that came before Bach, his name is David Gordon, and he sings with Wendy Gillespie, Mary Springfels, Tina Chancey, Robert Eisenstein and Elaine Scott Banks, violas da gamba, the music by William Byrd, Tobias Hume, John Dowland and others.

CD Title: Dreames Imaginations

PERFORMER: David Gordon, Elaine Scott Banks, Tina Chancey, Robert Eisenstein, Wendy Gillespie, Mary Springfels

CD label: MHS 512390Y

Alessandro Striggio was an Italian composer and Mantuan nobleman who split his time primarily between Mantua and Florence ruled by the Medicis, he was court composer and the Mass in 40 parts we’ll hear next time on In the Mode was a gigantic musical present from the Medicis to the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.  He wrote this in 1566 and it was believed lost until University of California Berkeley Music Professor and Davitt Moroney found it in Paris recently.

CD title: Alessandro Striggio Mass in 40 parts

Performer: I Faglioni

CD label: Decca B0015655

Flutist Mindy Rosenfeld and lutenist Ronn McFarlane will be featured next time on In the Mode. Their brand new CD gathers some of their favorite, mostly Scottish music, Mindy calls it “a musical feast with a wide cross section of styles, both ‘folk and fyne,’ evocative and expressive of the variety and intensity of human feelings, from sparky, joyful fun to deeper meditative inner reflection”.

CD title:  Nine Notes that Shook the World

PERFORMERS: Ronn McFarlane and Mindy Rosenfeld

CD label: Sono Luminus DSL 92169

The ensemble Constantinople has a very interesting combination of instruments—voice too, exploring the oral traditions of Mediterranean cultures and the musical manuscripts of the Middle Ages. This project takes us to the New World with music from Mexico, with much of it exploring the poetry of what they call Latin America’s first major poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. 

CD title: Premiers Songes – Early Dreams

PERFORMER: Constantinople &  Francoise Atlan

CD label: ANALEKTA 9989

The music heard on In the Mode is usually from the Renaissance and medieval eras, but next time we’ll hear some Early American music, some of it from the very first book published in the colonies, called The whole book of psalms faithfully translated into English Metre, 1640. We’ll also hear the ensemble Cantus sing some Spirituals and songs from The sacred harp and Southern harmony Songbooks. 

CD title: That Eternal Day

PERFORMER: Cantus

CD label: Cantus recordings CTS-1210, cantusonline.org

Let’s pretend we’re going to the Coronation of Doge Marino Grimani at St. Marks in Venice in 1595, and imagine the grandeur and excitement of the ceremony there, the beautiful mosaic decoration, fabulous works of art and magnificent music with the many choir lofts and organs. The Gabrieli Consort and Players have reconstructed the ceremony.  

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