Midsummer madrigals

So my lovely Madrigalians gave a concert yesterday evening, and it went wonderfully well. Each member of the choir was “piece monger” – meaning chooser, conductor, and ultimate arbiter of taste – for one song. That meant we sang as many songs as there are members of the choir, which was a lot of music to learn!

Anyway, it occurs to me that I can give you a virtual concert right here, or nearly. None of these recordings are us, of course, but here’s what we sang, in order:

Belle, qui tiens ma vie (We began this piece with a recorder quartet)

Pastyme with goode companye (by Henry VIII, and featuring yours truly on tambourine) (no tambourine in this recording, alas)

Hark all ye lovely saints

The Silver Swan

Weep, O mine eyes

Never Weather-beaten Saile

Amour Ha Pouvoir Sur Les Dieux (I couldn’t find a sung version of this on YouTube, sorry)

Il bianco e dolce cigno

Mille Regrets

Ach Lieb, ich tu dir klagen (I was piece monger for this song, which was great fun. I’m one of those power-hungry, bossy conductors, though, so maybe I shouldn’t conduct too often)

So ben me ch’a bon tempo (we didn’t have the big instrumental interlude in the middle)

Vita de la mia Vita (a modern madrigal!)

The Wind’s Twelve Quarters (composed by a member of our choir, Lise Kreps; the lyrics are the A. E. Housman poem that inspired the Ursula LeGuin short story collection by the same name)

Bring Me Little Water Sylvie (this is the Leadbelly recording; the version we sang was arranged by our own Earle Peach)

After all that, if you can believe it, the audience asked for an encore. We hadn’t prepared one, but we managed to belt out Sing We and Chant It almost as if we knew what we were doing.


6 thoughts on “Midsummer madrigals

  1. Dear Ms. Hartman,
    Did you have a song in mind for “Invocation” from Seraphina? I play flute and I loved that scene, so I’m dying to know what that song would sound like!

    • Sorry to be slow getting back to you, but what a wonderful question! The music I was thinking of for the Invocation was, in fact, a moment in Shostakovitch’s 5th symphony, toward the end of the first movement. The flute plays a plaintive melody, echoed by French horn. It’s one of my all-time favourite pieces of music — I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it!

  2. Pingback: Musical Detection | Eleanor Glewwe

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