Música Antigua de Albuquerque

Neumesletter*

Summer 2017 Edition

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*Neumes:  the musical signs used in chant notation.

Some Upcoming Season Highlights

Trivial Pursuits

The first concert of our 2017-2018 season, titled "Trivial Pursuits,” will feature music to fit the categories of  the original “Genus” edition of the Trivial Pursuit board game: Geography, Entertainment, History, Art & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. A fun exploration of the topics as they occur in medieval and Renaissance musical literature!

The Deadly Sins

Concert III will explore man’s moral weaknesses, and we will be performing works that illustrate his various ways of straying from the straight and narrow in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Incidentally, the so-called Seven Deadly Sins are usually cited as Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath and Sloth, but the list and the number of items has not always been the same. The concept originated with the monk Evagrius Ponticus in the fourth century, who named eight sins. Pope Gregory I revised the list in the following century, and it eventually became the standard. But in the 14th- century Roman de Fauvel, for example, we find just six vices described—Flattery, Avarice, Untruthfulness, Variability, Envy and Laziness. In addition, there are a host of variations within the categories. At any rate, we hope the theme will be an entertaining one, and we plan to include both serious and humorous works on the program.

What Halley Heard

Our fourth subscription concert (next May) will be a bit of a musical history tour, with examples of the music that Halley’s Comet might have encountered when it visited Earth during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  Halley’s orbital period varies from 74 to 79 years, so the musical  changes from one appearance to the next would have been substantial. The idea for this concert comes from research done by an old friend and early music enthusiast Helen Moncure, who passed away in 2009. In her Music and the Spheres: A Scrapbook History, she “quotes” the comet as follows:

“What interesting creatures these bipeds are! And so gifted! I enjoy seeing their many new achievements on each of my visits. They love to explore, discover, create and control. They have even developed numbers and complex music! What might they become! Perhaps they may even learn to appreciate me for what I really am!”

The  illustration of Halley pictured is from the Bayeux Tapestry, the famous embroidered cloth that depicts scenes from English history leading up to the Battle of Hastings. The comet appeared in April of 1066 and was regarded as an omen of the momentous events that culminated in the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson’s defeat by the Norman French. The tapestry is the earliest known pictorial depiction of the comet to have survived through the centuries.

Focus on the Portative Organ

The portative organ is a smaller version of the familiar church organ. It was in vogue from the 13th to the 16th centuries, and the system of tone production is the same as its larger cousin -- a set of pipes that are operated by a keyboard while air is pumped through them. The instrument has a bellows on the back that is operated by one hand while the keys are played by the other. Its degree of portability depends on the size of the instrument, which was not standardized. Francesco Landini appears in 14th-century iconography with a very small one held on his lap; however, the version played by Música Antigua is a bit too heavy for that mode of performance. While it can still be easily played by one person, it works much better if it sits on a table. Our instrument was made especially for us by local organist and organ builder Michael McHugh.

Kepler Fest

In February, Música Antigua gave a special performance for Kepler Fest at St. John’s College in Santa Fe. “Harmonia Celeste” centered around music from the time of astronomer, mathematician and astrologer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). The  program featured music of Orlando di Lasso, whom Kepler much admired, and works by composers at the court of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague, where Kepler was employed. One of the works that was really fun for the performers was Nikolaus Zangius’ Der Kölner Markt, which  evokes  the sounds of the marketplace in Cologne while the various merchants hawk their wares.

MAA Youth Consort News

The Música Antigua Youth Consort gave three performances this spring. In March, they played on the American String Teachers Association student recital in UNMs Keller Hall. In April, they performed at the New Mexico Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Festival held at Sandia High School, and in May, they were guests on the Del Norte High School Orchestra and Guitar Concert. Ensemble members this year were Adrian Goodwin (senior, Del Norte High School), Caroline Pierotti (junior, Albuquerque High School), Genevieve Harris (sophomore, home-schooled), and Daniel Strong (senior, Cibola High School). Adrian and Daniel are both planning to attend UNM next fall as music majorsDaniel is considering either Piano Performance or Theory and Composition, and Adrian plans to major in Music Education.

Coached by Art Sheinberg, the Youth Consort rehearses weekly throughout the school year. The ensemble began in 1999 as part of MAA's ongoing effort to foster appreciation for early music among young people.

Albuquerque Concert Times

We are happy to announce that next season's performances in Albuquerque will all be on Sunday afternoons at 4:30. We know that many of our audience members prefer not to drive at night, so we hope that the time change will enable them to attend the concerts more easily. We want to make early music accessible to all!

Order your MAA Totebag

Design is in full color on black canvas bag

We now have Música Antigua totebags! Get your while they last. You can also pair your totebag with a Música Antigua T-shirt of the same design, for a stunningly coordinated fashion statement!

Visit Us on Facebook

Keep up with announcements about the season and share your comments with fellow Música Antigua fans at: http://www.facebook.com/MusicaAntiguadeAlbuquerque/

Support Early Music in New Mexico!

Help Música Antigua continue its programming. Our ticket sales cover only a portion of the cost of putting on our season’s concerts. We need your support to enable us to keep our early music activities going. Música Antigua is a non-profit organization, and your generosity will be greatly appreciated!

Donor Categories are:  $500+ (Bach Benefactors); $250-499 (Praetorius Patrons); $100-249 (Hassler Helpers); $50-99 (Dufay Donors); $25-49 (Machaut Muses); under $25 (Troubadour Troupers).

Donations can be made by personal check or online via Network for Good (networkforgood.com), or United Way of Central New Mexico (www.uwcnm.org). You can also help by doing your Amazon shipping via smile.amazon.com (a portion of your purchase can be donated to MAA).

Coming Soon

We are currently working on being able to have credit card purchases possible at concerts. We hope to have this option available for the upcoming season, and we'll let you know when it is in place. In the meantime of course, we can accept payment via personal check or cash as in the past.

Música Antigua de Albuquerque
1017 Roma NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106-4733
(505) 842-9613
musicaantigua@comcast.net

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