2018 Concerts

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Music in this stillness

Early and Contemporary Music associated with The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries
NSW Art Gallery Main foyer
Free event
Art After Hours
6:30pm: Speaker
7.30-8.30pm: Music

Wednesdays 11, 18, 25 April, 2 & 9 May

 

Music in this stillness is a series of 5 concerts inspired by The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. Late medieval and early Renaissance music by Guillaume de Machaut, Guillaume Du Fay and Gilles Binchois features, along with premieres of new Australian compositions by Moya Henderson, Alice Chance, Bree van Reyk, Victoria Pham, Amanda Cole, Lyle Chan and Brooke Green.

Performers include: Bree van Reyk, organetto; Josie Ryan and Amy Moore, sopranos; Elizabeth Rumsey, viola d’arco; Brooke Green, vielle, treble viol; Fiona Ziegler, Catherine Upex and Alice Chance, viols.

The contemporary compositions incorporate the little-known medieval instrument, the organetto or portative organ which is depicted in the tapestry representing the sense of hearing. With only 20 keys, this tiny instrument produces an enchanting sound. Made in the 1980s by Ronald Sharp, builder of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, it has been generously loaned by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences for this project.

 Contemporary compositions

 Moya Henderson: The hem of her dress, a fanfare for solo organetto

Mofa Henderson: O dieses ist das Tier das es nicht gibt for soprano, organetto, treble and bass viols

Alice Chance: Ça va bien, a happy blues for soprano, organetto, treble and bass viols. Here, the composer depicts The Lady as self-sufficient and quite content, luxuriating in her paradise garden.

Victoria Pham: A Aurore, for soprano, organetto, viola d’arco and bass viol. Dedicated to George Sand whose words “shaped with colour and woven with threads of The Lady and The Unicorn’s burgundy and amber” inspired the music for this work.

 Brooke Green: Le Miroir à La Licorne (The Mirror to The Unicorn) for soprano, organetto, and vielle: a palindrome that incorporates the enigmatic phrase that appears in the last tapestry, Mon seul desir (here translated as My sole desire).

Amanda Cole: Portative Organ Solo with electronics: Theme and Variations on a Bell Ringing Pattern.

Lyle Chan Wandtepicche: Composed for narrator and portatif organ, Lyle Chan’s Wandteppiche (“wall tapestries”) is an English-language adaptation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s vivid descriptions of La Dame à la Licorne. The narrator evokes the six panels for a lover who cannot be there, the words carried on music that they both remember. The same Rilke words are on the walls of the walkway greeting viewers as they enter the AGNSW’s tapestry room.

Bree van Reyk: New Work

 

Concert 1: Wednesday 11 April

 

Josie and the Emeralds

Josie Ryan, soprano

Brooke Green, vielle, treble viol (Music Director)

Elizabeth Rumsey, viola d’arco, tenor viol

Catherine Upex bass viol,

 

with guest artists:

Bree van Reyk, organetto

Alice Chance, bass viol,

 

How is the Lady idealised in music from the time of the tapestries? This program includes a secular Lady singing a Chanson Royale by Guillaume de Machaut, the Lady as Virgin Mary by Guillaume Dufay and a rondeau with an intriguingly close connection to the sixth tapestry: ‘Mon seul et souverain desir’ by Gilles Binchois.

New works for organetto and Josie and the Emeralds by contemporary Australian composers:

 

Alice Chance: Ça va bien (World Premiere)

Victoria Pham: A Aurore (World Premiere)

Moya Henderson: The Hem of her Dress (Public Premiere)

Brooke Green: Le Miroir à La Licorne (Public Premiere)

 

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Concert 2: Wednesday 18 April

 

Amy and the Emeralds

Amy Moore, soprano

Brooke Green, vielle, treble viol, (Music Director)

Elizabeth Rumsey, viola d’arco, tenor viol

Catherine Upex, bass viol,

 

How is the Lady idealised in music from the time of the tapestries? This program includes music by Guillaume de Machaut, Guillaume Dufay, Josquin Desprez and one of the most famous early Renaissance pavanes Belle qui tiens ma vie by the Catholic priest and dance theorist Thoinot Arbeau.

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Concert 3: Wednesday 25 April

 

Amy and the Emeralds

Amy Moore, soprano

Brooke Green, vielle, treble viol, (Music Director)

Fiona Ziegler, tenor viol

Catherine Upex bass viol,

 

How is the Lady idealised in music from the time of the tapestries? This program includes music by Guillaume de Machaut, Guillaume Dufay, Josquin Desprez and one of the most famous early Renaissance pavanes Belle qui tiens ma vie by the Catholic priest and dance theorist Thoinot Arbeau.

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 Concert 4: Wednesday 2 May

 

Amy and the Emeralds

Amy Moore, soprano

Brooke Green, vielle, treble viol, (Music Director)

Fiona Ziegler, tenor viol

Catherine Upex, bass viol,

 

How is the Lady idealised in music from the time of the tapestries? This program includes music by Guillaume de Machaut, Guillaume Dufay, Josquin Desprez and one of the most famous early Renaissance pavanes Belle qui tiens ma vie by the Catholic priest and dance theorist Thoinot Arbeau.

 

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Concert 5: Wednesday 9 May

 

Josie and the Emeralds

Josie Ryan, soprano

Brooke Green, vielle, treble viol (Music Director)

Catherine Upex, tenor/ bass viol,

 

with guest artist:

Bree van Reyk, organetto

 

How is the Lady idealised in music from the time of the tapestries? This program includes a secular Lady singing a Chanson Royale by Guillaume de Machaut, the Lady as Virgin Mary by Guillaume Dufay and a rondeau with an intriguingly close connection to the sixth tapestry: ‘Mon seul et souverain desir’ by Gilles Binchois.

New works for organetto and Josie and the Emeralds by contemporary Australian composers:

 

Moya Henderson: O dieses ist das Tier das es nicht gibt (World Premiere)

Bree van Reyk: New Work (World Premiere)

Amanda Cole: New Work for organetto and electronics (World Premiere)

Lyle Chan: Wandteppiche for organetto and speaker (Public Premiere)

 

Moya Henderson: The Hem of her Dress

Alice Chance: Ça va bien

Brooke Green: Le Miroir à La Licorne

 

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Curated by Jason Catlett and Brooke Green, this project is made possible by an anonymous donation to the Art Gallery Foundation in memory of Stephen Alward, a patron of the visual arts and music.