Fürchte dich nicht (Düben collection)*
Johann Rosenmüller (1619-1684)
Suite à 5 in D-maj, from Studentenmusik 55-60
Paduan, Allemanda, Courant, Ballo, Courant, Sarabanda
Caro mea (Düben collection)*
Anonymous (c. 1600)
Suite à 5 in D
from Musicalisches Frühlings-Früchte
Dietrich Becker (1623-1679)
Ariæ, Ballet, Sarband, Adagio
O Jesu Dulcissime (Düben collection)*
Samuel Capricornus (1628-1665)
The Cries of London, Parts I & II
Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
Pavan and Aire for 5, c minor
William Lawes (1602-1645)
Ecce Quomodo (Düben collection)*
Fantasy 8 à 5, c minor
John Jenkins (1592-1678)
Sing Unto the Lord
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
A Note on the Düben collection, by Hendrik Broekman
At the turn of the 17th-century, Amsterdam was home to perhaps the most influential musician and teacher outside of Italy, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621). His teaching has generally become regarded as the foundation of the North German School (of which J. S. Bach is seen as the culmination). Sweelinck’s influence diffused throughout the north of Europe but with distinct effect in Stockholm.
The 17th-century in Europe was a tumultuous, contentious time. From their seat of power in Stockholm, the Swedish royal family (keeping up with the Bourbons) attempted to collect the surrounding regions into a single, Swedish, dominion, sometimes politically, sometimes by other means (a.k.a. war). One facet of the attempt, modeled no doubt on Italian and French examples, was the promotion of a refined intellectual court life by the recruiting of fine artists of all stripes.
One of the first to arrive was a Sweelinck pupil, Andreas Düben. He and his descendents became central to the musical life of the Swedish Royal Court. As the royals collected land, Andreas’ Swedish-born son, Gustav, collected music, assiduously soliciting manuscript copies of new works by many of the best musicians from across Europe. Thus, in Stockholm, a Venice of the North, one would encounter music from at least as far away as Venice, the real Venice--far beyond the sphere of influence the royals tried so vainly to construct. It can be seen as transcendentally ironic and delicious that this collection of music (largely housed currently at the University of Uppsala) is now regarded as central to the study of 17th-century music. Kept safely in areas never fought over or bombed, regarded by some as a cultural backwater, it has incredible value for our understanding of the artistic life of its time.
It should elicit little surprise to learn that, as befitted a troubled time, a very large proportion of music preserved in the Düben collection, perhaps the preponderance, is concerned with some facet of religious observance. The general lack of truly secular choral music may be explained in many ways. For instance, that new-fangled invention, opera, certainly sucked a lot of oxygen out of the secular air, but other more structural reasons can be argued, too. Although the collection has been mined extensively for its instrumental music, most of the service music it contains has seldom, if ever, been heard in this century (or the past three!).
For an inveterate browser (I spent my teen years browsing library stacks and in the intervening years have failed to progress much further), the prospect of encountering some new (to you--or me!) discovery is a siren call. With incredible intellectual generosity, many Swedish institutions (among others) have placed their collections online. Once again, I spend a lot of time in the (virtual) stacks.
Knowing that these concerts might afford some possibility for a few pieces to be heard anew, I started transcribing those that would best fit the present forces. As usual, I ended up transcribing about twice what you will hear and there’s more yet to be done. Ambrosia!
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Hendrik Broekman (editor, continuo organ) was born in New York City. He started his musical studies at age eleven in both piano and choral singing. After two years of piano lessons he became an autodidact until he attended the Mannes College of Music where he studied piano with John Goldmark and was later a recipient of a Harpsichord Music Society scholarship for study with Sylvia Marlowe. It was at Mannes where, needing some means to support himself, Mr. Broekman became interested in the maintenance and construction of harpsichords. In his efforts to learn the trade he worked in turn for Wallace Zuckermann, Eric Herz and finally Frank Hubbard for whom he served as shop foreman. He maintained his own harpsichord-making shop in the Hanover, NH area from 1972 until 1979. While in Hanover he led an active concert life both as participant and organizer of many groups, playing harpsichord, organ and renaissance instruments as well as singing. In 1979 Mr. Broekman was invited to return to the Hubbard firm as technical director in which position he continues. In the Boston area alone, Mr. Broekman has appeared with, among others, Amphion’s Lyre, La Donna Musicale, Capella Clausura and the Oriana Consort.
Mai-Lan Broekman (tenor and violone) studied cello with Georges Miquelle at the Eastman School of Music, viola da gamba and violone with Sarah Mead, Jane Hershey and Alice Robbins, and performance practice at the Longy School of Music, Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute and Amherst Early Music’s Baroque Academy. She has performed in juried masterclasses for Wieland Kuijken and Paolo Pandolfo, is a founding member of the baroque ensemble Amphion’s Lyre and regularly performs with renaissance and baroque ensembles in the New England area, including Emmanuel Music, El Dorado Ensemble, the Brewster Village Consort, Oriana Consort and Capella Clausura.
Janet Haas (treble and tenor) performs regularly throughout New England on the viola da gamba and the violone. She studied gamba with Laura Jeppeson and John Hsu, and has performed with the baroque ensemble La Sonnerie (Boston), the viol trio Oriana, and the Folger Consort (Washington, DC). She has recorded with the Boston Camerata on the Erato label. Ms. Haas teaches strings and conducts two orchestras for the Lexington, MA public schools, and she is a popular coach at workshops sponsored by the Viola da Gamba Society of America.
Carol Lewis (treble) has been called a “zestful and passionate champion” of the viola da gamba. She has demonstrated her musical virtuosity and versatility many times, as a soloist in recitals in the U.S. and abroad, as well as in performances of cantatas and Passions by Bach and others. She has toured and recorded extensively with Hespèrion and the Boston Camerata. She may be heard in Capriccio Stravagante’s recordings Canto a mi caballero (music of Antonio de Cabezón), William Byrd: Virginals and Consorts, Canto Mediterraneo and Couperin’s Concert dans le Goût Théâtral (Astrée). Recent performances include appearances with the Boston Camerata at Hofstra University (Long Island) and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston). She has recorded on Astrée, EMI, Lyrichord, Harmonia Mundi, Nonesuch, Erato, Atma Classique and Koch International. Ms. Lewis has taught at New England Conservatory of Music, at Amherst Early Music, and at the annual summer conclave of the Viola da Gamba Society of America. She is a co-founder of the Society for Historically Informed Performance. The Boston Globe called her playing “fiery, incisive”, and the Centre Presse (Poitiers, France) admired her “technique and musicality, her breathtaking dexterity.”
Colleen McGary-Smith (bass) enjoys an active and varied perfomance career on both modern and baroque cello as well as viola da gamba. Colleen began her cello studies at the age of five in St Catherines, Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master of Music degree from Boston University’s School for the Arts. Colleen’s principal cello instructors were Alan Harris, Andres Diaz and Phoebe Carrai. Colleen studied gamba with Jane Hershey, Alice Robbins, John Hsu, and masterclasses and coachings with noted specialists such as Laurence Dreyfus, Brent Wissick and Mary Springfels. Colleen currently performs with Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston and other freelance ensembles in the Boston area.
Rosalind Brooks Stowe (treble and bass) began studying the viola da gamba in 1976 while she was an undergraduate at Brown University. In 1982 she received her Masters in Early Music Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. She has performed with the Boston and Washington D.C. groups Voice of the Turtle, Much Ado, New England Consort of Viols, La Rondinella, Ensemble Soleil, the Brewster Village Consort, and Camerade. She has recorded with La Rondinella on Dorian Records, and has taught at workshops run by the Viola da Gamba Society of America, the Boston Recorder Society, and Pinewoods Early Music Week. She has performed with various ensembles at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2001, 2003 and 2005 and at other venues around Boston.
This program was supported in part by a grant from the Fall River Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a State Agency.