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Death in Venice: The Venetian Lament and its English Imitators
Saturday, February 11, 2017 7:30 PM Weill Recital Hall
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In an era when melancholy was glorified in popular culture, laments for nobility, historic figures, and even composers produced some of the most emotionally charged music of the time. This program focuses on works by Flemish composers working in the courts and churches of Venice, as well as two landmark lamentations by Monteverdi. Alongside the Venetian music are English works by Tallis, Byrd, and Tomkins composed under the Venetian influence. The critically acclaimed male voice ensemble Gallicantus performs this deeply affecting music.

Part of Salon Encores.




WILLAERT "Ave virgo sponsa Dei"
A. GABRIELI "Sassi, Palae, Sabbion, del Adrian lio"
RORE "Concordes adhibete animos"
COPRARIO "To the Most Sacred King James" from Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry
COPRARIO "To the Most Sacred Queen Anne" from Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry
COPRARIO "To the Most Disconsolate Great Britain" from Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry
ARCADELT "At trepida et coeptis"
TALLIS "Videte miraculum"
BYRD "Ye sacred muses"
TOMKINS "Too much I once lamented"
TOMKINS "When David heard"
TOMKINS "Then David mourned"
VAUTOR "Melpomene, bewail"
RORE "Dissimulare etiam sperasti"
MONTEVERDI "Lamento d'Arianna" from Arianna
MONTEVERDI "Lamento della ninfa" from Madrigals of War and Love, Book VIII

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic is sponsored by Chubb.

The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism has granted La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic its official support (“Patrocinio”) in recognition of Carnegie Hall’s celebration of Italy’s extraordinarily rich cultural legacy.

Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism in Rome; the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC; and the Consulate General of Italy in New York.

At a Glance

The expression of personal and communal grief has provoked potent and inventive music throughout history, but never more so than during the era when “melancholy” was ennobled and glorified in popular culture. This evening’s program charts—through a series of musical epitaphs—the evolution of the Venetian School at the hands of several great Flemish composers who were brought to burnish the courts of northern Italy with their masterly music. The program culminates with two of the great works of Monteverdi at the pinnacle of this evolution.

Alongside these masterpieces of the Venetian School will be heard some of the great English music that was composed under its influence. Byrd and Tomkins produced exquisite epitaphs (for Tallis and Byrd, respectively); and from Coprario, Tomkins, and Vautor, we hear some of the sublime works that were composed as part of the national outpouring of grief at the death of the 17-year-old Prince Henry, eldest son of King James I, in 1612.



Literally meaning "rooster song" or "cock crow," Gallicantus was a name used in monastic antiquity for the office held just before dawn, which celebrated the renewal of life and offered a sense of gratitude and optimism for the coming day. The members of the group share a wealth of experience in consort singing, and come together with a belief in the rhetorical power of great Renaissance music. Under the direction of Gabriel Crouch, Gallicantus creates performances and recordings that explore narratives and draw out unifying themes within a seemingly diverse repertoire.

Gallicantus has performed in significant venues and festivals throughout the United Kingdom, such as Wigmore Hall, Spitalfields Music, and York Early Music Christmas Festival. The ensemble has also toured to cities across Europe, including Essen and Regensburg (Germany), Wrocław (Poland), Cremona (Italy), and Antwerp (Belgium). In 2015, Gallicantus made a second visit to Princeton University, in addition to London's Temple Winter Festival, Chapel Royal, and Palace of Westminster. Upcoming performances include appearances in the US, the UK, Germany, and Austria.

Gallicantus regularly releases benchmark programs on CDs for the Signum label; these albums form the basis of their concert programs. With Hymns, Psalms, and Lamentations dedicated to the music of Robert White, critics acclaimed an "impressive debut" of "impassioned, exciting music." Their second recording, Dialogues of Sorrow: Passions on the Death of Prince Henry (1612), was described as "one of the best choral releases of the year," possessing "singing of clarity, suppleness, and poignancy."

The Word Unspoken--released in 2012, featuring music by William Byrd and Philippe de Monte--was equally well received, being named Editor's Choice by Gramophone. The group's fourth CD--the remarkable Lagrime di San Pietro by Lassus--has cemented Gallicantus as one of Europe's foremost early music ensembles, earning a second consecutive Editor's Choice selection from Gramophone, as well as a nomination for a coveted Gramophone Award in 2014. Its latest CD, Queen Mary's Big Belly, released this month, presents a musical narrative for the emotionally charged story of Mary Tudor's pursuit of a Catholic heir for England and her tragic phantom pregnancy of 1554-1555.

Gabriel Crouch has been the music director of Gallicantus since 2008. He is also director of choral activities and senior lecturer in music at Princeton University. He began his musical career as an eight-year-old in the choir of Westminster Abbey, where he performed a solo at the wedding of HRH Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson. After completing a choral scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was offered a place in the renowned a cappella group The King's Singers in 1996. Throughout the following eight years, he made a dozen recordings on the BMG label (receiving a Grammy nomination), and gave more than 900 performances in almost every major concert venue in the world. Special collaborative projects had him working and performing with some of the world's most respected artists, including percussionist Evelyn Glennie, pianists Emanuel Ax and George Shearing, singer Barbara Hendricks, and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys. When the academic calendar allows, Mr. Crouch maintains parallel careers in singing and record production, crossing the Atlantic frequently to appear with such ensembles as Tenebrae and The Gabrieli Choir, and in the US, performing recitals of lute song with such acclaimed lutenists as Daniel Swenberg and Nigel North. His work as a singer, coach, and musical director earned him a place on the London Times' list of "Great British Hopes."

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