During November and December, Greater Columbus hosts holiday concerts.
Early Interval has one more for early music lovers.
The long-standing early music ensemble – a genre that refers to groups featuring centuries-old repertoires and instruments – will present its annual ‘Twelfth Night’ concert at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Friday.
“Doing something right after the beginning of the year is like putting an end to holiday concerts that holiday season,” said Jim Bates, leader of Early Interval. . . Kind of like the end of Christmas.
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At this year’s Twelfth Night concert, the group, consisting of Bates on treble and bass viol, Sean Ferguson on theorbo and tenor viol, David Stefano on recorder and tenor viol, and Alexandra Virgo on violin and treble viol, performed music composed by turn your eyes. by Italian nuns before the 17th century.
After all, according to Bates, entering a religious community was one of the few opportunities for women at the time to write music that could reach a general audience.
“A lot of women from wealthy families had musical training, but they didn’t really get musical training as adults,” says Bates. “So if women were really serious about continuing to write and perform at a highly developed level,[the church]was the only place where they could do that.”
Most of the music composed by nuns was religious in nature and intended to be played during church services.
“The nuns were expected to sing every psalm every week, so singing was a big part of their lives,” said Bates. “Also, there are records that some monasteries had vast collections of musical instruments, not just songs.”
Friday’s concert will feature both instrumental and vocal work. In the latter, sopranos Elizabeth McConaughey and Emily Noel join the early interval.
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One particularly prolific nun was Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704). She is represented in works such as ‘Stella Bell in Vestro Gyro’, ‘Sonata Terza’ and ‘Sonata Nona’. Other composers whose works have been performed include Bianca Maria Medda and Vittoria Areotti.
Attentive listeners will find traces of Renaissance-era music and what Bates characterizes as “early experimental Baroque music”.
It may be a Christmas miracle that works written in monasteries centuries ago are still surviving after so many years.
“All this music is from the time… published in some printed form, not just in manuscripts that were only in monasteries,” said Bates. “They found their way into the world.”
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at a glance
Early Interval presents Ecstasy and Devotion: Twelfth Night from an Italian Monastery on Friday at 8:00 pm at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, 212 Broad Street. Tickets are $35, $28 for seniors, and $15 for students. For more information, visit earlymusicincolumbus.org.