CONCORDIAN DAWN ~ Rites of Spring Music Festival ~ North Fork, Long Island, NY

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CONCORDIAN DAWN ~ Rites of Spring Music Festival ~ North Fork, Long Island, NY

July 13 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm EDT

Concordian Dawn, ensemble for medieval music, performs an enchanting program of troubadour and trouvère song alongside Guillaume de Machaut’s Le Remède de Fortune for the Rites of Spring Music Festival at beautiful Landcraft Gardens on the North Fork of Long Island. Immerse yourself in an evening of sublime late medieval French song surrounded by stunning gardens and the sounds of nature all around.

About the Program:
We are thrilled to be a part of the Rites of Spring 2024 season with this program, which we put together specifically for this evening’s event. When asked to plan a concert that would take place in the beautiful Landcraft Gardens and that would connect to the gardens’ gorgeous natural surroundings, the lyric songs of late medieval France immediately came to mind. Not only is this repertoire a mainstay of our ensemble, but its poetry frequently invokes natural imagery to symbolically represent the inner psyche of the first-person subject, inspiring them to sing of their love for another. Such nature openings are a common feature in twelfth- and thirteenth-century troubadour and trouvère song, which shape the first half of this program. These songs depict a spiritual and/or artistic transcendence born of one’s desire for and complete devotion to the subject of their affection, even if unrequited. Such fin’amor is a poetic mantra in troubadour and trouvère lyric, in which the lover ascends to a higher plane of existence because of their true, refined love. This theme carries into Guillaume de Machaut’s fourteenth-century lyric narrative, Le Remède de Fortune, a redacted version of which makes up the second half of this program. Set in common areas of a courtly community and a garden on the court’s periphery, it tells the story of a lover’s heartache-filled quest to win his beloved’s attention and affection. Much can be (and has been) said of the work’s poetic contributions as a didactic instruction manual for poetic construction, as its seven musical insertions utilize both pre-existent poetic structures (the lai, complainte, and chant royale) and cutting-edge poetic formes fixes (balladelle, balade, virelai, and rondelet), and its narrative poetry explicitly addresses elements of poetic composition. Musically, its compositional elements employ techniques of the thirteenth-century ars antiqua and the fourteenth-century ars nova. In effect, the lyric-narrative looks both backward and forward in time to create an innovative new type of piece (by fourteenth-century standards). Overall, Le Remède serves not only as an engaging and instructive literary work for its audience to enjoy but also a reimagining of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, in which Machaut transitions Boethius’ personified Philosophy into the character of Hope who gives the lover the strength to go on even though his love for the Lady is left (largely) unrequited. In the end, hope and true love are enough.

About the ensemble:
Concordian Dawn, ensemble for medieval music, specializes in 12th- through 14th-century vocal repertoire, drawing on primary source material and focusing on socio-philosophical similarities between texts from centuries ago and the mindset of modern society. In doing so, the ensemble produces a musical experience accessible to contemporary audiences, relating the human condition of the past to the familiar experiences of the present. Concordian Dawn was founded in 2012 and performs regularly on the east coast, annually with Gotham Early Music Scene in NYC, and at venues across the country. The ensemble’s “mesmerizing” (Early Music America) debut album, Fortuna Antiqua et Ultra (MSR Classics), was released in December of 2021 to critical acclaim. In July of 2022, Cornell University Press published a collaborative book-recording project between the ensemble and medieval studies scholar, Sarah Kay, entitled Medieval Song from Aristotle to Opera, and the ensemble’s “palpably enchanting” and “unforgettable” (Fanfare) second album based on this collaboration was released by MSR Classics in October of 2023. Concordian Dawn made its west coast debut in 2022 with the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival and at UC-Berkeley and UC-Davis. The ensemble, which received a 2020 Ensemble Forward Award from Chamber Music America, and its director, Christopher Preston Thompson, have performed and led workshops and lectures for Princeton University, Stanford University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Modern Language Association, the CUNY Graduate Center and the Medieval Academy of America, among others. For more information, please visit www.concordiandawn.com.

Musicians:
Amber Evans – soprano and percussion
Michele Kennedy – soprano
Niccolo Seligmann – vielle and percussion
Christopher Preston Thompson – artistic director, tenor, and medieval harp

Venue

Landcraft Gardens
Grand Avenue
Mattituck, NY 11952 United States
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