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Noon Edition

Morning Has Broken

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Welcome to Harmonia. I’m Angela Mariani. The calendar year is winding down, but we’re just waking up! Join us this hour as we bravely resist the snooze button, exploring morning-themed music from the Middle ages, Renaissance, and baroque eras.  From the morning star to the rising sun, we’ll feature bright -and early!- compositions to revive and refresh.  We’ll also sample a brand new recording for the holiday season, Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, by the Cleveland-based baroque Orchestra Apollo’s Fire.  Music for early birds -this week on Harmonia. 

[Them music fades]

 MUSIC TRACK
Camina a America
Conjunto Musica Ficta de Buenos Aires
Irco Video 1993 B00JGEUSDK
Anonyous
Tr. 11 En la Mar Hay una Torre (4:33)
 
Our show this week is about mornings, but that was one last piece for all you night owls: “En la mar hay una torre,” an anonymous Sephardic song from Medieval Spain.  In the many versions of the song, a maiden in a tower in the sea calls out to passing sailors, who want to climb up and keep her company while she…sleeps.  The version we heard was recorded by Conjunto Musica Ficta de Buenos Aires.

SEGMENT A

Ah, morning!  A time to leap cheerfully from your bed, grab your cup of coffee, and start conquering the world! Or, if you’re not a morning person, a time to roll back over and desperately mash the snooze button.  Whatever your attitude toward the break of day, it’s among our more universal human experiences, and sunrise is among its keenest pleasures.

Sunrise is also a key image in the Latin hymn A solis ortus cardine, the text of which dates all the way back to the 400s.  The hymn, which depicts the life of Christ, is 23 quatrains long, and each quatrain begins with a successive letter of the Latin alphabet.  First up, alpha, and sunrise:

"From the hinge of the rising sun
To the earth’s remotest boundaries
Let us sing to Christ our Lord,
Born of the Virgin Mary." 

We’ll hear two different settings of A Solis Ortus, composed centuries apart.  First, the plainchant version, sung by the medieval ensemble Anonymous 4.  Listen for the rising notes of the opening, symbolizing the rising of the sun. 

Then we’ll hear the same chant placed at the heart of a far later setting by the German composer Michael Praetorius, here recorded by the Amsterdam-based recorder consort The Royal Wind Music.

MUSIC TRACK
On Yoolis Night: Medieval Carols and Motets
Harmonia Mundi 1993 B000QQT8XI
Anonymous 4
Tr. 20 Hymn: A solis ortus cardine (chant) (3:49)
 
MUSIC TRACK
Alla Dolce Ombre
The Royal Wind Music/ Paul Leenhouts
Lindoro 2002 B009WJ80FC
Michael Praetorius
Tr. 23 A Solis Ortus Cardine (3:37)

Two settings of A Solis Ortus Cardine, a Latin hymn invoking the sunrise.  We heard The Royal Wind Music’s version of a setting by Praetorius. And before that, the plainchant version, sung by Anonymous 4.

The biblical book of Psalms also carries many references to sunrise, and Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi’s virtuosic setting of psalm 112, “Laudate Pueri” contains a particularly satisfying evocation.  We’ll hear soprano Sandrine Piau’s voice rising inexorably upward in the third movement of the work, “A solis ortu usque ad occasum,” or “from sunrise to sunset,” recorded by Accademia Bizantina. 

MUSIC TRACK
Vivaldi: In furore, laudate pueri e concerti sacri
Sandrine Piau, Stefano Montanari, Ottavio Dantone, Accademia Bizantina
Naïve 2004 B06XRN55TM
Antonio Vivaldi
Tr. 9 Laudate pueri in G Major, RV 601 "Salmo 112": III. A solis ortu (Andante) (3:30)


Accademica Bizantina and soprano Sandrine Piau in “A solis ortu,” a movement from Antonio Vivaldi’s setting of psalm 112, “Laudate pueri.”

Some people celebrate dawn, but others bewail it.  The alba--a particular subgenre of Medieval poetry from the traditions of the French troubadors--depicts lovers who must part at break of day.  Sometimes, in an alba, the lovers themselves are bemoaning dawn; in other examples a watchman sounds the warning.

Let’s hear “Gaite de la tor,” one of the very few poems from this genre in which the melody was also preserved.  Originating in northern France in the 12th century, it’s brought to life here by Conjunto Musica Ficta de Buenos Aires.
 
MUSIC TRACK
Camina a America
Conjunto Musica Ficta de Buenos Aires
Irco Video 1993 B00JGEUSDK
Anonymous
Tr. 3 Gaite de la tor (3:35)

That was Gaite de la tor, an anonymous work from 12th century France, recorded by Conjunto Musica Ficta de Buenos Aires.

Dawn is a lovely certainty, and it’s perhaps unsurprising that more than one early music ensemble has dubbed itself “Alba.”  Among these is the Medieval Ensemble Alba, a Danish group founded in the 1990s.  The group released several recordings, among them a CD spotlighting the music of Meister Rumelant, a thirteenth-century German Minnesinger.  We’ll hear two tracks from that release, an instrumental estampie, Gott herre almechtich, followed by a vocal work, “Das Gedeones wollenvlivs.”   

MUSIC TRACK
Die Tenschen Morder
Medieval Ensemble Alba
Classico 2010 B003U9TV5I
Meister Rumelant
Tr. 2 Got herre almechtich (estampie) (2:02)
Tr. 6 Das Gedeones wollenvlivs (3:35)
 
Two works from a CD by the Danish medieval ensemble Alba, featuring the work of the thirteenth-century German composer Mesiter Rumelant.

Our playlists, podcasts, and archived episodes are online at harmonia early music dot org.

You can follow our Facebook page and our updates on Twitter by searching for Harmonia Early Music.

(Midpoint music Bed)

Harmonia is a program of early music that comes to you from the studios of WFIU at Indiana University. Partial support for Harmonia comes from PENN-CO incorporated of Bedford, Indiana. Partial support also comes from Early Music America, fostering the performance, scholarship, and community of early music…on the web at EarlyMusicAmerica-DOT-org.  I’m Angela Mariani.

Break music: Die Tenschen Morder, Medieval Ensemble Alba, Classico 2010 B003U9TV5I, Meister Rumelant, Tr. 10 Der wisen heyden Cato (estampie) (:59 of 2:33)]

SEGMENT B

It may be cold and dark outside, but it’s time to wake up here on Harmonia, where we’re featuring morning-themed music from the across the centuries.

Trust Thomas Morley to make getting out of bed sound jolly! Morley, a 16th-century English composer, theorist, and publisher, was a devotee of the Italian-style madrigal. Like the Italians he imitated, his works are filled with word-painting.  A case in point: his five-voice madrigal “Arise, Awake, Awake,” featuring an upward leap of the voice to herald waking up. I Fagiolini recorded the version we’ll hear. 

MUSIC TRACK
The Triumphs of Oriana
I Fagiolini
Chandos 2002 B001190KCM
Thomas Morley
Tr. 21 Arise, Awake, Awake (2:12) 

That was the ensemble I Fagiolini singing Thomas Morley’s secular madrigal “Arise, Awake, Awake.”

Remember the alba’s sympathetic watchman?  He makes another appearance in the hymn “Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme,” a hymn from the sixteenth-century Lutheran pastor Phillipp Nicolai. This time, though, it’s a midnight wake up: Awake!“ cries the watchman in the tower. It’s time to head to a wedding, in this case, the joining of Christ and the soul. The hymn’s opening triad- a series of upward leaps, proved irresistible to composers from Bach to Mendelssohn to Hugo Distler.

We’ll return to Michael Praetorius for two contrasting settings. The first, recorded by Isaak Ensemble Heidelberg, achieves a startling complexity using only two voices. The second, a much larger motet recorded by Gli Scarlattisti, shows Praetorius „waking up,“ to the hymn’s possibilities. 

MUSIC TRACK
Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern
Isaak Ensemble Heidelberg
Christophorus 1993 B002B1SZT4
Praetorius
Tr. 13 No. 97. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme a 2  (1:51)
 
MUSIC TRACK
Praetorius: Gloria sei dir gesungen
Gli Scarlattisti
Praetorius
Carus 2017 B06XZ1CZTZ
Tr. 14 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (7:20)

Two contrasting settings of the hymn “Wachet auf,” both by the German baroque composer Michael Praetorius.  We heard a setting for two voices recorded by Isaak Ensemble Heidelberg, followed by Gli Scarlattisti performing a larger-scale sacred motet. 

One last wake up call, this time from the Middle Ages. The authorship of the Medieval carol: “Nowel: Owt of your slepe aryse”might be in doubt, but the directive is clear: Get up, and witness what God has done. We’ll hear the group Anonymous 4 singing. 

MUSIC TRACK
Yoolis Night: Medieval Carols and Motets
Anonymous 4
Harmonia Mundi 1993 B000QQT8XI
Anonymous
Tr. 23 Carol: Nowel: Owt of your slepe aryse (4:50) 

That was the Medieval carol “Nowel: Owt of your slepe aryse,” recorded by Anonymous 4.

Even the musicians of our featured release this week are waking up early.  The Cleveland-based baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire released their latest, folk-inflected album, “Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain,” just in time for the holiday season, and our sampling begins with “Cold Frosty Morning,” the kickoff to a set of traditional tunes, arranged here by Rene Schiffer, Jeannette Sorrell, and Tina Bergmann, that also features the tunes Old Christmas and Breakin’ Up Christmas. We’ll end our morning together with “The Parting Glass,” a song from Scottish and Irish traditions. 

MUSIC TRACK
Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain
Apollo’s Fire
Avie Records 2018
Tr. 18 Cold Frosty Morning / Old Christmas / Breakin’ Up Christmas (Arr. René Schiffer, Jeannette Sorrell and Tina Bergmann) (4:18)
Tr 19 The Parting Glass (2:19)

Two tracks from this month’s featured release, “Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain” by the Cleveland-based baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire.  We heard “The Parting Glass,” and before that three old time tunes arranged for the group by Rene Schiffer, Jeannette Sorrell, and Tina Bergmann: “Breakin’ Up Christms,” “Old Christmas,” and, naturally, “Cold Frosty Morning.”

More music, stories, history, recordings, and other information about the world of early music can be found on our Harmonia Early Music Podcasts, online at harmonia early music dot org and through iTunes. You’re listening to Harmonia. 

Fade in theme as usual

Harmonia is a production of WFIU, and part of the educational mission of Indiana University. Additional resources come from the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

We welcome your thoughts about any part of this program, or about early music in general. You can leave a comment or question any time by visiting harmonia early music dot org and clicking on "Contact."

The writer for this edition of Harmonia was Anne Timberlake.

Thanks to our studio engineer Michael Paskash and our staff – Wendy Gillespie and LuAnn Johnson. Additional technical support comes from KTTZ at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Our producer is Elizabeth Clark, our executive producer is John Bailey, and I’m Angela Mariani, inviting you to join us again for the next edition of Harmonia.

Morning has broken, painting, “Pythagoreans celebrate sunrise”

Painting “Pythagoreans celebrate sunrise” by Fyodor Bronnikov, 1869. (Public domain, Wikipedia)

The calendar year is winding down, but we’re just waking up! Join us this hour as we bravely resist the snooze button, exploring morning-themed music from the Middle ages, Renaissance, and baroque eras.  From the morning star to the rising sun, we’ll feature bright -and early!- compositions to revive and refresh. We’ll also sample a recording for the holiday season, Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, by the Cleveland-based baroque Orchestra Apollo’s Fire.  Music for early birds -this week on Harmonia

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