Mississippi Early Music Ensemble
April is the Cruellest Month
On April 13, 2010 at 8:00 PM in Nutt Auditorium, the Mississippi Early Music ensemble performed in a program of music consisting of songs by Dufay, Marenzio, and a crusading song by medieval German poet Walter von der Vogelweide, along with renaissance dances by Tylman Susato. The featured work consisted of scenes from Marc-Antoine Charpentier's pastoral opera Actéon, a dramatization of the tragic story of a Theban hunter who chances to see the goddess Diana bathing. He is punished by being transformed into a stag, and is then set upon and killed by his own hunting dogs.
The Mississippi Early Music Ensemble, directed by Laurdella Foulkes-Levy and David Warren Steel, includes both students and faculty, and specializes in the interpretation of European music before 1700. In addition to choral and solo vocal music, the group performs on a number of instruments, including recorders, crumhorn, harpsichord, organ, viola da gamba, baroque guitar, and percussion.
La Maniera di Musica
On November 3, 2009 at 8:00 PM the Mississippi Early Music Ensemble performed in a program entitled La Maniera di Musica in Nutt Auditorium. The pieces focus on the moody and expressive yet stylish vocal music of the early 17th century, including songs and madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi and John Hilton and sacred concertos of Heinrich Schütz. Several soloists were featured in dramatic scenes that include the angel Gabriel's dialogue with the Virgin Mary and a love duet between Nero and his mistress Poppea. This year's concert featured a student brass quintet and the Nutt auditorium pipe organ
Lamentations and Sprightly Mirth
On April 20, 2009, the Mississippi Early Ensemble (MEME) returned from a fall sabbatical to present a concert of early music in Nutt Auditorium. The program explored the contrast between "sprightly" madrigals and canzonets by Thomas Morley, John Hilton and Michael East with two important laments: the Lamentations of Jeremiah by Thomas Tallis, and the dramatic Lament of the Nymph by Claudio Monteverdi, featuring mezzo soprano Dasha Teelin. Completing the program were dance arrangements by Thomas Morley and Christopher Simpson for instrumental ensemble.
The Masque of the Four Seasons
On April 21, 2008 at 8:00 PM, the Mississippi Early Ensemble (MEME) performed a concert of early music in Nutt Auditorium. The program included works in several styles from 1500 to 1700, and featured the masque of the Four Seasons from The Fairy Queen (1692) a semiopera by Henry Purcell. In this work, the four seasons appear with offerings to the sun god who makes all seasons, and all life, possible. Also featured are several French chansons from the 16th century, and passionate works by Claudio Monteverdi. Soloists included Debra Spurgeon, soprano, Cynthia Linton and Dasha Teelin, mezzo soprano, Kevin Dyess and Christian Feazell, tenors, and instrumentalists playing violins, recorders, viola da gamba, and harpsichord.
Construe my meaning
On November 12, 2007 at 8:00 PM, the Mississippi Early Ensemble (MEME) performed a concert of early music in the newly renovated Nutt Auditorium in the Music Building. The program included works in several styles from 1690 to 1715, and featured the music of Dieterich Buxtehude, the Danish-born German composer who died in 1707. Highlights include a mystical cantata on the feet of Jesus, a motet by Spanish composer Carlos Patiño, and an Alleluia for chorus, trumpets and organ, and several songs that are puzzling or light-hearted. Soloists included Debra Spurgeon, soprano, Kevin Dyess, tenor, and instrumentalists playing violin, recorders, viola da gamba, oboe, flute and harpsichord.
A lieta vita
On April 25, 2007 at 8:00 PM, the Mississippi Early Ensemble (MEME) performed a concert of early music in the newly renovated Nutt Auditorium in the Scruggs Music Building. The program featured works in several styles from 1400 to 1715, and includes an excerpt from Stefano Landi's opera Il Sant'Alessio, a pioneering work featuring some of the first comic scenes in musical theatre. While the concert includes somber works--a ballade by Gilles Binchois, a cantata by Barbara Strozzi, and a funeral motet by Victoria--it also contains lighthearted music by Josquin, Gastoldi and Morley. The soloists and choir are accompanied on recorders, crumhorns, viol, baroque guitar and a newly installed pipe organ.
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