“Fabulous music and dance in a magical setting.”–Lorraine Graves
August 13-20, 2022 // Plymouth, MA
Renaissance, baroque, and medieval music for players and singers of all levels
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Are you passionate about renaissance, medieval, and early baroque music, especially as revived and played on period instruments? Do you also love nature and being in community with others? If so, this is the week for you!
Early Music Week offers joyful opportunities and challenges to players, singers and dancers of every level, from beginners to the highly experienced. As classes unfold through the week, we will explore and discover the innovation and creativity that lie behind some of the world’s most vibrant and compelling early music, listening and playing with deeper understanding, as well as dancing together and enjoying all that the Pinewoods community has to offer. This week will also feature an Advanced Ensemble Intensive.
This year’s theme: Chaos and Creativity. After two years of out-of-balance disorder, we will come together in music and dance this summer creating new order and new connections.
Instrumentalists may focus intensively on their primary instruments, enjoy the opportunity to play or sing with others in mixed ensembles, and find time to explore something completely new.
Singers can delve into early music repertoire in small groups, sing in a chorus and/or collegium, and try an introductory instrumental class.
Everyone is invited to enjoy English country dancing, with instruction during the day for all levels. This elegant, low-impact, fun, and welcoming style of participatory dance is the highlight of every evening. Dances are led by expert callers with music played by an elegant live band. All are warmly encouraged to participate.
As a special way to celebrate coming together to make music in person, this year we offer an All-Camp Collegium in the second afternoon class time. All Early Music Week participants will work under the direction of Larry Zukof to enjoy the richness of large-scale works for a symphonic combination of instruments and voices. The whole group will meet together each day, and also break out into sectionals by instrument/voices and level, led by members of the faculty. The Collegium will perform at the camper concert Friday afternoon. The Collegium’s centerpiece project will be Cavalieri’s “O che nuovo miraculo,” the finale of the 1589 Florentine wedding Intermedi (La Pellegrina) which became very famous as the Aria di Firenze or Aria del gran duca.
Experience this in-depth music and dance week surrounded by exceptional natural beauty, with time for relaxation—swimming, hiking, canoeing—and delicious home-cooked meals in the open-air dining hall. What better way to get inside music, and to bond with others of like mind, than to play, sing, dance, and learn together in this magical environment.
Instrumental and vocal consorts grouped by level (B to A)
Beginner to Advanced: recorder, viol, voice, strings, harp, mixed instruments. Voice classes will include rhythmic, interval and sight-reading exercises to strengthen the students’ musicianship.
English Dance Band: Making Dancers Move and Your Heart Sing (all instruments) – Jacqueline Schwab
Join us for this user-friendly class designed for those who would like to learn the little-known craft of making music danceable. We will explore what, beyond a steady tempo, makes music danceable and what inspires people to move. The journey of becoming a dance musician may help grow your sense of rhythm, melody, and harmony, improvisation, commanding sound and flowing ease in your playing, listening, ensemble playing and more! Open to all who love to play at a danceable tempo.
Advanced Ensemble Intensive – Frances Fitch, Michael Barrett
By pre-registration only: Advanced Ensemble Intensive
English Country Dancing: An Introduction, and Then On We Go! (B) – Jan Elliott
On Sunday and Monday, we will get you started so that you can enjoy Luanne’s class and the evening dances for the whole week.
English Country Dance for All (B+) – Luanne Stiles with Frances Fitch and Karen Burciaga
We will dance historical and newly choreographed selections that have won the hearts of dancers for good reasons. If these dances are new to you, you’ll soon know why people love them. And if they’re already your favorites, here’s a chance to do them even better! Please join the fun – this session is for all dancers.
ECD: Experienced (A) – Tom Amessé with Jacqueline Schwab and Emily O’Brien
This class will offer a wide array of English country dance’s gems: familiar and unfamiliar, historical and modern. While there will be a few dances that offer something to chew on, we will focus on the fun and pleasure of dancing well together. Some ECD experience needed.
Chorus: Henry’s big mess – The English Reformation and its musical consequences (all voices) – Michael Barrett
The decision by King Henry VIII of England to break away from the Catholic Church led to decades of domestic turmoil, and English composers were forced to adapt to the ever-changing political and religious landscapes if they hoped to remain on the right side of the law. This summer the Early Music Week chorus will explore English repertoire, both Catholic and Protestant, and the story of the chaotic English Reformation.
ECD Class: Finding Magic Moments in a Magical Setting (all dancers) – Tom Amessé and Luanne Stiles with Jacqueline Schwab
Experience varied music and choreography as well as the history of the times, as we move from Playford’s 1651 Dancing Master through and including today’s diverse choreographers and composers.
Advanced Ensemble Intensive – Frances Fitch, Emily O’Brien, and Lisa Terry
By pre-registration only: Advanced Ensemble Intensive
Naughty Bits (LI Recorders) – Eric Haas
Chansons and madrigals with slightly off-color texts, including works of Arcadelt, Clemens non Papa, Jannequin, Lassus, Sermisy, and others.
The Venetian School (I+ Recorders) – Héloïse Degrugillier
After the death of Pope Leo X in 1521, Rome’s influence was lessened, and other centers of creativity grew as a consequence. Venice and its St. Mark’s Basilica were one of those centers. The architecture of the basilica was very conducive to new forms of music, new genres all together. In this class, we will explore music of Willaert, Donato, Gabrieli and others
Bach for Recorders: Adventures in Counterpoint (HI+ Recorders) – Jan Elliott
The great master of baroque counterpoint wrote few pieces specifically for recorder, but his music can lend itself to nearly any instrumental combination when played with affinity and understanding. Recorder arrangements abound, including suites, concertos, cantatas and fugues. We will explore several examples, increasing parts and complexity as we go, and touch on some of the technical choices in arranging these works for recorder consort. Low instruments are especially welcome.
When “what’s your sign” has Nothing to do with Astrology: Intro to Mensural Notation (All Instruments, Voices) – Ben Matus
Learn the basics of late Medieval/Renaissance music notation. Demystify mensuration signs, ligatures, imperfections, and alterations. Together we’ll learn some pieces from the Copenhagen Chansonnier using the facsimile of the original. Proficiency in multiple clefs is helpful but not entirely necessary.
Northern Frisk (HI All Instruments) – Karen Burciaga
Scottish music was all the rage in Restoration London and the decades following. Northern-flavored dance tunes made their way south and appear in numerous music collections, catches, divisions, songs, and of course the dance hall. We’ll look at examples of energetic hornpipes, jiggs, north country tunes, and even a “wild morris” in 17th and 18th-century fiddle and bagpipe manuscripts, then we’ll trace their journey into The English Dancing Master, Purcell’s operas, Handel’s Watermusic, and more.
Medieval Instruments Masterclass (LI+ flexible instrumentation) – Niccolo Seligmann
Just got a vielle and want to know what to do with it? Is the sound too scratchy for your liking? Have you already been playing your instrument for a while and want a fresh perspective? There’s always room to grow if you love medieval music – let’s grow together! Bring your favorite pieces (I’ll bring mine!) and we’ll play for each other and all together.
A Strange Feast: Tasty Polyphony for the Discerning Palate (HI+ Louds) – Dan Meyers
Inspired by Dan’s fondness for the music of the underrated Brescian composer Gregorio Zucchini, this class will feature music selected from the works of the finest 16th-century composers with “edible” names, including Brebis, Dentice, Lauro, Meloni, Mouton, Morel and–OK, it’s a bit of a stretch–Dulichius. From four-voice appetizers to eight-voice, double-choir main courses, there’s something on the menu for every appetite in this multi-course journey through Italy, France, and the Low Countries.
Taming the Chaos – Self-coaching techniques for the Intermediate Player (I+ Soft Instruments) – Sarah Mead
How to figure out what to do to take your ensemble to the next level. For viol players, other strings and soft winds.
Misfortunates Miscreants, Murderous, Musicians! (I+ Soft Instruments) – Larry Zukof
The late 15th c. Franco-Flemish composer Jacob Obrecht and the 16th c. Spaniard, Francesco Guerrera, to name a couple, had the misfortune of dying from outbreaks of the plague about 100 years apart. Alfonso Ferrabosco, the elder, a favorite of Queen Elizabeth, led a troubled life, embroiled in controversy, angering both the Pope and then the Queen after returning for good to Italy leaving behind his two illegitimate children. Our exploration of the creative talents of these composers will also include a madrigal by Carlo Gesualdo who murdered his wife and her lover!
Common Threads (I All Instruments) – Miyo Aoki
Musicians throughout history have re-used, re-interpreted and tried to improve on the music of their predecessors and contemporaries. In the 15th and 16th centuries, composers often took melodies from each other’s work and made new settings of them, sometimes creating surprising or humorous juxtapositions by combining two pre-existing melodies together in new ways. This class explores some of these renaissance compositions that re-work and re-combine melodies and ideas from previously existing music, and you’ll be surprised by the delightful variance in these pieces with common threads.
All-Camp Collegium (All levels, all instruments, voices) – Larry Zukof
As a special way to celebrate coming together to make music in person, this year we offer an All-Camp Collegium in the second afternoon class time. All Early Music Week participants will work under the direction of Larry Zukof to enjoy the richness of large-scale works for a symphonic combination of instruments and voices. The whole group will meet together each day, and also break out into sectionals by instrument/voices and level, led by members of the faculty. The Collegium will perform at the camper concert Friday afternoon. The Collegium’s centerpiece project will be Cavalieri’s “O che nuovo miraculo,” the finale of the 1589 Florentine wedding Intermedi (La Pellegrina) which became very famous as the Aria di Firenze, or Aria del gran duca.
Advanced Ensemble Intensive
Frances Fitch, Michael Barrett, Emily O’Brien and Lisa Terry
Open to singers and instrumentalists (string, wind, and keyboard players) with advanced reading skills and solid technique, the Advanced Ensemble Intensive offers a week-long focus on small ensembles, which may include matched or mixed consorts, vocal groups, or ensembles with continuo. Participants should be ready to work semi-independently as well as with a coach, and ensembles will have the opportunity to play for and give feedback to each other.
The second morning period is left free so that members of Advanced Ensemble Intensive may enjoy the English country dance classes that help to make CDSS Early Music Week unique among summer workshops. During the second afternoon period, participants may continue to work independently or may join the All-Camp Collegium. All are encouraged to dance every evening with the rest of the camp participants.
All classes with viols will be held in enclosed spaces to minimize the effects of the inevitable humidity of our pond-side setting.