Fretwork to Open Houston Early Music's 2013-14 Concert Season, 11/2
RenownEd English viol consort Fretwork will open the 2013-14 concert season for Houston Early Music by performing John Dowland's famous "Lachrimae" collection at First Christian Church on Saturday, November 2, at 7:30 p.m. Celebrating the 450th anniversary of Dowland's birth, the program also features the incomparable English lutenist Elizabeth Kenny.
"Dowland is one of the great songwriters in English, along with Purcell, Dylan and Lennon & McCartney, and one of England's finest composers," says Fretwork founding member Richard Boothby. The group, which made its debut in 1986, is known for playing a wide-ranging repertoire from Renaissance music to modern compositions, though it specializes in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.
Dowland's "Lachrimae," published in 1604, explicitly calls for the combination of lute and viols. At the core of the collection are seven pavans, which constitute the only known thematically linked sequence of movements using the same dance form. The first of these pavans is an instrumental version of Dowland's most famous song, "Flow My Teares," and the six subsequent movements are variations on it.
"To play the seven 'Lachrimae' pavans in order is a transcendental experience," says Boothby. "The music has an overriding sense of purpose and direction which carries us through from darkness into light, from despair to hope, from falling to rising, from minor to major. I hope we can convey something of this journey to the audience."
Boothby adds that the pavans "have an intensity that is created by masterful harmonic and contrapuntal ingenuity, where all five parts are compressed into a remarkably small range. This requires an extraordinarily felicitous rhythmic lightness."
Fretwork's Houston Early Music appearance marks the first stop of a two-week North American tour by the group, which includes Asako Morikawa, Reiko Ichise, Liam Byrne and Richard Tunnicliffe, in addition to Boothby. The program also features the U.S. premiere of a 2004 work by AdrIan Williams that brings a contemporary sensibility to Dowland's pavans.
Fretwork will present "Lachrimae" on Saturday, November 2, 2013, at First Christian Church, 1601 Sunset Blvd., Houston, Texas 77005. A pre-concert talk with ensemble members will start at 6:45 p.m.
Full season subscriptions and individual tickets for the Houston Early Music 2013-2014 season are available now and can be purchased atHoustonEarlyMusic.org.
A full season subscription for all five concerts is $180 General Admission, $155 Senior Admission. A mini-pass option which allows you to select any three concerts is also available for $110 General Admission, $95 Senior Admission.
Individual tickets for the Fretwork program are $40 General Admission, $35 Senior Admission, and $20 Students with valid student ID card.
For more information, e-mail info@HoustonEarlyMusic.org or call 281-846-4222.