Past Meetup

Music from the Age of Petrarch (14th and 15th Century Italy)

This Meetup is past

11 people went


Here comes Daniel our early music guru again:

I'll come right out and say it. To most classical music lovers today, this music sounds strange. No, this is not 21st century avant-garde atonal music, but it is not your favorite Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, or Bach, either. Here is a great example (although electronic sounding) of the type of music expected in this concert. http://en.wikipedia.o... () Even though I will only like half of the music in the concert, I will not miss it. Keep reading to find out why.

It is the 1300's. Dante Alighiere writes the Divine Comedy and with it "invents" the Italian language in[masked]; The Hundred Years' War begins in 1337; the Great Schism of the West begins in 1378, eventually leading to 3 simultaneous popes; and the poet Petrarch coins the term "Dark Ages" to describe the preceding 900 years in Europe, beginning with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 through to the renewal embodied in the Renaissance. Musically, the time of the Troubadors and Trouveres (single-voice songs of courtly love, which may or may not have instrumental accompaniment) have gone, and music written for multiple singers/instrumentalists appears more and more.

As with the EUOUAE concert in August, this music is also of the time before chords, keys, major, or minor. Their music used the perfect intervals of fourths and fifths. Thirds were dissonant and avoided in the early 1300's and started appearing as the century continued. These are partly why this music sounds strange to our modern ears. There were no bar lines in their written music and no downbeat, lending a flowing and ethereal quality to the music.

But this is Canconier performing, not EUOUAE. Instead of the lush chorale sound opening a window into the holy, this will be the sound of 4 amazing musicians on voice and instruments having sheer fun playing this music amazingly well just for us. (Actually, I think they do it for their own joy and let us in on the ride.) Phoebe Jevtovic has a beautiful, expressive voice. Tim Rayborn plays (well) more instruments than some people have books. Shira Kammen has this impish sense of humor, that manifests in her funny comments to the audience and the musical surprises she pulls on her fellow performers (you can tell that she pulled some new improvisation on them when they simultaneously give her the eye while she puts on this mischievous look. They are all such talented musicians that they go with it, on the fly, and it sounds awesome). Annette Bauer sometimes closes her eyes while playing, and it seems like she goes into a trance and *becomes* the music.

Their style is casual, speaking with the audience about the music and their instruments. Their orchestrations are unique and inspired. Their fingers move faster than is humanly possible. Their fans in the Bay Area are too numerous to fit into the venue - the concert will sell out. I have seen them sell out a second concert they added because they sold out the first so quickly. They are why I am going and why I will even enjoy the pieces that don't do anything for me.

To help you decide, here are some links to music samples.

Samples from a CD by Canconier can be found at the following link. I don't think any of the pieces on the program come from the CD. (

Samples of music from the same composers as will be on the program are at the following links. I don't know if any of these pieces will be included in the concert. If you only listen to one track, pick track 11 of the second link. I think that is most representative.

tracks 12, 16, 17,18,19: (

tracks 9, 10, 11,13 (

Canconier home page: http://www.canconier.... (

***** The Plan ****

Because this concert will most likely sell out and because we want to sit together at the concert, we have made special arrangements with the concert organizers, MusicSources. Please follow all of the instructions below:

1. RSVP Yes or No, so we know who to let into our meetup seats. Include in your comments whether you are coming to dinner so we can make the reservations.
2. Call the concert organizers, MusicSources, and buy a ticket, telling them that you are part of the meetup group. (510)[masked]. They are reserving a block of seats (probably near the front), but only for those who tell them ahead of time like this. It is general admission seating/standing for everyone else.
3. Be at the concert by 7:15 pm if you didn't come to dinner. Close to 7:30 they will start looking for available seats so they can let in some of the people who didn't pre-order. We want you to sit with us.
4. Make sure you are in the correct line ("need a ticket" or "will call").
5. Have fun with us!

NOTE: To guarantee space with us at the concert, you must buy in advance the ticket from MusicSources and tell them you are part of the meetup group. And once they sell out, the tickets are gone.

****** The details ******

Saturday, November 6th,[masked]:30 PM
St. Alban's Church
1501 Washington St.
Albany, CA
$20 non MusicSources members, $15 MusicSources Members, seniors, students
(510) 528 -1685
http://www.musicsourc... (

***** dinner *******

5:30 pm
Kathmandu Restaurant
@1410 Solano Ave, Albany, California 94706 (510)[masked]. Himalayan/Nepalese, very good, small. No web site.
Then we'll walk to the concert (about 10 minute walk)

Two enthusiastic thumbs way up for Daniel!!:) Thanks much! So, let's go and sip through this one-of-kind early music event if you are all for it!! Please indicate if you are coming to dinner on your RSVP.

**Note: This meetup will be charging $2 per member. It will be collected @ the pre-meetup. For those members not coming to pre-meetup or dropping after rsvp deadline you will need to send me a check for $2. Address to send your check to: PO Box 5056, Pleasanton, CA[masked]. Thanks.