The New Consort presented Subtler Than Light: Music of the Dow Partbooks
On April 6th, 2019, Saint Ann’s Parish welcomed nationally-acclaimed vocal ensemble The New Consort, directed by baritone and Lyme native Brian Mummert. The professional quintet presented Subtler Than Light: Music of the Dow Partbooks, a concert exploring the music written during the reign of Elizabeth I. These works have been immortalized by 16th century calligrapher Robert Dow in the Dow Partbooks: a set of manuscripts, each containing only the musical line of the singer reading from it, that assemble some of the most important works of the Tudor era. Preserved within these books, one finds a snapshot of exemplary artists struggling to make sense of the world through the lens of their Christian faith; from Robert White’s Lamentations to William Byrd’s Laetentur coeli, these Elizabethan masters endeavor to capture the scope of human emotion.
“We’re very lucky that Dow had impeccable taste,” explains Artistic Director Brian Mummert. “The music of composers like Byrd and Tallis is some of the most beautiful ever written, and Dow chose what I’d argue are the best pieces by each of them. I’m so excited to pair these works that have withstood the centuries with two world premieres on similar themes, and inspired by the Partbooks’ musical language, written specially for The New Consort by two important young composers: Rosśa Crean and Ethan McGrath. This concert is all about balance - warding off despair for our imperfect world with hope, and seeking an equilibrium between sombre contemplation and joy.”
Brian Mummert, Artistic Director
Saint Ann’s was proud to produce the concert as part of our Live@SaintAnn’s concert series. A reception followed the performance, at which guests were able to examine facsimiles of the partbooks and meet the performers.
Winners of the American Prize in Chamber Music, The New Consort was founded in 2015 and has quickly made embracing stylistic contrasts one of its hallmarks. Musical variety is an integral part of the ensemble's identity: from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary & non-classical works, nothing is off-limits. By embracing contrasts and drawing diverse works into conversation, The New Consort attracts new audiences to classical music and encourages them to forge connections with unfamiliar genres of musical expression. The ensemble has appeared in venues including Trinity College, Cambridge; The Walters Art Museum's First Fridays series; The Bach Store, an NYC pop-up concert hall; High Hopes' Music Under the Stars (CT); Spectrum NYC; and at churches and schools throughout the Northeast. Members of The New Consort have appeared as soloists and conductors with some of the world’s best-respected ensembles from Carnegie Hall to Kuala Lumpur, but relish the opportunity that the ensemble presents to collaborate as chamber musicians. For more information on The New Consort visit www.newconsort.org.
An Evening with Elisabeth von Trapp | A Concert for Breath
On Saturday, October 13, 2018, Elisabeth von Trapp returned to Saint Ann’s Church to present A Concert for Breath, a benefit supporting Yale University’s Lung Cancer Study and Research. All proceeds from this concert were donated to advance Yale's research and to assist those who hav non-small cell lung cancer.
For a portion of this special performance, Ms. von Trapp was joined by the choir members of Saint Ann’s Church who raised their voices for the cure in honor of Eleanor Robinson, a parishioner, who is fighting non-small cell lung cancer. Audience members were able to meet Ms. von Trapp at a reception following the concert.
Ms. von Trapp is a member of the family whose story inspired The Sound of Music and the “sounds of music” are part of her earliest memories. Building on her famed family’s passion for music, Ms. von Trapp has created her own artistic style, at once, ethereal and earthy. Her musical repertoire ranges from Bach to Broadway and with equal ease she sings timeless melodies likes Rogers and Hammerstein’s Edelweiss, pop classics like A Whiter Shade of Pale, and her own stunning compositions. Elisabeth has released five self-produced albums, and has performed across the United States, Austria and Russia. Her music has been featured on National Public Radio, BBC-Radio, Japanese National Radio and CNN Spanish Radio. She has appeared on CBS’s Eye on People, ABC’s Good Morning America and BBC-TV.