Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



"One of the best workshops I've ever been to!"

"Wasn't he a good conductor!"

"I never heard of the French violin clef, let alone play in it!"

"His use of the English language in describing the music and how he would like us to play it is almost poetic"

These are a few of the comments heard at our Nov. 10 workshop with Shelley Gruskin. (By the way, the French violin clef is a treble clef symbol which indicates the "c" is on the first line of the staff, and it helps if you can pretend you're reading the Bass clef. We played it surprisingly well when doing a 1737 pastoral by Chedeville.)

Shelley took us through some of the movements of the Dance Suite, demonstrating how their characteristics survived in the works of later composers. For example, the phrasing and descending lines of the 1597 Intrada by Orologio were similar to the Entrada written by Ricardo in 1969; David Goldstein's 1976 Saraband was very like that of Dornel's which was probably written in the early 1700's.

About eighteen people enjoyed Shelley's excellent teaching. More folks might have participated had there not been other musical conflicts. Although Tish Berlin rearranged the Elderhostel workshop to accommodate us, after a full and rather intense week, few people had sufficient energy to get themselves from Carmel Valley to San Mateo to join us. (Bob Buzzard, from San Diego, was the outstanding non MPRO member who did. In addition to me, Kelly Moore, Laura Gonsalves, and Sonja Wilcomer also managed to survive the Elderhostel AND our workshop with Shelley.) I understand that the AROW concert in Oakland, also on November 10, was quite successful and drew about 40 people; however, we missed seeing some of our regular East Bay attendees. Be reassured that Our Great Omniscient Director, Fred, and your Board of Directors will devote considerable brain power to exploring ways of avoiding such conflicts for future workshops. I've talked with several people who are sorry they missed our day with Shelly. Be assured. He will be asked to come back.

In the meantime, we have Tish Berlin to look forward to on Jan. 26, and Frances Feldon and Clea Galhano for next season.

This is the last UPBEAT for 2001, so I'll take this opportunity to wish you all very Happy and Safe Holidays.

Stevie White


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

Here are the highlights for the second half of the orchestra's 2001-2002 season: On Saturday, January 26, Letitia Berlin will be directing a workshop for MPRO entitled, "The Splendor of Venice." For further information about this workshop please see the article and registration announcement which appear in this issue of Upbeat. Shira Kammen will direct the orchestra's meeting on April 17 and present a program of medieval selections which will include works by Dufay, Landini and Machaut. This will be a wonderful opportunity for those in MPRO to work with one of the Bay Area's leading performers and interpreters of medieval music, and I urge all of the orchestra's members to plan on attending that evening. The Oriana Consort of Viols will be joining the orchestra for the spring concert scheduled this June. Antiphonal works by Soderino and Vejvanovsky will be featured on the program as well as music by Lassus, Landini, Haydn and Brahms. Meanwhile, please remember that the orchestra's holiday concert will take place at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, 600 West 42nd Avenue in San Mateo on Saturday, December 8 at 2:00 P.M. Don't forget to invite family and friends to this performance, which will feature seasonal works for voices and early instruments. The first half of the orchestra's current season will conclude with a holiday party at 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday, December 12, at the home of Fred Kamphoefner, 175 Ravenswood Avenue in Atherton. All MPRO members and their family and friends are invited to attend.

Listed below is the music for the orchestra's first three meetings of the new year. Please note that krummhorn players will be needed for the meetings on January 9 and February 6. There will also be a rehearsal for the MPRO Ensemble on Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 P.M. Only those who have volunteered to take part in the March video recording of the orchestra need attend this rehearsal. Music and part assignments for the selections below will available at the meeting on January 9. Those returning to the MPRO Ensemble from previous seasons will want to use the copies of the music they have from past performances.

October 17
This meeting begins at 7:30 P.M.
Praetorius: Puer natus/Ein Kind geborn
Bach: Sinfonia and Choral
Harrison: Serenade, Gigue en Rondeau
Oif'n Pripetshik

October 24
Brahms: Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen
Harrison: Serenade, Gigue en Rondeau
Vejvanovsky: Serenada
Binchois: Se j'eusse un seul peu d'esperanche
Handel: Overture for St. Cecilia's Day

November 7
Handel: Overture for St. Cecilia's Day
Binchois: Se j'eusse un seul peu d'esperanche
Die Grineh Kuzine, Rozhinkes mit Mandeln, Oif'n Pripetshik, Nigun

January 9
Lassus: Matona mia cara
Soderino: L'Angelina
Haydn: Divertimento in F, Finale

January 16
MPRO Ensemble rehearsal, 7:30 P.M.
Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School

Rossi: Sinfonia
L'autre jour/Au tens pascour/In seculum
Claudin de Sermisy: Tant que vivray
Britten: Scherzo
Arbeau: Belle qui tiens ma vie
Marais: Rondeau
MacDowell: To A Wild Rose
I Will Bow and Be Simple, The Humble Heart, Simple Gifts
Ippolitov-Ivanov: Bless the Lord, O my soul
Viadana: La Mantovana

January 23
Landini: Che pena Ŕ quest'al cor
Margolis: Recorder Quartet
Vejvanovsky: Serenada

February 6
Lassus: Matona mia cara
Brahms: Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen
Soderino: L'Angelina
Haydn: Divertimento in F, Finale

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings and working on this exciting and wonderful music with you. Please let any of your friends who play early instruments know about the orchestra's varied activities and invite them to attend an MPRO meeting, workshop or concert.

Fred Palmer

Don't Forget!

Holiday party at 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday, December 12, at the home of Fred Kamphoefner, 175 Ravenswood Avenue in Atherton. All MPRO members and their family and friends are welcome! If you want to play, bring your instruments. Fred will have his harpsichord tuned!

The Splendor of Venice

by Letitia Berlin

On January 26, Letitia Berlin will be presenting a workshop for the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra entitled, "The Splendor of Venice." For further information about this workshop please see the announcement which appears in this issue of Upbeat.

In the first quarter of the 16th century the basilica of San Marco was becoming established as a center of musical activity. Venice's importance in the musical world gained momentum when San Marco hired the famous Netherlander Adrian Willaert as maestro di capella. Willaert is remembered not only for his antiphonal works which took advantage of the space in the basilica, but for his secular works such as madrigals, villanellas, and ricercares. During the time of Gabrieli and his contemporaries, San Marco had a large contingent of singers and instrumentalists, including cornetti, trombones, and strings. Composers took advantage of the forces and the space by writing works in the cori spezzati style, in which the musical forces are divided into several groups and placed in different galleries.

Monteverdi assumed the post of maestro di cappella of San Marco in 1613. During the first few years of his tenure Monteverdi directed his energies toward revitalizing the capella which had fallen onto hard times. During his years in Venice, Monteverdi had many works published, including his books of madrigals which illustrate an evolution from equal-voiced polyphony to works for two singers and basso continuo.

After 1700, musicians in Venice looked to the ospedali, or charitable institutions, for an important source of income. Music instruction had been part of the curriculum at these orphanages and hospitals since the late 16th century. As the music gained in stature and quality, attracting specialists such as Vivaldi and Legrenzi, the ospedali began drawing students from around Europe to study music. Vivaldi's sporadic years at the PietÓ began with his appointment as maestro di violino in 1703. Many of Vivaldi's greatest works were written during his employment at the PietÓ, where he had at his disposal some of the most talented and virtuosic instrumentalists and singers in Italy.

Tracing highlights of the musical activity in Venice from the 1400's to the 1700's is like a condensed course in the development of Western music during those three centuries. Starting with Ciconia, Willaert and the first publications of printed music by Petrucci, continuing with the musical innovations of Giovanni Gabrieli, Monteverdi and Legrenzi, and culminating with works of Vivaldi, we can see how music evolved from the renaissance polyphony of the Flemish School to the tonal forms of the high Baroque. Along the way, we not only have the invention of music printing but also the development of musical forms, such as the sonata, concerto and opera, which are still mainstays of the 21st-century repertoire. The splendor of Venice is more than grandiose sonic effects; it is, in fact, the beginning of modern music.

Coming Events

BROCELIANDE (pronounced "bro-SAY-lee-one") Holiday Concert - Saturday, December 15th at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church, 505 E. Charleston Rd., Palo Alto, 8:00 pm, $12/$10 suggested donation. Celebrate the season with Brocel´ande, in a concert of Celtic, medieval, and Renaissance music for the holidays. Enjoy a delightful repertoire ranging from the joyous to the mystical, as Brocel´ande performs songs and dances from their new CD, Sir ChristŔmas. For information, contact Margaret Davis at 510-569-0437 or Margaret@flowinglass.com, or visit their website at www.broceliande.org.

HAUSMUSIK TWELFTH NIGHT CONCERT - Saturday, January 5, 8;00 pm, St. Albanĺs Episcopal Church, Albany, 1501 Washington Ave at Curtis, Albany, $18/$15 seniors, students, SFEMS members. Medieval, Renaissance, and Celtic Music for Midwinter and the Changing of the Seasons. For information, reservations, call (510) 527-9029 or email franfel@aol.com.


by Ralph Taylor

These verses are from the 1964 American Recorder (courtesy of Angela Owen):

To lay one's fingers on the sopranino
Puzzles all, from Haslemere to Reno.
Some day, I fear, well fortified with vino
I'11 lay my hands on my sopranino.
Oh Orpheus!
When comes that precious day
When nothing will disturb
The even tenor of my way?
Some play the scale of C sharp
Like rustling glissandos on a harp
I huff and I pant
But I descant,
Some arpeggios blow
Like purest zephyrs flow,
I rave and rant
But I descant.

Welsh Cakes

Kelly Moore brought these to the November workshop. Several people asked for her recipe:

1 lbs. self-raising flour

8 oz. margarine

6 oz. sugar

3 oz. currants or sultanas

2 eggs

little milk

pinch of salt

Sieve flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Cut up margarine and rub in with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add sugar and fruit and stir in beaten eggs, mix to a stiff dough, add a drop of milk if necessary. Place on a floured surface, knead lightly and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a fluted 2 inch pastry cutter. Cook on a pre-heated, lightly greased plane (griddle) over a slow heat until golden brown on both sides. Cool on a wire rack, serve fresh.