Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra Newsletter



The activities of 2005-2006 are progressing well; we have now some exposure to the beautiful and challenging music selected for us by our Music Director Fred Palmer. On October 22, 2005, our Workshop Committee, with George Greenwood as Coordinator, has arranged for us an Early Music Workshop entitled "The Wedding of Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria and Renee of Lorraine". The wedding took place in 1568, and most of the music for the affair was composed by Orlando di Lasso. It is our good fortune to have Cindy Beitman direct this Workshop.

Lasso was born in Mons (now in Belgium) in 1532. He died June 14, 1594 in Munich. Sources of music history refers to Lasso as one of the greatest and most versatile composers of the Late Renaissance. He was equally adept in the polyphonic style that dominated European church music at the time, and in the secular styles developing in Germany, France and Italy.

Lasso published over 2,000 works in nearly every Latin, French, Italian and German vocal genre known in his time. Close connection between text and music, in both small and large scale respects, is perhaps the single most prominent characteristic of his output. Cindy Beitman, in her account of this workshop (see last monthís UpBeat), indicated that Lasso was very sought after. He was employed in 1556 to join the court of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria of Munich.

Massimo Troiano, an Italian composer and poet was serving in the court of Duke Albrecht in 1568 when the wedding took place. He was quite involved in planning and performing in some of the festivities during the wedding. He designed the scenery and wrote the poems that Lasso used to compose the madrigal comedy "La Cortegiana Inamorata". Massimo Troiano wrote an account of the 1568 wedding. In 1570, he was involved in a murder case; he fled Munich and no trace of him was noted since.

What an interesting story! The wedding of Duke Whilhelm V is still being remembered in Munich today. In the city of Munich, at the city square stands the New City Hall that was erected in three phases between 1867 and 1909. The most striking feature of the 85-meter high tower on top of City Hall is the famous Munich carillon (Glockenspiel). Every day at 12 pm (from May to October, also 5 pm) 32 almost life-size figures present scenes from the city's history: (1) jousting tournament from the wedding of Duke Wilhelm V and Renata (Renee) of Lorraine, and (2) Coopers Dance, which has been performed every 7 years to celebrate the end of the Black Death. The Glockenspiel was a gift from Duke Wilhelm V's father on the occasion of this wedding in 1568.

Do not miss attending this workshop. There is still time to register. Should you attend the Workshop, with or without an imagination, you should enjoy yourself.

Thanks for listening

Tony Jackson, President


Dear members of the Mid-Peninsula Recorder Orchestra,

Listed below is the music for the next two meetings of the orchestra. Please note that great bass and contrabass recorders will be needed at both meetings, bass viola da gamba will be needed on November 2 and the recorder and oboe soloists as well as the dulcien will be needed for the Handel Largo on October 19.

October 19 MPRO Rehearsal
Handel: Largo
Sha, Shtil
Rumshinsky: A Bisíl Libe, un a Bisele Glik
Shostakovitch: Fugue No. 1
Lappi: La Ghirardella
November 2 MPRO Rehearsal
Bertali: Sonatella
Sha, Shtil
Rumshinsky: A Bisíl Libe, un a Bisele Glik
Hugo de Lantins: A ma dame playsant et belle
Lappi: La Ghirardella

I look forward to seeing you at these upcoming meetings and working on this music with you.

Fred Palmer


MPRO welcomes two returning members who were absent last year:

Lynn Ewing, Associate member
Pat Morris, Participating member

by Stevie White

It was Keith Kvenvolden who urged me to write this account of an experience I had earlier this year.

Almost a year ago Frances Blaker approached me with an invitation to join her and Tish Berlin in a week-long workshop to be held for 10 advanced recorder players in a villa in the Tuscan hills outside of Florence, Italy. Once I recovered from the shock of being honored in such a way (and I haven't considered myself "advanced"), I set about rearranging my assets for this unique experience.

We met on a Saturday in early May at a small pension in Florence, organized ourselves in three cars, and traveled about an hour to our villa. We were from all over the U.S.: three from the S.F. Bay area (Barry Moyer, Greta Hryciw and moi), two from the Northwest, one from Hawaii, one from middle America, and the rest from the East Coast.

Our gray brick villa, built around the middle of the 18th century, overlooked a valley of waist high green spring wheat making waves in the gentle breeze. There were also groves of dusky olive trees interspersed with vineyards. The hills surrounding the valley gradually receded from green to gray in the distance.

Inside, the walls were of whitewashed plaster, the floors of ancient tiles worn smooth, and the ceilings supported by wood beams, some of which were two feet thick. Great acoustics! It was up a few steps to the kitchen, down a few steps to the huge living room. The bedrooms were reached via a flight of steps worn uneven where countless people stepped in the same spot.

The workshop focused on Italian (of course!) Renaissance and Baroque music. Each day began with a technique class and continued with three additional specialty classes including a master class. We had two hours for lunch to practice, nap, swim, or wander around the country side. We shared the tasks of cooking and cleaning up and had some really great gourmet meals. And the wine! Locally made, at roughly $3 a bottle, the red was as good as a $30 claret that you might buy in California.

Not all was hard work, however. There was an afternoon trip to the local farmers' market and one to the early instrument section of the Academy in Florence where Michelangeloís 'David' resides. And as usual during workshops, after dinner we got together in the living room for some impromptu playing of music which we each brought with us. I'm a morning, not a night person, so my eyes would start crossing by about 10 pm. But others (younger than me, of course) had more stamina and played on. Try to imagine the magic of going to sleep to Bach fugues played by accomplished recorder players echoing throughout those ancient halls. A once in a lifetime experience, indeed!


If you havenít paid your dues for the 2005-2006 season, see Chris Flake or mail your check to Chris at his home (see membership list for address). $80 for Participating Member, $20 for Associate Member. Make you check to MPRO.

Please note: if we don't receive payment we will be removing you from the mailings and the egroup list. (If you have a financial problem, please see Chris.)

Chris Flake


Itís not too late to register for the October 22nd workshop featuring Cindy Beitmen. Contact Mary Carrigan at (415) 664-9050, or visit our website at www.sfems.org/mpro.