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a revered institution - The New York Times

2018 - 2019 ~ NYC Subscription Concerts ~ 44th Season

Notes - December 5, 2018

Early Notation


AMERICA'S FIRST CHORAL COMPOSER
 
William Billings (1746–1800) was perhaps the most gifted composer to emerge from the New England singing-school tradition.  A friend of such patriots as Samuel Adams and Paul Revere (who engraved some of his music), Billings was an ardent supporter of the American Revolution.  A contemporary of his describes him as “a singular man of moderate size, short of one leg, with one eye, without any address, with an uncommon negligence of person.  Still he spake and thought as one above the common abilities.”

Although by trade a tanner, Billings seems to have devoted most of his energy to composing, teaching, and publishing music.  His New England Psalm Singer was the first-known collection of music by a single American composer. His other publications include The Singing Master’s Assistant (1778), and The Psalm-Singer’s Amusement (1781).

Billings, New England Psalm Singer
from the frontpiece of the
"New England Psalm-Singer" (1770)

Many publications of Billings, and his several composer contemporaries, do not specify what voices are to sing which lines.  Indeed, many of the pieces may have been intended for whatever vocal combination was available at the moment.  Contemporary evidence indicates that either men or women (or both together) sang the parts written in the treble clef, the men transposing them down an octave.

Dr. Renz’s realization for men’s voices imagines a holiday gathering in an 18th-century gentlemen's club (perhaps an officers’ club) where well-heeled soldiers could certainly read music to enjoy singing in harmony round the table with cups of claret in hand.
  

VENUES
 
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street
Cathedral of St John The Divine | Photo: William Porto
Adjacent to the Columbia University campus, the Cathedral is easily reached by public transportation: Buses M4, M11, M104; Subway #1 to 110th Street & Broadway. Parking is available in nearby garages on 112th and 114th Streets. For information regarding disability access call the Visitor Center at 212-316-7540.
At your service
For a listing of restaurants near the Cathedral and Columbia University, click  here.
 


First Church of Christ, Scientist
Central Park West at 68th
Street
First Church of Christ, Scientist | Photo: Elliot Kaufman
Near Lincoln Center, the First Church of Christ, Scientist faces Central Park at 68th Street and is reached via the M72, M10 and Columbus Avenue M7 & M11 bus lines; subways C to 72nd Street at Central Park West (70th Street exit) & #1 to 66th Street at Broadway. Parking garages are available along West 68th and West 66th Streets. For information regarding disability access call 212-280-0330.
At your service
For a listing of restaurants near West 68th Street in Lincoln Square, click  here.
 


Early Music New York® is a registered trademark of  Early Music Foundation.
The Grand Tour

In centuries past, people of means would devote a year or more to THE GRAND TOUR, traveling throughout Europe to broaden their appreciation of art, culture and western civilization.

This season, Frederick Renz guides Early Music New York in its own version of THE GRAND TOUR.

 
WINTER 2018
 
ENGLAND & THE COLONIES
A Colonial Christmas

mixed ensemble

 
Saturday, December 15th at 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 16th at 2 pm SOLD OUT

Sunday, December 23th at 2 pm

Two performances Christmas Day:
   Tuesday, December 25th at 2 pm & 5 pm

Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
Amsterdam Avenue & 112th Street  
 
EM/NY’s annual holiday appearances at the festooned Cathedral of St. John the Divine are perennial sold-out events. Dr. Renz presents stirring 18th-century New England shape-note anthems and hymns heartily sung by his men’s vocal ensemble, generously spiked with English country dance tunes played by a lively band of fiddle, flute, guitar and bass.

 
SPRING 2019

GERMANY ~ Bach Progeny
classical
chamber orchestra

Saturday, March 2nd at 7:30 pm 

First Church of Christ, Scientist
 
With a great composer for a father, best to learn everything he knows, then go one’s own way. Johann Sebastian Bach’s four composer sons distinguished themselves in an evolving musical landscape. Works by Bach progeny Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Christoph Friedrich and Johann Christian show just how far apples can fall from the tree.
 
ITALY ~ Corelli to Vivaldi
baroque chamber orchestra

 
Saturday, May 4th at 7:30 pm 
 
First Church of Christ, Scientist
 
EM/NY concludes its Grand Tour with spring in sunny Italy, where the light that pervades its visual art suffuses its music as well. Corelli and Vivaldi concertos, sinfonias and overtures will frame a program enriched by contributions from such composers as Domenico Scarlatti (his virtuosic keyboard sonatas recast as concerti grossi by Charles Avison).
 
for more information visit EarlyMusicNY.org


RESERVED SEATING TICKETS ON SALE NOW:
  • Choose any number of tickets to all THREE remaining program titles at $35 per ticket (12% savings).
    Dec. 25th, 2 pm matinee tickets at $50 each.
  • Purchase single reserved seat tickets at $40 each.
  • Students $20 at the door, half hour prior to event.
Call the Box Office: 212-280-0330
Use Secure Website: EarlyMusicNY.org
 

Early Music New Yorks subscription season is made
possible in part with public funds from the
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
in partnership with the City Council,
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs          New York State Council on the Arts
New York State Council on the Arts
with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo,
the New York State Legislature
and the generosity of
EMFs Friends of Early Music.

 
Become a Friend of Early Music
 
Only with your extraordinary support do we continue our mission - fostering historically informed performances of early music in New York City - despite federal and state cutbacks. We are grateful for your tax deductible contribution that can be made by calling us directly at 212-280-0330 or online via our Events & Tickets page at EarlyMusicNY.org
 

 
Call For Volunteers
 
Throughout the season, we sometimes find ourselves in need of extra help. As a volunteer, you might be taking tickets, seating audience members or selling CDs, among other duties. In exchange, you get to hear the concert for free. If you are able to volunteer, please call 212-280-0330 or email us through our contact page at EarlyMusicNY.org
 

 
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Early Music Foundation, 10 West 68th Street, NY, NY 10023   Tickets: 212-280-0330 or EarlyMusicNY.org



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