A lecture by a noted scholar on French Baroque music will be one of the highlights of Kansas University's first Early Music Festival.
When Simon Carrington and Paul Laird get to talking music, the chances of a concert being scheduled down the road are pretty high.
This time around, they've come up with not a single concert but a three-day celebration of French Baroque and Renaissance music.
"We wanted to make it more public that we are trying to redevelop the performance of Renaissance and French Baroque music," said Carrington, Kansas University music professor and director of KU's choral activities. "KU has a reputation to maintain as a research university. We need to explore music that is new, as well as neglected periods."
Carrington said the voices of university students are suited for the music of that time.
"My challenge was to come up with the instrumental to complement Simon's vocal," said Laird, KU associate professor of music history.
The festival will kick off Friday night with "La Musique de chambre francaise," a concert by the Oread Baroque Ensemble. Members of the group are John Boulton, baroque flute and recorder; Joy Laird, baroque flute and recorder; Michael Kimber, baroque violin; Michael Bauer, harpsichord; Beth Titterington, viola da gamba; and Lori Lewis, soprano.
The ensemble's program includes "Deuxieme Piece de clavecin en concert," by Jean-Philippe Rameau; "Trios pour le coucher du roy," by Jean-Baptiste Lully; "Suite en sol mineur," by Marin Marais; "Apotheose de Lulli," by Francois Couperin; and "Le Berger fidele," by Rameau.
"This is the chamber music of the likes to be heard in Versailles ... in Louis XIV's palace," Laird said. "Music was an important part of French life."
Laird said Louis XIV would surround himself with instrumental music, from his toilette in the morning to his meals to his passage through the palace's hallways. The king was also an avid dancer, and maintained his 24 Violins of the King to provide music for dancing and to accompany operas and other theatrical events.
Saturday's event will begin with a free lecture by James Anthony, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona and one of the world's respected scholars on the music of the French Baroque era.
That night the KU Chamber Choir, Oread Consort and Instrumental Ensemble will present "La Gloire du Baroque Francais," a concert conducted by Carrington, featuring Lawrence graduate student Douglas O'Neill on organ and student soloists.
The program will open with "Pange lingua," a hymn by Nicholas de Grigny, performed in the traditional practice of alternatim, in which sung verses alternate with organ settings.
The rest of the program includes "Litanies de la Vierge, H.83," by Marc-Antoine Charpentier; "Regina Coeli," by Michel-Richard de Lalande; and "Messe de Requium," by Andre Campra.
Carrington said the performance is the first to use a new edition of "Messe de Requium," by Anne Baker of Toronto, which will be published next summer by Carus-Verlag in Stuttgart, Germany.
The festival will close Sunday with "Jean Mouton and Music of the French Renaissance," a concert by the Vocal and Instrumental Consorts of the Collegium Musicum, directed by Carrington and Laird.
Mouton composed works for King Francois I and was a favorite composer of Pope Leo X. He remained in royal service for about 20 years, and accompanied Francois I to a meeting with England's Henry VIII on the Field of the Cloth of Gold, where rival chapels presented elaborate performances. He also helped prepare a choirbook, now called "Medici Codex," which was given as a wedding present from Francois I to Lorenzo de Medici in 1518.
The program will include Mouton's "Nesciens mater;" "Dixhuictiesme Fantasie (`An l'imitation de Que n'ay-je des ailes mon Dieu')," "Missa Alleluya" and "Suite of Dances," all by Pierre Attaingnant; "Palle, palle," by Heinrich Isaac; "Sonata Op. 13, No. 2," by Jean-Marie Leclair; "Fantasie I sur Psaume I," by Eustache du Caurroy; two settings of "L'home arme," by Robert Mouton and Josquin des Pres; and "Vingtuniesme Fanstasie (`A l'imitation de Iste confessor')," by de Caurroy.
-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.