BRQ | Vantaa Festival

CANCELLED – From Despair to Bliss – A spiritual journey for voice and viols

Photo: Marco Borggreve
Photo: Marco Borggreve

Laurence Dreyfus, treble viol, leader
Emilia Benjamin, treble viol
Jonathan Manson, viola da gamba
Heidi Gröger, bass viol
Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, bass viol

and Nicholas Mulroy, tenor

A tickets: €30
B tickets: €25/20

From Despair to Bliss is a spiritual journey for voice and viols, tenor Nicholas Mulroy and the fantastic Phantasm viol ensemble. It is based on eight Fantasies with programmatic titles published in 1610 by the little-known English composer Michael East (c. 1580–1648). Plagued with desperation and sin (Desperavi, Peccavi), the sinner sees the light, confronts his misdeeds and finds faith (Vidi, Penitet, Credidi) before he triumphs over his evil inclinations (Vixi, Triumphavi) so as to bask in the bliss of love (Amavi). Each instrument is given equal treatment, thereby producing an exceptionally deep and balanced sound. Between each Fantasy the programme intersperses consort songs by William Byrd, whose texts reflect the pilgrimage from despair to bliss and whose profound music intensifies its personal experience. Laurence Dreyfuss

I despaired

Michael East (c1580–1648: Desperavi from the Third Set of Books (1610)

William Byrd (c.1540–1625): Ye Sacred Muses                                                                                                    

I sinned

East: Peccavi

Byrd: In Fields Abroad                                                                                               


I saw

East: Vidi                                                                                                                   

Byrd: La Verginella (Ariosto)                                                                                     

Byrd: Truth at the first was naked born                                              


It offends

East: Penitet                                                                                                                                    

Byrd: E'en as in seas                                                                                                                       


I believed

East: Credidi                                                                                                                                  

Byrd: Susanna Fair

I lived

East: Vixi                                                                                                                                         

Byrd: Content is rich                                                                                                                       

Byrd: Though Amaryllis Dance in Green                                             


I triumphed   

Byrd: Triumphavi                                                                                                                            

My mistress had a little dog                     


I loved

East: Amavi                                                                                                                                     

Byrd: O you that hear this voice (Sir Philip Sidney)       

Byrd: O God that guides the cheerful sun

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