Ancient Airs and Dances

In celebration of the centenary of Ottorino Respighi’s beloved masterworks, the three suites of Ancient Airs and Dances, and in the same spirit of awe and delight at the genius of centuries past, ETHEL presents its first program of music of the European Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque eras.  Known for its passionate advocacy of new music, ETHEL brings its signature joy and flair to the rhythmic complexity and modal harmony of the music, guiding its energy into the 21st century.

Among the gems to be presented will be several adaptations of movements from Respighi’s suites, themselves beautiful bridges between today and the lute music of the sixteenth century which served as source material. Jean Baptiste Lully’s Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs (1670), made famous in the soundtrack to the 1991 film, “Tous Les Matins du Monde,” will make a welcome appearance.  Le Ray au Soleyl, by Johannes Ciconia (1375), is a radiant, multi-layered song of irresistible energy.  One of the most exquisitely haunting motets ever composed – O Vos Omnes, by Tomàs Luis de Victoria (1572) – will also be featured.  Pairings of historic pieces with brilliant modern popular music that approaches its goals in similar ways will draw fascinating parallels.  And, as always, original works by the members of ETHEL, in response to this treasure trove of inspiration, round out the program.