There are several reasons why we decided to hold our regular concert in December each year. Firstly, in a warmer season, there are many other recorder ensembles performing, and it seems to be less conspicuous. Secondly, it would be easier to secure a venue at Sayado Hall, which is available.


Recorder ensemble

Aeolian Consort

The second regular Consert

--- Polyphony Music of the Renaissance and Baroque Periods ---

--- The fixed melody sings. ---

(2006) / December /09 (Sat)

Chiba City Museum of Art, Sayado Hall


Thank you very much for coming to the second annual concert of the Aeolian Consort. The Aeolian Consort is a recorder ensemble composed of seven members. We have been performing mainly choral and instrumental music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Although we are not always as good as we would like to be, we are confident that our love and enthusiasm for music are second to none.
This year's program is titled "Fixed Melody Sings" and focuses on music with fixed melody. We have arranged Renaissance pieces around two of Bach's greatest works. The content of this program is even more dense than the previous one, but we will do our best, so please enjoy it at your leisure.


About Fixed Melody
 Western polyphonic music began by attaching another melody to a monophonic chant. Eventually, the other melody became so dominant that the main body of the chant was no longer audible, and finally the main house was taken. Well, this is the beginning of the fixed melody. Gradually, other melodies were incorporated into the melody, and the melody developed in a variety of ways, eventually entering the field of secular music.
 By the way, a formula is generally as follows: 
1. usually a pre-existing melody is used. Mainly songs. Chant, secular music, chorale, whatever. Use of one's own compositions is exceptional. 
2. at least one pass through. Short pieces can be repeated many times and thus become variations. 
3. the note value can be freely expanded or contracted. If it is too short, it will be useless, but those who stretch it can do whatever they want. 

4. You are free to use any other melody you wish to attach to it. Some of the melodies are based on lyrics or motives, but there are plenty of examples that have nothing to do with the melody at all. You are also free to set the time signature. However, for the more standardized melodies such as chaconne and passacaglia, the time signature is usually three beats per minute.
 And so on. One might think that the use of a fixed melody would limit composition, but in fact it seems to be the driving force behind creation. Perhaps that is why there are even examples of compositions approaching the present day.
Various forms of fixed melody styles appear in this year's program. In a sense, it is easier to understand the structure of the music if you are aware of this, so please pay attention to it. So, please enjoy yourselves.


Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) was a composer and organist active in London, England. He was a composer and organist active in London, England. His fame is fully demonstrated by the fact that he took over Bird's monopoly patent for the publication of his music after Bird's death. The fact that he took over the patent for the exclusive publication of Byrd's music after his death is a good indication of his fame. The melody of "Go from My Window" is based on a popular folk song of the time. Each part takes its turn on this melody, which is repeated a total of 10 times in the form of variations.

In Nomine is an important fixed melody that formed a field in England in the 16th and 17th centuries. John Taverner (1495-1545) composed a mass using this melody, and the lyrics of "In Nomine" became so popular that many others followed suit. We have no idea how many songs were composed. We have also included Bird and Thai songs in our concerts, so this will be the third time for Gibbons. It is a long melody, so we usually just pass it through once.

This is the most famous instrumental piece by William Byrd (1542-1623). The melody is also a popular song of the time. There are examples by other composers. It is often confused because it is called by two different names due to the fact that two versions of the lyrics have been preserved, but they are the same piece. It is a variation type song with the same melody repeated 20 times.

It is believed to be the earliest of Bach (1685-1750)'s extant cantatas, written in 1708. Unlike his later cantatas, each piece is characterized by a succession of changes in tune according to the content of the lyrics. The seventh and last piece is written in the form of a chaconne, in which the bass repeats a short melody of four bars 22 times. This melody was later famously used by Brahms as the theme of the variation in the fourth movement of his Fourth Symphony.

Cabezon (1510-1566) was a leading Spanish composer of keyboard music. He lost his sight when he was young, but rose to the position of court organist. The two pieces featured here are both variations on Italian secular tunes. This piece is not a fixed melody, but I wanted to play it, so I forced myself to make it work.

6. three organ chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach
Lutheran chorales (hymns) were created by Luther himself and many other composers. Bach composed many works using these chorales as the melody. Today we will play three of them for organ.

The three upper voices jump around as if symbolizing the Trinity, and the bass doubles the length of this long chorale. Even those who know the original chorale will have a hard time deciphering it.

This is one of the pieces in the Organ Pieces collection. It may sound like a contemporary piece, with a rather unexpected harmonic arrangement under the chorale in its original form. The swell of the middle voice represents the serpent of temptation, and the mysterious descent of the bass represents the fall of Adam.

This is one of the Clavier Exercises, Volume 3. The other voices intertwine with the tenor's long chorale while imitating the melodic line of the chorale. Since this is the conclusion of the concert, all seven members will participate in the lively performance.

Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599) was a leading Spanish vocal composer active in Seville. His unique and clear sound is truly fascinating, and I think it is perfect for the recorder. The piece presented here is a motet in two parts for the feast of St. Hieronymus (c. 340-420), which falls on September 30. The melody is easy to understand and appears in various note values.

It is one of the largest of Bach's organ works. The passacaglia is similar in style to the chaconne, but the fixed melody of the chaconne is four bars long, while this one is eight bars long, double the length of the chaconne. Since there is no other example of a chaconne in Bach's repertoire, it is considered to be his own composition. After the introduction of the cantus firmus, 20 variations follow, and the second half is a long fugue with the cantus firmus as the theme. The second half is a long fugue with two sub-themes. It is a very rich fugue with two sub-subjects.