Renaissance Music

Ensemble De Organographia (Gayle and Phil Neuman) performs music of the 16th and early 17th centuries on historical instruments and voice. The duo performs on a wide variety of period instruments, including early violin, recorders, cittern, sackbutts, racketts, bagpipe, tartold, krummhorns, douçaines, carnival whistles, viola da gamba, serpent, and others, many of which were made by the Neumans themselves.  Repertoire includes frottole, carnival songs from Florence (some of which are advertisements for a guild of scribes, cardoon growers, and others), English country dance tunes with violin and cittern, and bicinia by composers such as Orlande de Lassus, Thomas Morley, Georg Rhaw, and Claude Le Jeune.  Music performance is interspersed with informative and sometimes humorous commentary about the music, text, composers, or musicians of the era.

Gayle Neuman holding the viola da braccio (early violin) and tenor krummhorn

Gayle Neuman holding the viola da braccio (early violin) and tenor krummhorn

Phil Neuman holding the tartold and contrabass sackbutt

Phil Neuman holding the tartold and contrabass sackbutt

“Gayle Neuman sang like an angel, delicate and true.”  Vancouver B.C. Recorder Society, October 3, 2015

Educational Presentations: Ensemble De Organographia offers a comprehensive renaissance music and instrument lecture-demonstration for college students and museum lecture series.  The Neumans combine expertise in music history and performance with their many years of instrument building experience.

Some of the instruments played by Ensemble De Organographia. Top row, left to right: treble viol, alto curtal; 2nd row: bagpipe, gourd rattle, tartold, tenor alt rackett, tenor sackbutt, bass sackbutt, contrabass sackbutt; 3rd row: violone, tenor shawm, alto shawm, 2 schreierpfeiffen, 2 krummhorns, bass douçaine, 4 recorders, 3 cornamusen, bass Praetorius schreierpfeif, bass rackett, bass curtal; 4th row: great bass rackett; 5th row: viola da braccio, spinettino

Some of the instruments played by Ensemble De Organographia. Top row, left to right: treble viol, alto curtal; 2nd row: bagpipe, gourd rattle, tartold, tenor alt rackett, tenor sackbutt, bass sackbutt, contrabass sackbutt; 3rd row: violone, tenor shawm, alto shawm, 2 schreierpfeiffen, 2 krummhorns, bass douçaine, 4 recorders, 3 cornamusen, bass Praetorius schreierpfeif, bass rackett, bass curtal; 4th row: great bass rackett; 5th row: viola da braccio, spinettino

Gayle and Phil playing racketts

Gayle and Phil playing the great bass and tenor/alt racketts

“There’s nothing quite like an old-timey Christmas, and to take you back, back, back… to the 16th Century, you only need to listen to a new album called “Now make we joye.” Phil and Gayle Neuman lead members of Ensemble De Organographia and the Oregon Renaissance Band in the 24 pieces in this recording. Most selections are short – from 30 seconds to six minutes – but each one has a different flavor. That’s due primarily to the combinations of unique Renaissance-era instruments that are used, including those with terrific names, such as ayacachtli, tartold, rackett, violone, shawm, sopranino Schnitzer schreierpfeif, krummhorns, douçaine, cornamusen, Praetorius schreierpfeif, curtal, spinettino, and, of course, the marvelous sackbutt. All are assembled in a picture that accompanies the liner notes, and astoundingly enough, most were built by the Neumans.

Nowmakewejoye1

The CD has a delightful mix of fast and slow tunes, and some feature the silky smooth soprano of Gayle Neuman. Unless you are cozy with the Renaissance repertoire, most of the tunes will be new to your ears; however, you will certainly recognize a few in their original forms like Michael Praetorius’s “Psallite unigenito,” “In dulci jubilo,” “En natus est Emanuel” (played on the spinettino), “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen,” and “Uns ist ein Kindelein, and Thoinot Arbeau’s peppy “Branle de l’Official.”

“Now make we joye” ends with three terrific Renaissance-era numbers: “Hanacpachap cussicuinin,” considered the first piece of polyphony published in the western hemisphere (Peru – author anonymous), “Xicochi, xicochi conetzintle” by Gaspar Fernandes, a Portuguese composer and organist active in the cathedrals of Guatemala and Mexico, and “Dios itlaçonantzine” by Hernando Franco, a Spanish composer, who was mainly active in Guatemala and Mexico. They are evocatively sung by Gayle Neuman, whose voice is wonderfully accompanied by some of the exotic instruments.”
– Oregon Music News

 

1 thought on “Renaissance Music”

  1. David J. Sahn said:

    I love their concerts. Always try to get to them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s