Ars Moriendi - video series in progress

We are working on three sets of videos on the medieval and Renaissance European concept of ars moriendi, or the art of dying well. Please see our blog post on the project here:
https://ensembletramontana.com/lent-holy-week-and-continued-reflections

Eszter Komáromi – design, editing, bass viol
Esha Neogy – organisation, treble/tenor/bass viols, vielle, percussion
Timea Gazdag – soprano
Sohpia Brumfitt – mezzo-soprano
Camilla Seale – mezzo-soprano
Paul Alexei Smith – countertenor
Kieran Cooper – bass-baritone
Allan Fagerlund – viols, symfonie, rebec
Michael Mullen – cornetto, Renaissance flute, bass viol
Amanda Seaborn – viols, recorders
Jim Lindsay – audio editing, percussion

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@EnsembleTramontana

The wind is blowing us toward concert venues old and new.
We hope to make landfall again in June and October 2024.
Details to follow. Please sign up to be on our mailing list or follow us on Facebook for notifications.

Seasonal Offerings - upon request

(Scroll down for past events)

Parlement of Foules

 
For this was on Saint Valentine’s day

When every fowl comes there his mate to take

Music from the times of King Henry VIII and Shakespeare, suitable for February or any time of the year. The programme is loosely inspired by Valentine’s Day and more closely by Chaucer’s poem of the same title – a human account of the birds’ troubles in having to choose a mate on St Valentine’s Day, eventually resolved in a good-natured way. However, in our programme it’s the birds observing the humans and discovering a far less innocent picture. The birds contemplate humans’ springtime dalliances as they turn into love and betrayal, then stay with those who are wounded by love and keep them company in their time of despair, and even ease their passing. All the while, they welcome spring and go about their lives, even take sustenance from the aftermath of human tragedies – all still in a good-natured way.

CLICK HERE FOR PROGRAMME NOTES

Holy Week or Passiontide: Lamentations of Jeremiah / Caught in the Current


Holy Week dates available in future years

2024: 24th-30th March
2025: 13th-19th April
2026: 29th March-4th April

We are available in a voice/viols combination during Holy Week to present a day’s Lamentation Lessons
 (20-30 minutes) during a service or a vigil, or in other format as requested. We can also build a concert of 45 minutes to an hour around Lamentations settings by composers such as Lassus, Palestrina, or Victoria. Another concert option for Holy Week or more generally in Lent or Passiontide has a water theme  — tears, fountains, streams, rivers, the sea — and features Psalms 114 and 42.

Ascension: Ascending from Darkness

This voices and viols programme starts with a section called IN THE DEPTHS OF DARKNESS, including material from Holy Week, and moves through an assortment of sacred and secular works in sections called CROOKED PATHS and ASCENDING INTO LIGHT. Composers may include Saint Hildegard von Bingen, Palestrina, Lassus, di Rore, Ferrabosco I, Morley, Dowland, Campion, Charpentier, and more. In the version performed in June 2019, many of the pieces addressed the experiences or roles of women.

Past Performances

Caught in the Current

 

Our first in-person performance since 2019!

Sunday, 2nd April 2023
St Mary the Virgin Parish Church, Lewisham, London
Website
Facebook page

Water is a metaphor for God as the source of all life but also of great destruction. Despite our best intentions, we are swept from the nourishing fountainhead to flail through the streams and rivers of accumulating hardships to the deep wrathful sea . . . and then beyond. This journey is reflected in the texts of our medieval and Renaissance music.

      The River

Psalm 42 / Sicut cervus (chant)

In nomine nr. 2 à 3
Thomas Tomkins (1572 – 9 June 1656)

Super flumina Babylonis
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – 2 February 1594)

Save me, O God
John Mundy (before 1555 – 29 June 1630)

Pater mi and Pater si vis
Francesco Soriano (1548 or 1549 – 19 July 1621)

      The Sea

Veni in altitudinem maris (part 2 of Salvum me fac)
Jacquet de Mantua (1483 – October 2, 1559)

Quare tristis anima mea, Pars 1
Philippe de Monte (1521 – 4 July 1603)

Psalm 42 / Abyssus (set to the same chant melody as Sicut cervus)

Quare oblitus es = Quare tristis anima mea, Pars 2
de Monte

Peccavi super numerum
William Byrd (c. 1540 – 4 July 1623)

      A Stream of Blood

O cruor sanguinis (chant)
Hildegard von Bingen  (c. 1098 – 17 September 1179) 

Sermone blando
Byrd

Psalm 42 / Quare tristis
Orlande de Lassus (probably c. 1532 – 14 June 1594)

Psalm 124 / Anima nostra
Palestrina

 

Louise Eekelaar – soprano
Paul Alexei Smith – countertenor
Esha Neogy – tenor viol
Eszter Komáromi – tenor viol
Replacement due to illness:
Ruth Ridley – bass viol

St Mary the Virgin Parish Church Lewisham is a vibrant, diverse, inclusive Anglican parish in the heart of Lewisham. Come and join us for mass and Children’s and Youth Church, every Sunday at 10 am. St Mary the Virgin is the ancient parish of Lewisham, and there has been a church on the site for over 1,000 years. The buildings and grounds are full of historic and significant monuments and memorials, but they are also home to a vibrant and worshipping community which has a focus on engaging with and serving local communities across Lewisham. Features the communities can enjoy include a concert series.

Passion Sunday Programme - CANCELLED

CANCELLED
Sunday 29th March 2020
or nearby date

at Church of the Ascension
Dartmouth Row
Blackheath, London SE10 8AN
Website

Free. Donations welcome and will benefit the musicians.

For June 2019, we created a concert to perform at the church in celebration of both Ascension and the 25th anniversary of the first ordination of women to the priesthood in the Church of England. Following that concert, the Reverend Anne Bennett kindly invited us to create a programme at the church for Passion Sunday, foreshadowing the story of Christ’s Passion. Sadly, this was cancelled due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, but we hope to have another chance someday.

'The Full English' and More: a Viol Concert (Greenwich Consort)

Sunday 8th December 2019
12:00-12:45 p.m.

at St Michael’s Church, Camden Road, NW1 9LQ
Website
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
Nearest Overground: Camden Road
Buses: 29, 253, 214, C2, 393, 134, 168, 24
The church is very near the Tube station and adjacent to Sainsbury’s

Admission free. Donations welcome and will be split between musicians’ travel costs and the church.

A little concert to demonstrate the viol family, mostly in English music of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Fantasias for viol consort, vocal music, dance pieces, and a few surprises. Performed by Greenwich Consort, the amateur wing of Ensemble Tramontana.

Follows a 10:30 a.m. Advent service in the same location, in which Greenwich Consort joins the church choir for the verse anthem This is the Record of John by Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625).

Programme

Hodie Christus Natus Est
…a Christmas antiphon celebrating the day of Christ’s birth

Es Ist ein Ros Entsprungen/O, How a Rose E’er Blooming (two 17th century versions)

…a song played instrumentally first as a 4-part madrigal and then as a round

Fantasy no. 6 à 5 by John Ward (1590 – 1638)
…a fantasy or fantasia is the main form for viol consorts, and this is one great 5-part example

Fantasy no. 13 à 5 by Thomas Lupo (1571 – c. 1627)
…written in a madrigalian (vocal) style

Muy Linda
Heigh Ho Holiday
…both galliards (dances) by Anthony Holborne (c. 1545 – 1602)

Lachrimae Antiquae by John Dowland (1563 – 1623/26)
…a pavane or stately dance

Recercada quarta by Diego Ortiz (c. 1510 – c. 1576)
…an earlier solo piece showing the player how to improvise

O Sacrum Convivium by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 1585)
…a vocal piece, also from a bit earlier than our core pieces above

Ye Sacred Muses by William Byrd (1543 – 1623)
…consort song written for one voice and four viols, homage to Tallis

In nomine no. 3 à 5, also by Byrd
…fantasia based on a fragment of melody played in long notes while the other parts move around it

Shepheard’s Holyday
Drive the Cold Winter Away
…both English country dances collected by John Playford (1623–1686/7)

Performers
(in order of part most often played)

Esha Neogy: treble viol, joining us from Ensemble Tramontana
– Caroline Wood: treble and tenor viols
– Maureen Jackson: tenor viol, recorder, voice
– Catherine Clark: bass viol
– Dorothy Goodall: bass viol, recorder

More information from Greenwich Consort
(on the joys of amateurs and the background of this concert)

– Amateur: person who does something just for the love of it
– Early music: British/European Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque
– Consort: small group

We in Greenwich Consort are good amateurs who perform early music for fun! We are organised by members of the professional early music group Ensemble Tramontana (please see below). We’ll demonstrate early instruments for you, play along when your church or community choir sings early music, contribute music to community celebrations of Shakespeare and other historical figures, and so on. As amateurs, we generally don’t expect to be paid, though we might accept the occasional donation toward travel costs.

This little concert will showcase one early instrument in particular, the viol (or viola da gamba), a sort of bowed guitar that comes in a family of sizes. “Gamba” means “leg” in Italian, and even the smallest size is held vertically on the legs, not up on the arm or shoulder like a violin.

The viol, pronounced like “vial” or “vile” (though we hope it’s not the latter!), had a whole extra flowering in Britain while the Continent was moving on to other instruments and styles. Thus, most viol consort music was English, and this music will be the focus of our programme. Consort music tended to be for three to six players and gave each instrument a melody that might be higher or lower in pitch but was more or less equal to all the others in importance. This is very nice for those of us who play in social situations where everyone would like to participate equally. Viols also played vocal music and dance music, and we’ll do some of that too. We’ll also sprinkle in a couple of pieces from other countries for extra flavour!

– Reach us at
GreenwichConsortUK@gmail.com
– Find notices of our activities on Facebook at https://facebook.com/GreenwichConsortUK
and on Ensemble Tramontana’s calendar at https://ensembletramontana.com/calendar

Please contact Ensemble Tramontana for concerts of wider scope, celebrations of important church calendar dates, corporate dinner programmes, and other in-depth performances. Tramontana members can also help you find or organise amateur musical opportunities in London and elsewhere in the UK.
EnsembleTramontana@gmail.com
https://ensembletramontana.com

Advent Service with verse anthem (Greenwich Consort)

Sunday 8th December 2019
10:30-11:40 a.m.

at St Michael’s Church, Camden Road, NW1 9LQ
Website
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
Nearest Overground: Camden Road
Buses: 29, 253, 214, C2, 393, 134, 168, 24
The church is very near the Tube station and adjacent to Sainsbury’s

Greenwich Consort is the amateur wing of Ensemble Tramontana. In this formation of it, Tramontana member Esha Neogy and viol-playing friends Catherine Clark, Dorothy Goodall, Maureen Jackson, and Caroline Wood join the St Michael’s church choir, directed by Richard Miller, for the verse anthem This is the Record of John by Orlando Gibbons (1583–1625).

A concert demonstrating the viol family will follow at 12:00 in the same location.

England Be Glad: a Generation Project event


Thursday 3rd October
7.30 p.m.

at St Mary’s Parish Church
Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6LE

As part of the Generation Project within the Age Against the Machine creative ageing festival:
https://ageagainstthemachine.org.uk/Lewisham_events/Generation_Project:_England_Be_Glad

We journey through medieval and Renaissance courts of Britain over several hundred years, observing generations of royalty in their pursuit of love, war, religion, and fun, along with their many connections to Europe. Includes music by local area native King Henry VIII.

£10 general admission
To book: generationproject@email.com / 020 8690 3298

Sophia Brumfitt, mezzo-soprano
Amanda Seaborn, recorders and tenor viol
Eszter Komáromi, tenor and bass viols
Esha Neogy, tenor and bass viols

Cheese and Wine Experience / Tramontana Founders' Reunion


Saturday 28th September, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

at St Mary’s Parish Church
Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6LE

As part of the Generation Project within the Age Against the Machine creative ageing festival:
https://www.ageagainstthemachine.org.uk/Lewisham_events/Generation_Project:_Cheese_and_Wine_experience

An evening of cheese, nibbles, and wines (soft drinks available). Music about various pastimes including the enjoyment of wine and possibly other delectations. Four of the five founding members of Ensemble Tramontana reunite to perform between courses.

£10

More information and ticket booking at generationproject@email.com / 020 8690 3298

Left to right: Julie Dean, Louise Eekelaar, Esha Neogy, Eszter Komáromi. We miss you, Rie Kosaka!

Solemn Evensong for Pentecost (Greenwich Consort)

Sunday 9th June 2019
6:00-7:00 p.m.

at St Michael’s Church, Camden Road, NW1 9LQ
Website
Nearest tube: Camden Town
Nearest Overground: Camden Road
Buses: 29, 253, 214, C2, 393, 134, 168, 24
The church is very near the tube station and adjacent to Sainsbury’s

Tramontana member Esha Neogy and viol-playing friends (later named Greenwich Consort) join the church choir, directed by Richard Miller, for an evensong including William Byrd’s Second Service and Orlando Gibbons’s verse anthem Glorious and Powerful God. The five-part viol consort piece Fantasia no. 27 by Thomas Lupo will immediately precede the service.

Esha Neogy – treble viol
Caroline Wood – tenor viol
Maureen Jackson – tenor viol
Dorothy Goodall – bass viol
Catherine Clark – bass viol

Ascending from Darkness


Friday 7th June 2019

7:00 p.m.

at Church of the Ascension
Dartmouth Row
Blackheath, London SE10 8AN
Website

Free. Donations welcome and will benefit the musicians.

A concert as part of the church’s exhibition on the Ascension past, present, and future which is this weekend to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Church of England.

The programme starts with a section called IN THE DEPTHS OF DARKNESS, including material from Holy Week, and moves through an assortment of sacred and secular works in sections called CROOKED PATHS and ASCENDING INTO LIGHT. Composers include Saint Hildegard von Bingen, Palestrina, Lassus, di Rore, Ferrabosco I, Morley, Dowland, Campion, Charpentier, and more. Many of the pieces address the experiences or roles of women.

Louise Eekelaar – soprano voice
Oliver Doyle – tenor voice
Esha Neogy – treble viol
Kate Conway – tenor viol
Amanda Seaborn – bass viol

Facebook event page

Image: This wood engraving is understood to be an 18th or 19th century composite of images characteristic of different historical periods, similar to the first illustration in Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia of 1544. Its first documented appearance is in Camille Flammarion’s 1888 book L’atmosphère: météorologie populaire (“The Atmosphere: Popular Meteorology”).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flammarion_engraving

The Bard at St Barnabas - Seven Ages of Man (Greenwich Consort)

Saturday 27th April 2019
7:30 p.m.

at St Barnabas Church, Dulwich Village
40 Calton Ave
Dulwich, London SE21 7DG
Website
Transport: Rail – North Dulwich and West Dulwich
               Bus – 37, P4, P13
Ticket information below

To celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday and the 400th anniversary of his friend Edward Alleyn’s founding of the Dulwich Estates and Dulwich College

Performance devised and directed by theatre director Tricia Thorns, including actors’ from Two’s Company Theatre performing scenes from Shakespeare’s plays; The Friends’ Musick chamber choir directed by Jordan Theis singing madrigals; and Ensemble Tramontana providing instrumental music in our ‘strong amateurs’ version (later renamed Greenwich Consort) directed by founding member Julie Dean – all in costume.

Left to right:
Julie Dean – direction, recorders
Cathie Tedder – bass viol (bass viola da gamba)
Kate Jackson – recorders, percussion
Simon Galton – recorders


Tickets: £10 and £8 (concessions)
Purchase:
– In person at the Art Stationers, Dulwich Village, SE21 7BN
– By phone from the church office on 020 8693 1524
– Online at https://www.stbarnabasdulwich.org
– On the door

Lamentations of Jeremiah


Good Friday 19th April 2019, during a 3:00 p.m. service

at Our Ladye Star of the Sea Catholic Church
68 Crooms Hill
Greenwich, London, SE10 8HG
Website

As part of a Roman Catholic Good Friday service, Ensemble Tramontana will perform from the Good Friday Lessons from the Lamentations of Jeremiah by Orlando di Lasso (c. 1532 – 1594).

The service begins and ends in silence. It is very solemn, and the music is not to be considered as a performance that calls for applause, but as simply part of the service. Handouts of the Lamentations texts and translations will be available. During veneration of the Cross and communion, some or all of the following will be presented for contemplation:

Lamentationes Hieremiae Prophetae (quinque vocum):
– Lamentatio prima, secundi diei (Lamentations, 2:8-10 (Heth, Teth, Jod); Hierusalem, convertere)
– Lamentatio secunda, secundi diei (Lamentations, 2:13-15 (Mem, Nun, Samech); Hierusalem, convertere)
– Lamentatio tertia, secundi diei (Lamentations, 3:1-2 (Aleph), 3:4-5 (Beth), 3:7,9 (Ghimel); Hierusalem, convertere)

Timea Gazdag, soprano voice
Oliver Doyle, tenor voice
Esha Neogy, tenor viol
Chris Lamb, bass viol
Eszter Komáromi, bass viol

Exploring Loss: a seasonal concert

Monday 15th April 2019
7:00-8:00 p.m.

at The Dragon Café
Crypt of St George the Martyr Church
Borough High Street
London SE1 1JA
(Opposite Borough tube station and at the rear of the church – you’ll find the entrance to the crypt and The Dragon Café on Long Lane)

Admission free; sign-in required by venue
The Dragon Café provides creative events for mental health and well-being
WebsiteFacebook page

Ensemble Tramontana presents a concert during Holy Week on the theme of loss: individual loss due to death of a loved one (in two pieces of funeral music, although dealing with it in different ways) or collective loss due to the wrath of God (the once great Jerusalem now cast down and its people miserable). All texts are religious, Biblical, or refer to Biblical texts, but the programme itself is not specifically religious. The music is all in the ‘early music’ category, but leaps in time over a couple of hundred years amongst the composers Lassus (di Lasso), Buxtehude, Isaac, and Palestrina.

The Lamentations of Jeremiah – interspersed with other pieces here – will be repeated in a Good Friday service at 3:00 p.m. 19th April at Our Ladye Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Crooms Hill in Greenwich (please see listing below).

Programme

Orlando di Lasso: Lamentationes Hieremiae Prophetae (quinque vocum):
– Lamentatio prima, secundi diei (Lamentations, 2:8-10 (Heth, Teth, Jod); Hierusalem, convertere)

Dietrich Buxtehude: Klaglied

– Lamentatio secunda, secundi diei (Lamentations, 2:13-15 (Mem, Nun, Samech); Hierusalem, convertere)

Heinrich Isaac: Quis dabit capiti meo aquam?

– Lamentatio tertia, secundi diei (Lamentations, 3:1-2 (Aleph), 3:4-5 (Beth), 3:7,9 (Ghimel); Hierusalem, convertere)

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Anima nostra sicut passer (Ps 124,7; Ps 123 in Vulgata)

Timea Gazdag, soprano voice
Oliver Doyle, tenor voice
Esha Neogy, tenor viol
Kate Conway, bass viol
Eszter Komáromi, bass viol

February 2019 - Tramontana Relaunches

Parlement of Foules

CLICK HERE FOR PROGRAMME NOTES

For this was on Saint Valentine’s day
When every fowl comes there his mate to take

Monday 11th February 2019
7:00-8:00 p.m.

at The Dragon Café
Crypt of St George the Martyr Church
Borough High Street, London SE1 1JA
(Opposite Borough tube station and at the rear of the church – you’ll find the entrance to The Dragon Café on Long Lane)

Admission free; sign-in required by venue
The Dragon Café provides creative events for mental health and well-being
https://dragoncafe.co.uk/
https://facebook.com/thedragoncafe/

Ensemble Tramontana relaunches itself on a new voyage with this concert of music from the times of King Henry VIII and Shakespeare. The programme is loosely inspired by Valentine’s Day and more closely by Chaucer’s poem of the same title – a human account of the birds’ troubles in having to choose a mate on St Valentine’s Day, eventually resolved in a good-natured way. However, in our programme it’s the birds observing the humans and discovering a far less innocent picture. The birds contemplate humans’ springtime dalliances as they turn into love and betrayal, then keep the wounded company in their time of despair, and even ease their passing. All the while, they welcome spring and go about their lives, even take sustenance from the aftermath of human tragedies – all still in a good-natured way.

Soprano voice:
Louise Eekelaar
Treble, tenor, and bass viols:
Allan Fagerlund
Eszter Komáromi
Esha Neogy
Amanda Seaborn

Facebook event page:
https://facebook.com/events/356010271857179/

Flyer:

flyer_DCafe_new

Coming: Calendar history from the beginning in 2010