2020-24 Concerts
Teaching Projects


Luna Nova Concert - Taking the Long View
December 6, 2021
Download program pdf

Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella
(17th c.)
arr. Keith Chapman
Patrick Scott, organ

John Dowland (1563-1626)
Fantasia No. 1

Benjamin Minden-Birkenmaier, guitar


Juan Maria Solare (b. 1953)
Shakespeare’s Winks (2013)

I. Puck’s Pranks
II. Cesario’s TrapIII.       
III. Mercutio’s Puns

Kelly Herrmann, piccolo           


Thomas Baltzar (1639-1663)              
Division on a Ground in G major                

Daniel Gilbert, violin

Ars Nova Duets
(14th c.)
arr. Ken Singleton                

Susanna Whitney, bassoon

Robert Patterson, horn

Renaissance Suite   arr. Ronald Roseman

Kelly Herrmann, flute
Nobuko Igarashi, clarinet
Michelle Vigneau, oboe
Susanna Whitney, bassoon
Robert Patterson, horn


Program Notes

Every arts organization in the country has been having to deal with the changes brought about by the Covid epidemic. We have had to cancel events, change venues, learn how to livestream and how to hold Zoom rehearsals. Everyone’s life has been disrupted at least to some degree. Some organizations have been forced out of business. Even as we had begun to think that the worst was over other threats seem to be arising that will have to be dealt with.

During the beginning of the pandemic I watched a Great Courses documentary on the history of the bubonic plague. I was struck by how similar outbreaks go back to the 6th century and beyond. That made me wonder how artists had dealt with similar situations in the past. I thought it would be meaningful to organize a Luna Nova concert featuring works that were created in the midst of other historic plagues and unexpected disasters. Such a concert would be a reminder that artists over the ages have overcome similar and much worse circumstances than ours, and have even done it with some amount of humor and good will.

Looking over tonight’s program we see English composer John Dowland who survived three outbreaks of plague in London in 1603, 1606, and 1609. Solare’s piece Shakespeare’s Winks remind us that there were outbreaks of plague in Shakespeare’s time that forced playhouses to be closed and performances cancelled. There were 30,000 deaths in London during the outbreak around 1606. Yet it was during this period that he wrote Hamlet, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra and more. Our program also includes arrangements of works by 14th century composers Guillaume de Machaut, Jacopo da Bologna, and Francesco Landini. They survived the Black Death of 1348 that killed over 25 million people in Europe. Their compositions here are not about death or mourning, but about welcoming the springtime and about falling in love and looking to the future.

Tonight’s program is designed to make us smile and to remind us that artists through the ages have been able to put things in perspective and take the long view. We hope to profit from their example. -- Patricia Gray


Luna Nova home page Luna Nova Ensemble Luna Nova homepage map Luna Nova Music