A Renaissance Christmas Celebration
Nowell, out of our sleep Anonymous (Oxford Selden MS)
Nowell, tidings true ... Anonymous (Oxford Selden MS)
Hail, Mary, full of grace .. Anonymous (Trinity Roll)
Lullay: I saw Anonymous (Trinity Roll)
Psallite gaudentes ... Anonymous (Ritson MS)
Nowell sing we . Anonymous (Oxford Selden MS)
Conditor en franηais Anonymous, 16th c.
Conditor dance . Anonymous, 16th c., arr. Piffaro
Nouvelles, nouvelles . Anonymous (from 1556 noel collection of Nicolas Martin)
voices, bagpipes, recorders, guitar, percussion arr. Piffaro
Sus, debout, gentilz pasteurs . Guillaume Costeley (1531-1606)
Chantons noel . Setting: Pierre Certon (d. 1572 Text: Jean Daniel (c. 1520)
voices, sackbut, dulcian, recorders
Dou venez vous, Madame Lucette Pierre Moulu (c.1480-c.1550)
Or vous tremoussez, pasteurs de Judιe text: Jean Daniel, arr. Piffaro
recorders, guitar, voices, percussion
O magnum mysterium ... Cristobal Morales (c.1500-1553)
Quι se puede desear ... Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599)
sackbuts, dulcian, shawm
Que bonito niρo chiquito . Anonymous, 16th c.
En Belen ... Anonymous, 16th c.
Angeles del zielo . Anonymous, 16th c.
voices, vihuela, harp, recorders, krumhorns, percussion
Resonet in laudibus 2 settings . Johannes Eccard (1553-1606)
Jacob Regnart (1540-1599)
Stella, quam viderant Magi Regnart
Puer natus in Bethlehem . Michael Praetorius (1571-1612)
shawms, sackbuts, dulcian
Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her - various settings Praetorius
voice, recorder Eccard
Adam Gumpelzhaimer (1559-1625)
Psallite, unigenite .. arr. Piffaro, after Praetorius
In dulci jubilo arr. Piffaro, after Praetorius
bagpipe, recorders, lute, harp
Remember, o thou man Thomas Ravenscroft (c.1590-1633)
voices, lute, harp, sackbut, dulcian, recorders
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day Anonymous, 16th c.
Greensleeves . Anonymous (Folger Lute Book, c. 1600)
Greensleeves and pudding pies Anonymous, arr. Adam Gilbert
The old yeare now away is fled Anonymous, 17th c., arr Piffaro
lute, recorders, voices, sackbut, dulcian, recorders, shawm
Joan Kimball, Robert Wiemken, Directors
Rotem Gilbert shawm, recorder, bagpipe
Grant Herreid lute, voice, recorder, shawm, percussion
Greg Ingles sackbut, recorder, percussion
Joan Kimball shawm, recorder, krumhorn, bagpipe
Robert Wiemken shawm, dulcian, recorder, krumhorn, percussion
Tom Zajac sackbut, recorder, krumhorn, bagpipe, pipe & tabor
Laura Heimes - soprano
PIFFARO, The Renaissance Band
Directors: Joan Kimball & Robert Wiemken
Piffaro, founded in 1980, performs music of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods on a large and varied collection of early wind instruments, plucked strings and percussion. Modeled after the official civic, chapel and court bands that were the premier professional ensembles from the 14th into the early 17th centuries, Piffaro presents the music both sacred and secular that entertained royalty, adorned the mass and decorated state occasions on a daily basis. In addition, however, the ensemble has pursued the instruments and the vital music of the peasantry and of rustic life. Most Piffaro concerts combine the two milieu to dramatic effect. Under the direction of Joan Kimball and Robert Wiemken, the Band produces its own concert series in Philadelphia, with four to five programs per year, bringing to their series some of the finest talents in early music performance as their guests. Excerpts from these concerts are regularly broadcast nationwide on National Public Radios Performance Today.
Piffaro tours extensively worldwide. In the United States, represented by MCM Artists, the ensemble has performed repeatedly on most of the major early music series and on many university and community series. Since its European debut in May of 1993 at Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Germany, Piffaro has made numerous foreign appearances, returning to Regensburg on several occasions and performing at music festivals in Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, The Czech Republic, England, Italy, Colombia, South America, Mexico and Canada.
In addition to its concert and recording efforts, Piffaro is active in the field of education. Members of the ensemble perform regularly throughout the year for elementary, middle and high school students, and hold master classes and workshops for college students and adult amateurs. The group has also been involved in week-long residencies, working with small groups of students on recorders, or their modern band instruments, and teaching Renaissance dance. For these efforts, Piffaro was awarded Early Music Americas annual Early Music brings history alive award in 2003.
Piffaro has recorded for Newport Classics, Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Produktion, and Dorian Recordings. Its most recent recording is a collaboration with the renowned Belgian vocal ensemble Capilla Flamenca and features the music of Jacob Obrecht, released on the Eufoda label. Selections of Piffaros music can also be heard on the Wyndham Hill and Passacaille labels.
Rotem Gilbert, recorder, double reeds, is a native of Haifa, Israel. She is co-founder of Ciaramella, an ensemble dedicated to 15th-century music, which will be releasing its debut recording on Naxos label in this season. With Ciaramella she has performed in Italy, Bloomington, Oberlin, Cleveland, San Francisco and Seattle. Rotem has appeared with early-music ensembles ARTEK, Fala Musica (Netherlands), La Caccia Alta (Belgium), Chatham Baroque, Pittsburgh Camerata, Kings Noyse, Newberry Consort and Capilla Flamenca and also performs solo and chamber baroque recitals. After studies on recorder at Mannes College of Music, she earned her solo diploma from the Scuola Civica di Musica of Milan where she studied with Pedro Memelsdorff. She earned her doctorate in Early Music performance practice at Case Western Reserve University, where she also taught recorder and directed Collegium ensembles. She has been on the faculty of Oberlin's Baroque Performance Institute, San Diego, Seattle, Madison Early Music and Amherst Workshops, Israel's Ayala and was director of Cleveland's Recorder Society. Rotem can be heard on the Deutsche Grammophons Archiv, Passacaille, Musica Americana, Dorian and Naxos labels. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Praised for her sumptuous tone and shimmering clarity and hailed for "a voice equally velvety up and down the registers", soprano Laura Heimes is widely regarded as an artist of great versatility, with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. She has collaborated with many of the leading figures in early music, including Andrew Lawrence King, Julianne Baird, The Kings Noyse, Paul ODette, Chatham Baroque, Apollos Fire, The New York Collegium, The Publick Musick, Brandywine Baroque, Trinity Consort, and Piffaro The Renaissance Band, a group with whom she has toured the United States. Additionally, Ms. Heimes is a member of Fuma Sacra, the early music vocal ensemble-in-residence at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She has been heard at the Boston and Connecticut Early Music Festivals, at the Oregon and Philadelphia Bach Festivals under the baton of Helmuth Rilling, and in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil in concerts of Bach and Handel. With the Philadelphia Orchestra she appeared as Mrs. Nordstrom in Stephen Sondheims A Little Night Music. December 2003 marked her Carnegie Hall debut in Handel's Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus. Highlights of the 2005-06 season will include the title role in Cavallis Elena (Cornell, NY), Monteverdi and DIndia with the Magnificat Ensemble (San Francisco), Carissimi motets at the 92nd Street Y (New York), Tchaikovskys Romeo and Juliette with the Ridgefield Symphony (Ridgefield, CT), Mozart C Minor Mass (Philadelphia, PA), Messiah (Rochester, NY), lute song recital (Pegasus Early Music, Rochester, NY) Bach Cantatas 106 and 140 (New London, CT) and Monteverdi Vespers (New York, NY) as well as compositions by James Primosch and Jay Reise as part of a one-day new music festival with Orchestra 2001 (Philadelphia, PA). Repeat engagements with Brandywine Baroque, New York Collegium, Le Triomphe de l'Amour will include programs of English music and French motets, as well as cantatas and motets by a variety of 17th and 18th century composers. Ms. Heimes most recent recordings include the songs of Purcell with Brandywine Baroque (September 2005 release); English Songs from the London Pleasure Gardens (not yet released); The Jane Austen Songbook with Julianne Baird; and Caldara's Il Giuoco del Quadriglio with Julianne Baird and the Queen's Chamber Band conducted by Stephen Altop. A native of Rochester NY, she holds Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance from Temple University. She has recorded for Dorian, Pro Gloria Musicae, Plectra Music, Sonabilis, and Albany records. She teaches voice at Swarthmore College.
Originally a trumpet player from Portland, OR, Grant Herreid is now a versatile musician/director/teacher on the early music scene. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer he performs frequently on winds, strings and voice with Hesperus, Piffaro, and My Lord Chamberlains Consort, and he plays theorbo and lute with New York City Opera and the baroque ensemble Artek. Grant has also been a guest artist with ensembles such as the Folger Consort, Taffelmusik, and the Newberry Consort. A seasoned instructor, he teaches at Mannes College of Music and directs the New York Continuo Collective, and appears at several workshops. Grant has created and directed several theatrical early music shows, including 'Il Caffe d'Amore', a pastiche of early 17th century Italian songs and arias, and the 15th century English 'Holly and Ivy: A Mid-Winter Feast of Fools'. For the Amherst Early Music Festival he has created and directed many early music theatrical shows. But mostly he devotes his time to exploring the esoteric unwritten traditions of early Renaissance music with the group Ex Umbris.
Greg Ingles is in demand as a free-lance sackbut player performing with such period instrument ensembles as New York Collegium, Tafelmusik, Concerto Palatino, Early Music New York, the Orchestra of the Renaissance and American Bach Soloists. He is Music Director of Spiritus Collective, an ensemble devoted to rarely performed brass music of the 17th century. In addition to being a member of Piffaro, Greg is also a member of the early wind band, Ciaramella, set to record their debut CD with Naxos this summer. Greg received his Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance from Oberlin Conservatory and is a doctoral candidate for a DMA at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is also professor of trombone at Hofstra University.
Joan Kimball, co-director and a founding member of the ensemble, gave full time to early music performance in 1980 after a number of years as an educator. She teaches recorder and early winds to children and adults, and is on the music faculty of The Philadelphia School, an elementary and middle school, where she has a full roster of private recorder students and recorder ensembles, as well as a number of bagpipe students. In addition, she collaborates with instrument maker Joel Robinson of New York City on the construction of Medieval and Renaissance bagpipes. Joan teaches bagpipe, recorder and double reed classes at summer music workshops and festivals. In addition to her recordings with Piffaro she can also be heard on Vanguard Classical, Eudora and Vox Amadeus.
Robert Wiemken, a French hornist for many years before turning to early music and period instrument performance, is now a multi-instrumentalist, focusing on the recorders and double reed instruments of the late Medieval through the Baroque periods, most notably the Renaissance shawm and dulcian, or curtal, and the Baroque bassoon. He is currently co-director of Piffaro, and also directs the early music ensembles at Temple Universitys Esther Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia. He has performed with numerous ensembles, including New Yorks Ensemble for Early Music, the Grande Band, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Brandywine Baroque Orchestra and others. He has recorded on the Newport Classics, Deutsche Grammophon Archiv Produktion, Dorian Records, Vanguard Classics, Windham Hill, Pasacaille and Eufoda labels. He is also a noted reed maker, specializing in the double reeds of the medieval through Baroque periods.
Tom Zajac is a founding member of the New York based musical/theatrical group, Ex Umbris. He has appeared with many other early music groups in the US, and has toured extensively, having appeared in concert series and festivals in Hong Kong, Guam, Australia, Israel, Colombia, Mexico, and throughout Europe and the United States. He can be heard on over 30 recordings of everything from medieval dances to 20th-century chamber music. With Ex Umbris, he performed 14th-century music at the 5th Millennium Council event in the East Room of the Clinton White House and 18th-century music for the score of the Ric Burn's documentary on the history of New York City. His playing will be heard this Fall on another PBS special on the French and Indian wars. He's played hurdy gurdy for the American Ballet Theater, bagpipe for an internationally broadcast Gatorade commercial, and shawm for the NYC Gay Men's Chorus in his Carnegie Hall debut. He played serpent in a PDQ Bach piece live on Prairie Home Companion and in concert with performances at Lincoln Center and at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Tom teaches at recorder and early music workshops throughout the US, and directs the early music ensembles at Wellesley College near his home in Boston.