We’re delighted to announce that CDs and mp3 downloads of Folger Consort’s “A New Song” are now available online. You may recall from this earlier blog post that the Folger’s resident early music ensemble, Folger Consort, joined forces with the Washington National Cathedral’s vocal chamber ensemble CATHEDRA in late September and early October to perform “A New Song: Music Inspired by the King James Bible.” This new release is the happy result.
A New Song: Celebrating the King James Bible is Folger Consort’s first entirely new recording in eleven years. Musical settings of biblical verse and other sacred works from the reigns of England’s James I and James II by composers Henry Purcell, Thomas Tomkins, Orlando Gibbons, and John Blow are complemented by instrumental fantasies by Purcell, Gibbons, and Giovanni Coprario. Much more information, including preview audio clips, album notes, and more, is available at the link cited above, www.cdbaby.com/cd/folgerconsort11.
Performers include Washington National Cathedral’s chamber vocal ensemble CATHEDRA and instrumentalists Risa Browder, violin; Robert Eisenstein, violin; Christopher Kendall, lute, theorbo; Adam Pearl, organ; Alice Robbins, viol, basse de violon; and Henry Valoris, viola. Robert Eisenstein and Christoper Kendall are the artistic directors of Folger Consort. The running time for the full CD is 77 minutes, 24 seconds.
The “New Song” concerts were among several KJB-related Folger Shakespeare Library programs produced during the current Folger Manifold Greatness exhibition, on display through January 16. Another Folger Manifold Greatness program takes place this Friday, December 16: Poetics and the Bible, with poet Jacqueline Osherow and scholar Michele Osherow.
As the Folger Manifold Greatness exhibition gets ready to open to the public this Friday, a host of related Folger programs and events are on the way—right away—from this Saturday’s family program to concerts and plays, a major conference, lectures and conversations, and much more!
First out of the gate, this Saturday morning at 10 am, is a Folger family program in the Folger’s “Shake Up Your Saturdays!” series, tailored specifically to the King James Bible. Registration is required, but admission is free. To quote the organizers: “During the reign of King James I, Shakespeare wrote some of his best known work, including the witchy Macbeth. Join us to learn about the translation of the most famous book in the world, and how it still affects us today!”
But that Saturday wake-up call is just the beginning. Next week, the Folger Consort, the resident early music ensemble of the Folger Shakespeare Library, is holding an early music seminar on September 28 that considers its upcoming concert, A New Song: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible.Concerts take place September 30 through October 2.
And at just about the same time, the Folger Institute—a consortium of 41 colleges and universities and the Folger Shakespeare Library—hosts a major academic conference on An Anglo-American History of the KJV, September 29 through October 1. Jill Lepore, a noted scholar and staff writer for The New Yorker, kicks off the conference with her keynote address, “KJV in the USA: The King’s Bible in a Country Without a King.”
And that’s just next week! Looking ahead:
On October 4, Folger director Michael Witmore introduces and moderates a conversation with former three-time US poet laureate Robert Pinsky inspired in part by the Manifold Greatness exhibition (the event is part of Folger Poetry’s prestigious O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, named after a former Folger director.)
On October 18, it’s the premiere of the Folger production of William Shakespeare’s Othello, written and performed about the time that King James came to the throne—more about that closer to opening night! We could go on (and there are already more events scheduled for November and December…) but you get the idea.
We’d love to have your family join us for Shake Up Your Saturdays! this Saturday morning. Just don’t think for a moment that there isn’t much more to come, for every audience and age.