Dr Robert Stevenson was a highly regarded organist and composer at Chester Cathedral, U.K. His Misereres (c.1596), are his only extant instrumental work. Written for 6 part viols, only 4 parts remain. Brooke Green (2019 Blakeman National Composition Prize), has taken up the challenge to compose the missing 2 parts in Renaissance style.
These are polyphonic works, dramatic and expressive, comparable to music by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Robert Parsons. Each player has a distinctive, independent part. Hidden in the middle is the “Miserere mihi Domine: Lord have mercy on me”. Each Miserere has strong characterisation, inspiring Brooke to create these titles: Convocation, Consternation, Consolation, Campanology, Cogitation, Kite Flying, Cuckoo.
Some of Sydney’s finest viol players will record the Misereres: Daniel Yeadon, Anton Baba, Anthea Cottee, Brooke Green, Catherine Upex and Annika Stagg. Unfortunately the wonderful Laura Vaughan who usually plays with us is in lockdown in Melbourne. Our Audio Engineer is Ross Ahern (Opera house, SSO, ABC).
The recording will be part of Josie and the Emeralds’ next CD. ABC Classic has expressed interest in broadcasting the recording. We are also making seven short videos, one for each of the Misereres. Brooke intends to publish the Miserere scores so they will be available for other players.
For biographies and videos of Brooke Green and the performers visit www.josieandtheemeralds.com
The Misererefest was initiated by Loren Ludwig (USA) and LeStrange Viols, who transcribed the extant four parts and put out the call for composers to try their hand at completing the missing two parts: www.lestrangeviols.org/misererefest
With Covid-19 restrictions in place, it will be some time before the Misererefest can be realised in the USA. In the meantime, Loren has given Brooke’s project his blessing. We would be super grateful if you can give yours too!