Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, an online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. These ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.
“Süsser Ursprung meiner Ruh”
From Ulysses by Reinhard Keiser
Performed as part of Don Quixote
Recorded at Folger Theatre, March 15 2003
- Ann Monoyios, Soprano
- Webb Wiggins, Harpsichord
- Robert Eisenstein, Violin
- Ryan Brown, Violin
- Alice Robbins, Cello
- Anthony Manzo, Double Bass
Read the introduction by harpsichordist Webb Wiggins:
Hello and welcome to Folger Encores. I’m Webb Wiggins, and I am happy to be able to speak with you today. The Folger has been sharing selections from their plays, music, talks, and readings in this Encores series. This week, we are sharing an excerpt from the Folger Consort’s literary themed 2003 season.
I joined the consort playing harpsichord for a program of music inspired by the stories of such literary adventurers as Don Quixote and Odysseus. The selection you’re about to hear comes from the German baroque opera Ulysses, written by Reinhard Keiser for the Copenhagen Court Theater in 1722. Keiser is a composer who’s mostly forgotten today. Only 19 of his 60 or so operas have survived and they are rarely performed. You’ll hear the aria “Süsser Urpsrung meiner Ruh” performed by soprano Ann Monoyios in the role of Penelope, Odysseus wife. In Keiser’s opera, Odysseus is on his way home to Ithaca from the Trojan War. Penelope has been faithfully awaiting his arrival for many years and in this aria, she expresses great yearning for his return.
In addition to the lovely vocals, this aria is particularly effective because of its delicate pizzicato, or plucked accompaniment by the strings. This is carried by the harpsichord, which I played here using a buff stop, a special effect where a piece of leather is pressed against one of the sets of harpsichord strings to create a lighter plucked sound. The supple accompaniment, graceful vocal melody, sweet harmonies, and clear structure come together to form an elegant gem of an aria. We’re happy to share it with you again.
Enjoy this little taste of Keiser’s Ulysses performed by the Folger Consort. And be sure to join us again for these bi-weekly episodes of Encores highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you.
Check back each Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger Theatre, Folger Consort, O.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.