The Teares of the Muses in front of a projection of Ilian Rachov’s Lamb
The Teares of the Muses in front of a projection of Ilian Rachov’s Lamb

The Teares of the Muses, a consort of viols, is a versatile New York University performing arts ensemble directed by Margaret Panofsky, the well-known professional viol player and renowned teacher. Made up of proficient musicians from the student body, faculty, and N.Y.U. community, The Teares of the Muses is a part of the Faculty of Arts and Science Music Department Collegium Musicum Viol Program.

The Teares of the Muses performs elegant and lively renaissance and baroque repertory for viols, often adding favorite guest artists to expand the compass of its concerts. It delights in reviving great music which has all but vanished in the present day.

The Teares of the Muses presents its concerts at New York University, St. Bartholomew’s Church and at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where it has been in residence since 2007.

Teares of the Muses News

William Blake, Ancient of Days

William Blake, Ancient of Days

New Concert

Friday, May 5, 2017, at 5:00 pm

From Crystal Heav’ns Above, to Earth Where Sorrow Dwelleth
English Renaissance Music for Voice and Viols

Kathleen Cantrell, soprano
Margaret Panofsky, director and treble viol
Christina Brandt-Young, tenor viol
Jeremy Brandt-Young and Joel Rust, bass viols

New York University
Bobst Library Gallery
70 Washington Square South
New York City
Admission Free

On May 5 The Teares of the Muses and singer Kathleen Cantrell perform From Crystal Heav’ns Above, to Earth Where Sorrow Dwelleth. The English Renaissance consort songs and viol fantasies by Taverner, Byrd, Morley, Dowland, Purcell, and others, navigate spiritual and earthly realms with both pathos and humor, from the Christian correctness of Come, Holy Ghost to the thinly disguised sexuality of The dark is my delight. In between, the sets about unrequited love and inevitable death include Byrd’s Ye sacred muses, which contains the words of the concert’s title. The viol duets, a trio, and quartets—even without texts—convey a gamut of emotions. We perform on the popular NYU Bobst Library Gallery Series that is open to everyone, free of charge.

Download the program and program notes.

Virgin and Child: Moravian Gothic wood sculpture

Virgin and Child: Moravian Gothic wood sculpture

NEW CD!

Narození Pána Krista
Christmas Music, 17th-Century Bohemia

Available in time for Christmas on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes!

Release Date, December 2, 2013

Margaret Panofsky, Director and Viols
Kathleen Cantrell, Soprano
John Cantrell, Organ and Percussion
GHOSTLIGHT Vocal Quartet

The Teares of the Muses, the New York University viol consort, is pleased to announce the release on December 2 of the new CD Narození Pána Krista: Christmas Music, 17th-Century Bohemia. Directed by Margaret Panofsky, The Teares of the Muses is joined by Kathleen Cantrell, soprano, John Cantrell, organist and percussionist, and the GHOSTLIGHT Vocal Quartet.

The CD’s featured works—most of them recorded here for the first time—are by the marvelous, rarely heard Adam Michna. Other Bohemian composers include Capricornus, Funck, Rovenský and Jan Josef Bozan. From the first track to the last, the vocal music explores the most cheerful portion of the church year—Advent and Christmas—with interspersed viol consort pieces.

Available for purchase online (CD or download)

Album Cover, Ein Laemmlein -- The Sacrificial Lamb, Josefa de Ayala, Portuguese, ca. 1670-1684, detail. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

"From the first, the singers captivate with an expressive, open, and wonderfully blended sound. The continuo team is also very fine.... The viol consort functions impressively as a single entity, coordinated at repeats and moments of heightened emotion, yet each individual voice is clear."

—Viola da Gamba Society of America Newsletter

NEW CD by The Teares of the Muses!

Ein Lämmlein
17th-Century German Passion Music

Release Date, October 12, 2011

Margaret Panofsky, Director
Kathleen Cantrell and Campbell Rightmyer, Sopranos
Morwaread Farbood, Organ

Ein Lämmlein: 17th-Century German Passion Music commemorates Holy Week and Good Friday with two works by the remarkable composer, Samuel Capricornus. It contains his lament O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid, the five-movement meditation Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld der Welt, instrumental chorale settings and dances, and Franz Tunder’s mournful An Wasserflüßen Babylon.

Selected excerpts:

Available for purchase online (CD or download)

Album Cover, The Lord’s Prayer, Vater unser im Himmelreich -- Medusa, (detail), Ilian Rachov

Medusa, (detail), Ilian Rachov

"These two German Baroque settings of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ are a fine fit. Altenburg’s—with voice—encloses Scheidt’s instrumental version to create a 4-minute gem. Well played and well sung. A pleasure to hear."

—CD Baby review

New Single by The Teares of the Muses!

The Lord’s Prayer
Vater unser im Himmelreich

Release Date, February 16, 2012

Margaret Panofsky, Director
Kathleen Cantrell and Campbell Rightmyer, Sopranos
John Cantrell, Organ

Many early baroque compositions were based on the soaring melody of the Lutheran hymn "Vater unser im Himmelreich" (The Lord’s Prayer). In Michael Altenburg’s Vater unser im Himmelreich, the vocal tune is nestled within a vigorous viol accompaniment. The instrumental harmonization of the same tune by Altenburg’s well-known contemporary Samuel Scheidt is from his monumental Tabulatura nova. In this Vater unser im Himmelreich, the tenor melody is surrounded by exquisitely beautiful contrapuntal lines.

Available for purchase online (download only)

Publication News!

The recording The Lord’s Prayer, Vater unser im Himmelreich will appear on a CD anthology for a soon-to-be published book and CD set: Notre Père à travers les âges, dans les trois traditions chrétiennes by Jean-Paul Lécot of Lourdes, France.

David Fenton, viola da gambist and organist

Sad News

The Teares of the Muses mourns the passing of fellow consort member and friend, David W. Fenton. David loved performing with The Teares of the Muses. He played all sizes of viol as well as keyboard, and was a consummate musician. We are comforted that he saw the release of the CD, Ein Lämmlein. He was a driving force behind the project; he created the performing edition from the facsimile of Samuel Capricornus’s Ein Lämmlein. David had earned a B.Mus. in piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and an M.A. in musicology from New York University. He wrote Grove articles on the piano quartet and piano quintet.