Throughout the 17th & 18th centuries Spain ruled over an empire that spread from the Pacific Ocean to the Adriatic Sea. In addition to the highly developed and culturally sophisticated cities of Mexico and Lima, Spain governed the regions surrounding Milan, Naples and Sicily. Throughout this period the close relationship between Spain, Latin American and Italy provided for a rich exchange of musical ideas.
However, before the era of imperialism Spain was not lacking a cultural diversity of its own. The Iberian Peninsula had been for many centuries a multi-cultural society where the influence of the Moriscos, Sephardim, and Católicos were present in all aspects of cultural life. With the immigration of the Gitano (Gypsy/Flamenco) population in the 16th century, Spanish arts, and music in particular, evolved through the interaction and blend of these cultures. This provided a fertile environment for an emerging nationalist style in the arts, one that was uniquely Spanish and exists to this day.
From this culture came the villancico, one of music’s most resilient and popular vocal genres. Originally developed in the 15th century the villancico evolved through the 17th & 18th centuries to become the dominant Latin American and Spanish vocal genre. Throughout this same period the Spanish colonies of Central and South America were well springs of cultural sophistication. Latin American cathedrals and courtly life demanded a varied and active musical scene. Often, the indigenous populations were drawn into the arts and participated in their production. The musical result was a style that even in sacred compositions bears the imprint of folk music. The inclusion of guitars and percussion coupled with dance rhythms, and the occasional use of a native language demonstrates a close relationship between European and Indigenous cultures.
Houston Early Music invites you to hear El Mundo bring this wonderful yet neglected repertoire to life on December 15th, when they will present a program titled Villancicos de Navidad. This program will survey the evolution of the villancico from its earliest Spanish beginnings to the flowering of the sacred Latin American Christmas villancicos of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Works from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia, along with selected works from Spain and Spanish controlled Southern Italy. Featured composers will include: Roque Ceruti, José de Orejón y Aparicio, Santiago de Murcia, Rafael Antonio
El Mundo is a chamber group dedicated to the performance of sixteenth through nineteenth century Latin American, Spanish and Italian chamber music. Under the direction of lutenist/guitarist Richard Savino and made up of well known period instrument performers, El Mundo combines virtuoso string playing with guitars, lutes and harpsichord in a setting that recreates the distinctive Latin sound of the old and new world Castellanos, and José Quiroz. For the December 15th program, the ensemble will be joined by Jennifer Lane, mezzo soprano and Jennifer Ellis, soprano.
The audience is invited to a fiesta in the Great Hall of Christ Church Cathedral following the concert.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors and students, and may be purchased at the door or by calling 713.432.1744. There will be no charge for children 12 years and under.
This concert is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Houston and Harris County
through the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County
RICHARD SAVINO, DIRECTOR
Rodrigo Martines anon
Ay Triste Que Vengo Juan Del Enzina (1468-1529)
Amor Con Fortuna
Villancicos del Mundo Nuevo
Jesus, Jesus (Guatemala) Manuel Joseph Quiroz (fl.18th cent.)
Gilquerillos Acordes (Guatemala) Rafael Antonio Castellanos (fl.18th cent.)
Fandango, Jota (Mexico) Santiago de Murcia (c. 1685 - 1732)
Recordar Jilguerillos (Bolivia) Juan de Araujo (1646 -1716)
Oygan una xacarilla (Guatemala) Rafael Antonio Castellanos
Tarara yo soy Antonio (Mexico) Antonio de Salazar (c.1650-1715)
Villancicos y Cantadas de Ambos Mundos
Sinfonia para empezar a dos violinos y baxo Domenico Scarlattu (1685-1757)
Ya que el sol misterioso (Peru) José de Orejón y Aparicio (1706 - 1765)
Pavanas, Canarios (1674) Gaspar Sanz (1640 -1710)
Cantada al Nacimiento: Por aquel horizonte Juan Frances Iribarren (1699-1767)
Folia echa para mi Señora Doña Tarolilla Andrea Falconieri (1586-1656)
A cantar un villancico (Peru) Roque Ceruti (1683 - 1750)
Convidando esta la noche (Mexico) Juan Garcia Zespedes (c.1619 - 1678)
Jennifer Lane, mezzo soprano; Jennifer Ellis soprano
Richard Savino, vihuela, baroque guitar
Zacherria Carrettiin, Adam Lamott violins
William Skenn, cello and viol
Corey Jamason, harpsichord
Peter Maund, percussion
This concert is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Houston and Harris County through the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County