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17th-century Mexican convent manuscripts from the Newberry Choirbooks uncovered and brought to life

CHICAGO - April 11, 2014 - PRLog -- CHICAGO (April 2, 2014) — The Newberry Consort will present the second installment of their popular Celestial Sirens program, this time dedicated entirely to the music of the Mexican convent of La Encarnación.  Written for all women’s voices and accompanying instruments, these works designed for convent worship feature the elegant polyphony, dancing rhythms, and rich harmonies that characterize this unique repertoire from New Spain. The concert series begins Friday, May 2nd at 8pm in St. Clement Church. Two more performances will follow on May 3rd at 8pm in University of Chicago’s Bond Chapel and on May 4th at 3pm in Northwestern University’s Alice Millar Chapel.

This rare and carefully constructed program will feature several double choir compositions by Juan de Lienas, including his devastating Tristis es a 8, a setting of Christ’s words in the Garden of Gesthemane, as well as several of his shorter works for 4-6 voices.  Works by Victoria and Ximeno round out the vocal selections.  A highlight of the program will be the modern-day premiere of the recently reconstructed Beatus Vir by Fray Jacinto, a three-choir piece in 11 parts.  You can read more about the reconstruction of this piece here (http://newberryconsort.org/putting-humpty-dumpty-together...).

Intertwined among the vocal pieces are instrumental selections, such as fantasies, preludes, and virtuoso diferencias (variations) on tunes found in the Newberry Choirbooks. They will be played on a myriad of period instruments including bajon (a Spanish baroque bassoon), vihuela (an early guitar family instrument), viola da gamba, and organ, giving the audience a true glimpse of how New World music sounded in its original context.

Audience members are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the insightful pre-concert lectures, offering an intimate look into the history and context of the works and images of the original manuscripts from the Newberry Choirbooks. To purchase tickets to “Celestial Sirens” visit www.newberryconsort.org/tickets. Tickets are $45 Preferred Seating, $35 General in advance, $38 at the door and a special student price of $5 (cash only) at the door with valid student ID.

Performance Details

●       Friday, May 2nd, 2014 8pm – St. Clement Church, 642 W. Deming Place, Chicago

●       Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 8pm  - Bond Chapel, University of Chicago, 1010 East 59th Street, Chicago

●       Sunday, May 4th, 2014 3pm -  Alice Millar Chapel, Northwestern University, 1870 Sheridan Rd., Evanston

Pre-concert lectures start one hour before each performance.

About the Newberry Consort:

Directed by David Douglass, Newberry Musician-in-Residence, and early music diva Ellen Hargis, the Newberry Consort plumbs the Newberry Library’s vast music collection and assembles a star-studded roster of local and international artists to bring you world-class performances of music from the 13th to the 18th centuries…and occasionally beyond! Affiliated with the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, the Consort also serves as an ensemble-in-residence at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. In addition to an annual concert series in Chicago, the Consort has an active touring schedule.

Stephanie Malmquist

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Source:Newberry Consort
Location:Chicago - Illinois - United States
Industry:Arts, Music
Tags:Early Music, Women, Convent, Classical, Mexican
Last Updated:Apr 11, 2014
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