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Spanish Treasure

Music of 16th Century Spain

The AD HOC Singers

Louise Lee, director & organist

with guests

Randa Rouweyha, soprano
Gregory Garrett, vihuelist

Sunday, November 22, 1998
7:30 p.m.

Calvary United Methodist Church
Arlington, Virginia, USA


Part I
Duo Seraphim Juan Esquivel (c. 1563-c. 1614)
Two seraphim cried out to one another and said: "Holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory." (Isaiah, vi, 3)
Tiento de Registro Alto de 1° Tono Francisco de Peraza (1564-1598)
Louise Lee, organ
Sancta et immaculata virgintas Cristobal Morales (c. 1500-1553)
Holy and spotless Maidenhood, I know not with what praises to exalt Thee: For He whom the heavens could not contain Thou didst bear in Thy womb. Blessed are Thou among women and Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb.
Norma Meyer, Andrea Shotkin, Jennifer Edelman, Ron Boucher*, Margaret Broughall, Brent Chivers*, Tim Burr, Klaus Alt, Jon Westergaard
*Bass and great bass recorders, with Linda Lombardi, tenor recorder
Missa Sancta et Immaculata Virgintas Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599)
Kyrie: Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Sanctus: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth. Heaven and the earth are full of Thy glory.
Hosanna: Hosanna in the highest.
Benedictus: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. (Tenor: Sancta et immaculata: Holy and spottless.)
Hosanna: Hosanna in the highest.

Part IIGregory Garrett, Tenor and Vihuela
Passaua Amor Louis Milan (c. 1500-c. 1561)
V.1: Untouched love, I passed you one day, your eyes down, soft and modest. Behind you I passed without noticing.
V.2: How briefly I was able to enjoy this! Unselfish fortune said, "Why do you run if we love so much?"
V.3: As a blind child I am, upset and reporessed; At times I feel rebuked.
V.4: Prairies, forests, jungles, free as my heart. Why does such cruelty as yours exist?
Fantasia #1 Louis Milan
Pavana #5 Louis Milan
Paseavase el Rey Moro Louis de Narváez (1500-c. 1555)
V.1: The Moorish King was strolling through the city of Granada; letters were sent unto him telling of Alham'a's fall. Alas my Alham'a!
V.2: Since he was at the Alhambra, the drums were ordered to beat a call to arms. Alas my Alham'a!
V.3: "You are to know, my good firends, some recent troubling news, for certain courageous Christians have already seized Alhambra. Alas my Alham'a!"
V.4: Thus spake an alsaqui with a long white beard: "You have killed the Bencerrages, who were the elite of Granada. Alas my Alham'a!
V.5: "That is why thou, my King, shouldst make a two-fold and deep penance, that both Kingdom and thee be lost, and that here be Granada lost."

Intermission

Part IIIRanda Wouweha, Soprano
De Los Alamos Vengo, Madre
Setting for voice and vihuela
Villancico popular
Miguel d'Fuenllana (c. 1500-c. 1579)
I have been by the poplars, Mother. I've seen how their branches sway in the breezes. By the poplar trees of Seville, I've seen my beautiful lover.
De Los Alamos Vengo, Madre
Setting for voice and piano
Joaquin Rodrigo (b. 1901)
¿De Donde Venis, Amore? Enriquez de Valderrabano (composed 1547)
From where have you come, beloved? I know full well where you've been. From where, Lover? I have been a witness. I know just where you've been!
¿De Donde Venis, Amore? Joaquin Rodrigo
Layali Elouns
Venetian Nights, a love song
Fareed el Atrash (composed 1940)

Part VI
Dezilde al Cavallero Nicholas Gombert (c. 1490-c. 1560)
Tell the knight not to lament, for I give him my faith -- may he not forsake it. Tell the handsome knight not to lament, for I give him my faith -- may he not forsake it.
Diferencias sobre el canto del Caballero Antonio de Cabezón (1510-1566)
Louise Lee, organ
Salve Regina Cabezón
Louise Lee, organ
Salve Regina Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)
Hail, Queen, mother of mercy: our life, sweetness, and our hope hail. To the do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To the we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Thurn then our Advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us; And after this our exile, show unto us Jesus, the blessed fruit of they womb. O kind: O loving: O sweet Virgin Mary.
Verbum Caro Factum Est Anonymous, possibly Mateo Flecha (c.1530-1604)
The Word is made Flesh for the salvation of all. And the Virgin said unto Him: "Light of my life, my Son, what would I not do for You? Yet I have nothing on which to lay You down. O worldly riches! Will you not give some swaddling clothes to Jesus, born here among the animals, as you can see.

Randa Wouweha received a Bachelor's degree in music from Youngstown (Ohio) State University and a Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She has considerable experience in opera and oratorio, has been heard in recital and chamber music performances, and has won several awards. Since moving to the Washington area, Ms. Rouweyha has won the Paul Robeson Vocal Competition and appeared as a soloist with Opera Americana, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, masterworks Chorus, the New Dominion Chorale, and other local groups. She presently sings in the Washington Opera Chorus and in February will perform the supporting role of Ruth Putnam in The Crucible with the Washington Opera.

Gregory Garrett is from Joliet, IL, where he studied trumpet and voice. He had full scholarships at the Meadowbrook School of Music, Oakland Conservatory, and the University of South Florida, including the Beverly Sills scholarship for operatic studies at the Roosevelt Conservatory. Greg toured the country with The Spurrlows before signing on with the Chicago Lyric Opera, from which he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he continues as a member of The Army Chorus. With his interest in early music, he has studied the Lute, Vihuela, Cornetto and recorders. In the past seven years he has been a member of Musica Antiqua and currently a founding member of The Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, peforming at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and other early music events in the DC area.

VIHUELA: A plucked instrument of the viol family on which the strings, made of gut, were generally arranged in six or seven courses, each paired in unison. It flourished mainly in Spain in the 15th and 16th centuries. Under the name of "viola," it was also known in Italy and Portugal. Originally the word was applied to various string instruments distinguished according to the method of playing them: vihuela de arco (with a bow); vihuela de pendola or penola (with a quill); vihuela de mano (with the hand). By the 16th century, however, the unqualified therm "vihuela" usually referred to the vihela de mano, also known as the vihuele comun. The intervals of tuning for which almost all surviving music was written are identical with those of the lute, but the body is closer in shape to that of the guitar. The vihuela was short lived and one guess is that much of its music was quite difficult to play, while the guitar was very simple to strum and was taking over among the common folk. Another might be that most of Europe was playing the lute and its music was very prolific.


The AD HOC Singers
Louise Lee, Director
Klaus Alt Bess Ballentine Alyn Beauchamp
Ronald Boucher Margaret Broughall Tim Burr
Brent Chivers Nancy Dixon Jennifer Edelman
Hellen Gelband Beth Kepp Linda Lombardi
Norma Meyer Carol Pierstorff Laura Schneider
Andrea Shotkin Jane Takeuchi Jon Westergaard

The Ad Hoc Singers, an amateur chamber chorus devoted to traditional choral literature from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries, has been in existence under the direction of Louise Lee since 1975. They perform regularly at The Lyceum, Anderson House, churches and other locations throughout the area. Good sight readers interested in joining the group should call 703-538-2557 to set up an audition or speak with Ms. Lee after the concert.

Louise Lee is a graduate of Smith College and Indiana University, where she received a Master of Music degree in organ performance, studying with Oswald Ragatz. Ms. Lee performs most often as a piano accompanist. She is organist at Arlington Forest United Methodist Church. Ms. Lee has directed the Ad Hoc Singers since she founded the group in 1975.

We'd like to heartily thank Calvary United Methodist Church for the use of their sanctuary and facilities for this concert.


Notes on the program

I

The sacred choral works on our program include masterpieces by the three composers generally acknowledged to be Spain's greatest sixteenth century musicla figures: Morales, Guerrero and Victoria.

Guerrero based his mass "Sancta et Immaculata Virginias" on a motet by his much admired teacher Morales. The mas is paradoxical. On the one hand it has a simple beauty which, historical records suggest, enabled it and muchof Guerrero's other music to be easily taught to choirs with little training, such as the newly forming amoung the natives in the American Spanish colonies. On the other, the skill and invention of the part-writing, incorporating motifs from Morales' motet into the fabric of seemingly inevitable contrapuntal lines, could only be the work of a master.

This year marks the 400th anniversrary of the death of a Spanish master of the organ, Francisco de Peraza, who was very famous in his own time but from whom only one work survives in written form. A contemporary source reports that Guerrero embraced Peraza, clasped Peraza's hands and asked for permission to kiss them; also, that it was said that "an angel lived in his fingers". In any case Peraza's influence appears in subsequent works by other composers and in some of the instruments that have been preserved, because he introduced an important feature known as "Medio registro", or "half register". Spanish organs of the period had only one keyboard. By dividing the lower and upper halves into two different sets of stops, it was possible to play a melody soloistaclly with one hand and accompany with the other, with no loss of clarity; an effect that on today's instruments requires two manuals.

II

Louis di Milan (b.c. 1500; d.c. 1561 or later) apparently spent most of his life in Valencia, associated with its ducal court at least until 1538. His first published book 'El maestro' is distinguished not only as the first collection of vihuela and therefore guitar music, but also as the earliest source employing verbal indications of tempo. He also called unequivocally for the use of rubato as a means of expression.

Luys de Narvaez (b. Granada; fl 1530-50) may have been in the service of Charles V's secretary, Francisco de los Cobos, in Valladollid. In the 1540s Narvaez, as music tearcher to the children in the chaple of Prince Phillip (later Phillip II), traveled to Italy and northern Europe. All of Narvaez's music is included in his book, 'Los seys libros del delphin' (Valladollid, 1538). There are fantasias, variation sets, intabulations of vocal pieces, songs and a 'vaxa de contrapunto' (setting of a basse danse tenor). Narvaez's book is the first to contain groups of pieces identified as variations (diferencias). His music is of the highest quality. Famed as an improvisor on the vihuela, he was reputed to be able to extemporize four parts over another four at sight.

-Gregory Garrett

By the opening of the sixteenth century, a drastic change had occurred in the religious and cultural faces of Spain; the majority of the Muslim and Jewish populations had either been expelled, put to death, or urged or coerced into conversion to Christianity. The Alhambra, beautiful palace of the Moors in Granada, was taken and occupied in 1492 by the "Catholic Monarchs", Ferdinand and Isabella. Some felt that the Moors had become too commplacent in their luxurious surroundings and were not prepared to resist the conquerors. The Bencerrajes were one of several factions consisting of certain powerful Moorish families, whose infighting led to the weakening of Granada. The romance, or ballad, "Paseavase El Rey Moro" commemorates its passing.

III

Villancicos were originally polyphonic love songs consisting of several stanzas and a refrain, with a folk-like flavor. Fuenllana was a master of the vihuela, by all reports, and his collection "Orphenica Lyra" (Seville, 1554) contains numerous intabulations of vocal works, as well as his own instrumental compositions. It is a rich source for singers as well as players, because the words of the songs are present even where instrumental performance is the main intent.
IV

The Flemish composer Nicholas Gombert may have studied with Josquin des Prez. he was in the Imperial choir and travelled to Spain, among other conutries, from about 1529 on. His vocal works characteristically make much use of imitation between the voices.

The keyboard works of Cabezon, especially his sets of variations, are unique in several respects. Both his liturgical and his secular pieces have a quality of great expressiveness. The variations succeed each other continuously, with the original melody usually in a lower part while upper lines have a contour and momentum of their own, propelling the composition forward. It is quite possible that Cabezon's compositions were heardby, and influenced, English and Dutch composers for the keybard, since Cabezon travelled frequently with the entourages of Charles V and Phillip II.

Thomas Luis de Victoria, like most of the Spanish composers of sacred Renaissance vocal music, wrote numerous settings of the so-called "Marian antiphons", modelled on the chant settings of these prayers to the Virgin. It would be hard to choose a favorite among them.

By the mid-sixteenth century, villancicos with religious themes found their way into liturgical feast-day celebrations. "Verbum caro", sung at the end of our program, is such a piece, composed for Christmas Day, and offered here as an early salute to the coming season.

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