|Tuesday, October 18, 2011 • 7 PM
(Fifth Avenue at 65th Street)
THIS CONCERT WILL FEATURE works by Gabriel, Giraut de Bornelh, Bernat de Ventadorn and Raimbaut de Vaqeiras, as well as anonymous and traditional Spanish-Arabic and Ladino ballads.
CAPELLA DE MINISTRERS is an ensemble group founded in 1987 in Valencia, Spain, by musicologist Carles Magraner. The group’s primary goal is to restore Valencian musical culture. The Iberian composers promoted by Capella de Ministrers span a period of 500 years. Capella de Ministrer’s activity in musical training under Magraner’s directorship is reflected in an extensive discography.
CARLES MAGRANER was born in Almussafes (province of Valencia) and studied music at Carcaixent, the Conservatorio Superior de Valencia (cello and musicology), Toulouse and Amsterdam (viola de arco). He is a professor of cello and viola da gamba, although most of his professional work is done as the director and founder of the Valencian early and baroque music group Capella de Ministrers, with whom he has recorded more than 35 albums and performed concerts in the most prestigious national and international music festivals.
This concert is made possible with the generous support of the Consulate General of Spain in New York, the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y la Música (INAEM) of the Ministry of Culture of Spain, and the Institut Valencià de la Música of the Generalitat Valenciana.
In the 12th century, anonymous poets of Castilla mimicked the French epic poetry and created the Mió Cid. Afterward, the lyrical chanting of the troubadour came from the south of France to Iberian lands and installed itself with the art called mester de juglaría, in opposition to erudite mester de clerecía. These were the times of the Crusades, such as that in the 13th century against the Albigensians, and which led the singer poets protected by Afonso X, the Wise One (who ruled between 1252 and 1281), and his son-in-law, Don Dionís of Portugal, to take refuge in Castilla. When Castilian appeared, the first literature in other Iberian romance languages also emerged, such as Gaelic-Portuguese and Catalan.
Sephardi or Sephardic music was born from the Jewish Spaniards who were installed in Castilla and Aragón and adapted popular Castilian songs until their expulsion in the times of the Catholic Kings. These songs were a fusion of Arab and Christian music: Arab in their rhythm and the instruments played, and Christian because they were sung in Castilian. The most recurrent theme of Sephardic songs is love, although one also could point out lullabies and wedding songs.
For that matter, when speaking about Sephardic music, one cannot refer to it as a new music genre but rather as an adaptation of melodies that already existed, that were composed by the Jews arriving in Spain after they discovered the existing cultures’ rhythmical and instrumental richness. After the Sephardim were expelled from Spain, they carried their musical traditions to Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, the countries where they were established primarily. Despite the passage of the centuries, they have been able to keep in Castilian the songs that they inherited from their Iberian ancestors, adding words from the vernacular. It is through the Sephardic music that continues to be played in the Oriental Mediterranean today that one can get an idea of how this music sounded in the Middle Ages.
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