Medieval & Renaissance Music of Iberian Kingdoms with the Bleecker Consort

2015-St-Pauls-960x720Noon • Tuesday, December 12th 2017
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall • Troy, NY

This week brings the second Tuesday of December. Thus, we’re in for another Music at Noon concert at The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. And, this one is most certainly suitable for one who’s looking for something a little bit different, but uplifting for the approaching holidays.

The Bleecker Consort [Beth Gurzler, Jack Ishman, Allen Lescak, Michael, Murphy, Deb Segal, and Jamie Schwab]—whose members come together with a fascinating diverse range of professional backgrounds—performs on Tuesday a program of Medieval and Renaissance music of the Iberian Kingdoms. They will have you listening to exotic and unusual music played on early musical instruments including capped reeds (crumhorn, corrnamuse, kelhorn, dulcian), strings (hammered dulcimer, lute, mandolin, hurdy-gurdy), recorders, flute, early brass (sackbut), percussion, and vocals.

Organized in three sets, the Bleecker Consort begins with a several 13th century works that were compiled by King Alphonse X of Castile. Throughout his reign, Alphonso was a great scholar and benefactor of the arts. His musical legacy in Spanish Medieval music consists of poems set to music, or cantigas, about the Miracles of the Virgin Mary in Galician-Portuguese.

After this set of Las Contigas de Santa Maria, the Bleecker Consort presents a set from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat of the Kingdom Aragon about a century later. In the Monastery of Montserrat outside of Barcelona, this collection of songs to the Virgin Mary was compiled. This “Llibre Vermell,” or “Little Red Book” in Catalán, was a manuscript of “chaste and pious songs” to be sung and danced to by pilgrims to the Monastery.

In the Bleecker Consort’s final set, they’ll focus on music from yet another century later. After the political unification of Spain near the end of the 15th century, with the marriage of King Fernand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile, the musical highlights came from the Cancionero de Palacio, or “Palace Songbooks.” Unlike the Medieval period, these songs were mostly secular in nature. Here’s a sampling of the what you are likely to hear in this last set:

  • Cristóbal de MoralesAve Maria gratia plena (Hail Mary, full of grace)
  • Juan del EncinaUna sañosa porfía (A vicious contention)
  • Juan Vázquez¿Con qué la lavaré? (With what shall I wash it?)
  • AnonymousNiña y viña (Girl and vine)

This should really be a delightfully warm and engaging performance as it is in the very nature of the music itself. And, no doubt, if you have any questions regarding their instruments or the music, the players of the Bleecker Consort will surely invite you to come up after the performance so you can get answers.

Remember for the Music at Noon concerts, The Music Hall opens at 11:00 am. So, bring your lunch and come listen to some great music… Happy Musicking!

Here’s a teaser from a Bleecker Consort rehearsal.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply