Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ensemble takes wide-ranging Baroque journey

Tom Strini in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews Celebremos al Nino: A Mexican Baroque Christmas performed last night by The Rose Ensemble at the St. Joseph Center Chapel, part of this year's Early Music Now series.

The program notes said the careers of the three featured composers, Juan Gutierrez de Padilla, Juan Garcia de Zespedes, and Antonio de Salazar, and Antonio Salazar, had included serving as maestro at the Cathedral in Puebla, Mexico. Their compositions showed the influence of seventeenth century Mexican dance music. While Church authorities had censured the dances, as such, they did not object to the adaptation of dance music. The notes quote Pedro Cerone, who apparently wrote on music at the time, as saying a Mass with music based on that of the villancicos would fill the churches with people usually seen once a year.

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