¡Cancionero! – Houston Chronicle Review

By CHARLES WARD – Houston Chronicle
….Brazilian-Uruguayan countertenor José Lemos sang with appealing simplicity and directness. With a smooth sound that served the music, he could twist listeners around a vocal finger with sensuous melodies or, aided by the instrumentalists, make them fidget with energy. Playing a wide variety of flutes, recorders, strummed and bowed string instruments (the crumhorn was ailing and couldn’t be used), the Consort had great fun producing spirited, polished music for the large audience in Midtown’s First Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is slowly becoming a location for performances of liturgical and early music as part of its overall rejuvenation. Consort members noted that the ensemble is now in its 28th year of touring, but one took a moment to congratulate Houston Early Music on its 40th anniversary (it previously was known as the Houston Harpsichord Society). Because of the group, Houston has become a key stop for touring early-music performers, he said.
More at The dark side of ¡Cancionero! | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle


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Houston Early Music

presenting the world’s finest period ensembles and soloists … bringing to life music from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the Baroque and Classical periods. Experience with us early music played on original instruments, by musicians reviving performances of the past.

Hispanic Heritage Series

 Baltimore Consort


¡CANCIONERO! Romances, Villancicos & Improvisations of Spain, circa 1500

8:00 pm, Sat., FEB. 23, 2008 First Evangelical Lutheran Church 1311 Holman (at Caroline)
Please see our web site for more information on our next concert, including program notes and selections The Baltimore Consort returns to Houston on Saturday, Feburary 23, 2008, presented by Houston Early Music as the annual offering of the organization’s Hispanic Heritage Series. Joined by the exciting young countertenor José Lemos, the popular ensemble will perform a program entitled ¡CANCIONERO! Romances, Villancicos & Improvisations of Spain, Circa 1500. The performance will be at 8:00 PM at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman (at Caroline). Founded in 1980 to perform the instrumental music of Shakespeare’s time, the Baltimore Consort has explored early English, Scottish, and French popular music, focusing on the relationship between folk and art song and dance. Their interest in early music of English/Scottish heritage has also led them to delve into the rich trove of traditional music preserved in North America. recordings on the Dorian label have earned them recognition as Top Classical-Crossover Artist of the Year (Billboard), as well as rave reviews elsewhere. Besides touring in the U.S. and abroad, they often perform on such syndicated radio broadcasts as St. Paul Sunday, Performance Today, Harmonia and the CBC’s OnStage. They have also enjoyed many teaching residencies at K-12 schools, as well as at the Madison Early Music Festival and other university engagements. The winner of the 2003 International Baroque Vocal Competition in Chimay, Belgium, Jose Lemos has appeared in opera roles at Tanglewood (Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2004) and with Boston Baroque (Giulio Cesare). In 2005, he performed in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Cecilia Bartoli at the Zürich Opera under Marc Minkowski, and in 2006 was Arnalta in Monteverdi’s Poppea in Buenos Aires. This year he has sung roles in Seattle (Poppea), at the Göttingen Handel Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, and with Wm. Christie’s Les Arts Florissants throughout Europe and at Lincoln Center. Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors, $10 for students, under 15 free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling 713-432-1744.
Houston Early Music is funded in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Baltimore Consort: Program Notes

Notes on the Program Today’s concert takes us on a musical journey through the fascinating intercultural history of late 15th century Spain. For nearly eight centuries, Muslims and Christians lived together on the Iberian Peninsula through alternating periods of peace and conflict. There were large Jewish communities in the Christian kingdoms of Castille, Aragon, and Navarre, as well as in the Moorish caliphates of al’Andalus. Paintings from the court of Alfonso X depict Christian, Jewish, and Arabic musicians playing together. Continue reading

BALTIMORE CONSORT Program Selections


Morena me llaman Anonymous Sephardic Avrix me galanica Anonymous Sephardic La Spagna Anonymous 15th c. Recercada La Spagna (Trattado de Glosas, 1553) Diego Ortiz Danza Alta (Cancionero de Palacio, ca.1505) Francisco de la Torre ¿Qu’es de ti, desconsolado? (Cancionero de Palacio) Juan del Encina (1468-1529) Levanta, Pascual (Cancionero de Palacio) Encina Ora baila tú (Cancionero de Palacio) Anonymous Calabaça, No sé, buen amor (Cancionero de Palacio) Anonymous Continue reading

Free Family Concert

Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 11 am EX UMBRIS The Ballad of Count Claros Latham Hall, Christ Church Cathedral 1117 Texas

“Conde Claros” is a 15th century Spanish romanceros which tells the story of noble Count Claros who falls in love with the daughter of the king, the princess Clara Niña. She also loves him and they decide to marry each other in secret. A wicked servant learns of their marriage, and tells the king. When the king learns of it he is furious, and orders the arrest of Count Claros, who tries to flee, but he is captured at the gates of the city. All the court agrees on his punishment: death. The count is taken to the main square, where the scaffold is set up which will end his life. The people all come out to watch, but at the last minute the princess Clara Niña comes running to try to save her beloved’s life. Ex Umbris presents this tale of love and betrayal with songs and dances heard in the streets of 16th century Spain, Children in the audience join in the singing and dancing. Singing in Spanish and English to the sound of the vihuela, harp, guitar, viol, recorder, flute, shawm, sackbut, and pipe and tabor, Ex Umbris evokes the musical richness of Renaissance Spain.

CHACONA: Dancing in the Shadow of the Cross

Ex Umbris

8:00 p.m., Saturday, May 12, 2007 First Evangelical Lutheran Church 1311 Holman (at Caroline) | Map

7:00 p.m. free pre-concert talk.

CHACONA: Dancing in the Shadow of the Cross

For the final concert of Houston Early Music’s season, the period-instrument ensemble Ex Umbris will perform Chacona: Dancing in the Shadow of the Cross. The program of songs, ballads and dances from Spanish dominions at the time of the Inquisition includes Arab and Jewish melodies and a portion of “The Ballad of Count Claros.” Continue reading