Emerging Artists Series
Sunday, October 18th, 2015, 5:00 PM
THE ROSE ENSEMBLE
with The Concert Chorale of Bellaire High School
Music from the Land of Three Faiths: Voices of Ancient Mediterranean Jews,
Christians, and Muslims
Pre-concert talk at 4:15 PM
St. Philip Presbyterian Church,
4807 San Felipe St., 77056
Minnesota-based Rose Ensemble returns to Houston, bringing a fascinating exploration of language, spirituality and cultural exchange in the Land of Three Faiths. This entertaining and enlightening program is steeped in the rich history of the Abrahamic faiths. A perfect balance of edgy improvisation, exotic vocal styles, and ancient traditions is achieved via instruments and melded musical ideas of both the Middle East and Europe. The ensemble will be joined by The Concert Chorale of Bellaire High School.
“Our program highlights the Hispano-Arabic Middle Ages as both an important and devastating chapter of Judaic, Christian and Islamic history,” said Jordan Sramek, founder and artistic director of the Rose Ensemble. The 13th and early-14th centuries witnessed fertile cultural exchanges between Jews, Muslims and Christians, particularly in Spain, but the country had expelled all non-Christians by 1492.
The program includes several songs from the Cantigas de Santa Maria (Songs of the Virgin Mary), a culturally diverse collection of poetry, music and art from the court of Spain’s King Alfonso X (1252-1284). There also will be traditional Sephardic songs that the Jews took with them to North Africa and Eastern Europe when they were expelled from Spain. Other offerings range from 12th-century Italian plainchant to Bedouin folk music, with many stops in between.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this season, the Rose Ensemble features nine vocalists, although Sramek also plays psaltery and hurdy-gurdy in addition to singing tenor. Instrumentalists include oud player David Burk, percussionist Tim O’Keefe and vielle, rebec and harp player Ginna Watson.