The Quilisma Consort presents

Renaissance Music of Portugal and Spain

The Taylor House, Jamaica Plain

  La tricotea Alonso de Mondéxar (fl. ca. 1502-1516)  
  ¡O dulce suspiro mío!
Essos tus claros ojos
Fresco y claro arroyuelo
Anonymous, 16th century
Ginés de Morata (fl. late 16th century)
Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599)
   On the fourth tone
   On the second tone
from Villancicos de Diversos Autores (1556)  
   Dime Robadora que te mereci
   Ay de mi qu’en tierra agena
   Soleta soy yo açí
from Villancicos de Diversos Autores  
   Si la noche haze escura
   Vésame y abraçame
   Alta estava la pena
   Desposastes hos, senora
   Fontefrida y con amor
from Villancicos de Diversos Autores  
   On the fifth tone
   On the first tone
   On the seventh tone
from Villancicos de Diversos Autores  
  Teresa, Teresaza
Levanta, Pasqual
Passame, por Dios, barquero
¿Quién te traxo, caballero?
Juan del Enzina (1468-ca. 1530)
Pedro de Escobar (ca. 1465-ca.1535)
Juan del Enzina
  Pavan Luis Milán (ca. 1500-ca. 1561)  
  Six diferencias and vuelta
   on Y la mi cinta dorada
Luyz de Narváez, Delphin de Música (1538)  
  Three diferencias and vuelta
   on Si tantos halcones
Luyz de Narváez, Delphin de Música  
  Theme on D for 3 Recorders
Three in Five
   Poco Allegro
   Allegro Moderato
Melika M. Fitzhugh (2008)
Karl A. Stetson (2002)

Program Notes

Throughout much of the Renaissance, the Spanish Empire was the dominant power in Europe, and the fortunes of Spain and Portugal were closely intertwined. By the end of the 16th Century, their empires spanned the globe, with colonies in Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Western Pacific. With these colonies, they had unrivalled access to valuable commodities—silk, spices, gold, and slaves—which they traded across Europe. This brought them unprecedented wealth.

In an era of such prosperity, it is no great wonder that all of the arts, including music, flourished on the Iberian Peninsula in the 16th Century. But this does not explain why Iberian music has such a unique flavor, markedly different from the Franco-Flemish styles that were popular in so much of Europe. These differences are largely attributable to an event that happened many centuries before.

In the early 8th Century, the Umayyad Islamic Empire expanded across the Mediterranean from Northern Africa and conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula. Over the next several centuries, the Christian kingdoms gradually pushed the Moors southward, but along the Mediterranean coast, areas of Spain remained under Moorish rule until 1492, when the Christians expelled the Muslims and the Jews.

But until then, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in relative peace on the Iberian Peninsula. It was in this context that Christians rediscovered the works of the classical Greeks, banned for much of the Middle Ages because they were written by pagans born before the coming of Christ. The Muslims and Jews, however, had preserved these works of literature, philosophy, mathematics, and science. Likewise, these three communities shared their artistic aesthetics and techniques, influencing each other’s forms and styles. Shared knowledge and creativity spurred the blossoming of culture in the Renaissance.

In our program, you will hear music with characteristic Iberian rhythms. These intricate, earthy rhythmic patterns came to Iberia from Northern Africa and the Middle East during the Moorish occupation and left their mark on the music of the Renaissance—and on the entire Latin music tradition as we know it today.

—Lisa Gay

About the Musicians

Melika M. Fitzhugh is a long-standing member of the world music ensemble Urban Myth where she plays many instruments including fiddle, bass, and percussion. She came to the Quilisma Consort to focus on early music. She has a degree in music composition from Harvard University.

Lisa Gay founded the Quilisma Consort in 2004 to satisfy her addiction to early music. An avid recorder player and fan of Orlando de Lasso since childhood, she has performed in The Christmas Revels in Cambridge and Chicago, and with ensembles such as Calliope, The Masqued Phoenix Consort, and Ars et Amici. She studies recorder with John Tyson.

Carolyn Jean Smith received an MA in Early Music from the Longy School. She has performed with Stämbandet, Serendipity, and Cantata á Trois and has studied with Ford Weisberg, Sonja Lindblad, and John Tyson. She has performed in several venues, including the Society for Historically Informed Performance Concert Series, and can be heard on Nordic Voices, a CD by Stämbandet under the Nordic Sounds label.