The Quilisma Consort presents

¡O Dulce Suspiro Mío!
Renaissance Music of Portugal and Spain

Sunday, October 5, 2008, 3pm
at the Loring-Greenough House, Jamaica Plain

  Es la causa bien amar Juan del Encina  
  Beatriz, Beatriz
¡O dulce suspiro mío!
Essos tus claros ojos
Fresco y claro arroyuelo
Francisco Guerrero
Ginés de Morata
Francisco Guerrero
  Bella de vos som amoros
Dime Robadora que te mereci
Ay de mi qu’en tierra agena
Soleta so jo açí
attr. Mateo Flecha el Viejo
attr. Bartomeu Cárceres
  Como puedo yo bivir
Yéndome y viniendo
No tienen vado mis males
Un dolor tengo en ell’ alma
Que todos se passan en flores
attr. Juan del Encina
  No so yo quien veys bivir
Alça la niña los oyos
Passame, por Dios, barquero
Remedio para vevir
¡O dulce y triste memoria!
¿Quién te traxo, caballero?
Pedro de Escobar
Francisco Millán
Juan del Encina
  La tricotea Alonso de Mondéxar  
  Vésame y abraçame
Si la noche haze escura
Alta estava la peña
Desposastes hos, señora
Fontefrida y con amor
  Three instrumental duets Anonymous  
  Theme on D for 3 Recorders
Three in Five
   Poco Allegro
   Allegro Moderato
Melika M. Fitzhugh (2008)
Karl A. Stetson (2002)

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

Our thanks to John Tyson and Frank Jones for lending us instruments, to Katharine Cipolla and the Loring-Greenough House for hosting us, and to the Boston Recorder Society for helping with publicity.

Lisa Gay, the director of the Quilisma Consort, has been playing music since 1978 when she began studying the recorder. Early music immediately fascinated her, and she continued to seek opportunities to pursue this genre. She has studied early music performance with many notable teachers including John Tyson, Aldo Abreu, Tom Zajac, and Leisle Kulbach and has done masterclasses with Dan Laurin and Paul Leenhouts. An experienced performer, Lisa has appeared in The Christmas Revels in Cambridge and Chicago, sang in a production of the medieval liturgical drama Sponsus, and served as musical director for The Taming of the Shrew. While living in Chicago, she was a member of the Masqued Phoenix Consort. Since returning to the Boston area, she has been a soloist with Ars et Amici and has appeared as a guest artist with the Wellesley Collegium Musicum. She was on the faculty of the Whitewater Early Music Festival in 2003 and 2004.

Carolyn Jean Smith grew up in New York City and studied recorder there as a child. She moved to Boston in 1983 to pursue a BS in Biology at MIT. After working in research for several years, she returned to school to pursue her lifelong love of recorder. She completed her Master of Music degree in Early Music at the Longy School of Music in May 1999. She has performed with Stämbandet, Serendipity and Cantata à Trois, and is currently a member of Quilisma and the Mean Tones. Carolyn has studied with Ford Weisberg, Sonja Lindblad and John Tyson, and has done masterclasses with Michael Lynn, Gerd Lunenberger, John Tyson, and Paul Leenhouts. She has participated in the Oberlin Performance Institute and the International Baroque Institute at Longy, has performed in the Society for Historically Informed Performance (SoHIP) Concert Series, the MIT Chapel Concert Series, the Noon Concert Series at Cathedral Church of St. Paul, the Gardner Museum Concert Series, and at First Night Boston, and has been heard on WGBH’s Morning Pro Musica with Stämbandet. She can be heard on Nordic Voices, a CD released in 1997 by Stämbandet under the Nordic Sounds label.

A native of Stafford, VA, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe: Music Theory and Composition) has performed with the Radcliffe Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Village Circle Band, and WACSAC. She studied composition and conducting with Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, and Thomas G. Everett. Melika, who has composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players and is currently a member of eclectic music ensemble Urban Myth and Lucretia’s Daggers (a darkwave futuristic metal band), in addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra. Melika enjoys playing a variety of instruments for folk dance ensembles, including violin/viola, guitar/bass, recorders, flute, dumbek/djembe/kahoun. She came to the Quilisma Consort to focus on early music.