When it comes to Latin American music, you cannot help but think of rhythm, tango and passion. This sets the mood for the program Artistic Director Jane Ring Frank has designed for the Cantemus 45-member chamber chorus’s spring concerts. The program mixes the familiar with the obscure, highlighting extraordinary modern composers writing in their own “idioma” to transmit the culture, flavor and history of their homelands to the music and their listeners.
“Concierto: A Latin American Voyage” highlights contemporary music from Argentina, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, all of it performed in Spanish with special guests Rumbarroco, a professional Latin-Baroque fusion ensemble from Boston, directed by Laury Gutiérrez.?
Cantemus will perform four different pieces by Modesta Bor, a major 20th century Venezuelan composer, conductor, musicologist and teacher, including her “Canto a la Vida” and others based on imaginative and surreal texts by Spanish language authors Lorca, Rodriguez and Pérez. Puerto Rican composer Diana Sáez provides Latin flavor and rhythm with “Plena,” representing an early 20th century Afro-Puerto Rican form popular among sugar cane workers. Sáez’s “El Monigote,” the Rag Doll, is a traditional Venezuelan children’s song arranged in the “joropo” rhythmic style from the plains.
Included in the program is “Venezuela,” a stirring 1980 composition by Spanish composers Pablo Herrero Ibarez and José Luis Armenteros Sánchez with lyrics that are rich and evocative of Venezuelans’ respect and love of country, making it today’s unofficial “national anthem.”
The most familiar and popular name on the program is that of Argentinian tango master Astor Piazzolla. A star performer on the bandoneón in the dance halls of Buenos Aires as a teenager, Piazolla matured as a composer and arranger, becoming the founder of the “tango nuevo” movement and a prolific composer of tango music. Piazolla left behind over 3000 compositions, many of which borrowed from classical and jazz traditions to create crazy metric shifts, counterpoint and dissonance that drove traditionalists wild. Cantemus will sing three of his most enduring and beloved tangos, “Adios Nonino,” “Verano porteño,” and “Libertango.” Rubarrocco augments this choral program with instrumental pieces performed on authentic traditional instruments.
Cantemus Chamber Chorus sings this program three times in three different locations, on Saturday April 29th at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham, 149 Asbury St. in
South Hamilton, on Sunday April 30th at 4:00 p.m. at Central Congregational Church, 14 Titcomb St. in Newburyport, and lastly at new venue The Bridge at 211, Murray Hall, 211 Bridge St. in Salem on Sunday, May 7th at 4:00 p.m. Additional information and online tickets can be found at their website, www.cantemus.org, or by calling toll free 1-888-CHORUS 1.
Cantemus gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the West Newbury Local Cultural Council. Cantemus is a member of
Chorus America, and of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium, a cooperative association of diverse choral groups in Boston and the surrounding area.