The Long Beach Camerata Singers continue their 57th season on Sunday March 26, 2023 with a performance by the Catalyst Chamber Ensemble of “Spain and the New World.” The concert will be performed by Camerata’s new all professional group, The Catalyst Chamber Ensemble at the Los Altos United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4:30pm. The Catalyst Ensemble is led by 2021 Grammy-award winning Artistic Director, Dr. James K. Bass.
Dr. Bass writes, “This concert celebrates the golden age of Spanish polyphony in the 17th century, some of the most beautiful liturgical music every written, and traces its path and transformation when brought to the New World. Native folk music, indigenous languages and the melding of two cultures resulted in unexpected musical forms and developments that are still relevant today.”
The composers and repertoire for the concert include the following:
Tomas Luis de Victoria – 1548 – 1611: Born in Avila, Castille, Victoria began to study the organ at a very early age and served as a choirboy starting at age 9. It is thought that he studied with Palestrina in his early 20’s, and was ordained a priest in 1574. He is regarded as the most significant composer of the counter-reformation in Spain and one of the best-regarded composers of sacred music in the late Renaissance. The concert will include his “Pange Lingua,” “Regina Coeli,” and “Salve Regina.”
Francisco Guerrero – 1529 – 1599: Also an ordained priest, Guerrero was born and died in Seville. Unlike other Spanish composers of his era, he spent most of his life in Spain, rarely travelling except for an ill-advised journey to the Holy Land, during which he was besieged by pirates, and held for ransom. As a composer, he wrote both secular and liturgical music, with great emotional power. The concert will include his “Ave Virgo Sanctissima.”
Alonso Lobo – 1555 – 1617: Lobo served as a choirboy in Seville and, after receiving a degree, became assistant to Francisco Guerrero at the Seville Cathedral. Lobo’s compositions combine the contrapunctal technique of Palestrina with the intensity of Tomas Luis de Victoria. The concert will include his work, “Ave Regina Coelorum.”
Juan Padilla – 1590 – 1664: Padilla was born in Malaga, Spain, but moved to Mexico in 1620. He worked in the Puebla de Los Angeles, Mexico, and served as the maestro de capilla of the Puebla Cathedral from 1628 to 1664. Catalyst will perform “Circumdederunt me dolores mortis” and “Stabat Mater” from Padilla’s oeuvres.
Gaspar Fernandes – 1566 – 1629: Born in Portugal, Fernandes was hired as an organist for the Cathedral of Santiago de Guatemala in 1599, where he worked until 1606, departing to Puebla, where he served as chapel master until his death. Fernandes compiled and bound various choir books documenting manuscripts in use in Guatemala during his lifetime, adding his own compositions to the collection. In Puebla he turned his attention to villancios, written in Spanish, Portuguese, pseudo-african dialects and the Amerindian languages. His piece, “Xiccochi,” will be performed, which is written in the Nahuatl language. Note: “Xiccochi,” was covered by Linda Ronstadt on her Christmas Album recorded in 2000.
Individual tickets are available from $65 to $40 each. The LBCS Box Office is available to process orders or offer assistance, at 562-900-2863. Group tickets are available with a minimum purchase of 10 tickets, and can be purchased by calling our Box Office. Tickets can be purchased on the Long Beach Camerata Singers’ website, www.LBCamerata.org.