Christ Church Cathedral | Map
Tess Altiveros, soprano; Danielle Reutter-Harrah, soprano; Tekla Cunningham, Baroque violin; Adam LaMotte, Baroque violin; Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp; Stephen Stubbs, lute and guitar; Henry Lebedinsky, organ and harpsichord; Peter Maund, percussion
As the Spanish empire colonized Latin America, music became an important tool for evangelism and a key part of the quest to convert and ‘civilize’ the indigenous populations. In this programme, Pacific MusicWorks, led by GRAMMY award winner Stephen Stubbs, explore the vibrant mix of Italian, Spanish, African, and indigenous elements that created the new musical style that developed in the cathedrals and missions of Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, and Bolivia. Both immigrant and native composers celebrated and explored the great mysteries of faith in spirited and vivacious works that can continue to speak to us today. Music by Esteban Salas, Manuel José de Quiroz, Manuel de Zumaya, and others.
Supported by the EMV Board of Directors
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Vengan las flores – Gregorio Mariano de Soberanis (fl. 1730-1740)
Taedat animam meam – Esteban Salas (1725-1803)
Sonata in A – Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726)
[Largo] – [Corrente] – [Grave] – [Giga]
Sosiega tu quebranto – José de Torres (1665-1738)José de Torres (1665-1738)
Sonata in G minor (Mexico City Cathedral Archive) – Anonymous, 18th cent
Largo – Allegro – A suo piacere – Allegro
Vaya, pues, rompiendo el aire – Sebastian Duron (1660-1716)
Colorado – Harp solo on a Paraguyan folk tune
Con afecto y harmonia – Pedro Nolasco Estrada Aristondo (ca. 1740 – 1804)
Zuipaquî, Santa Maria – Domenico Zipoli
Seguidillas – José de Nebra (1702-1768)
Como aunque culpa – Manuel de Zumaya (ca. 1678 – 1755)
Trio Sonata in D minor – José Plà (1728-1762)
Allegro molto – Andante – Allegro assai
¡Tu, mi Díos, entre pajas! – Esteban Salas
Benedicta et venerabilis – Esteban Salas
From the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the New World in the early 16th century, conversion of native populations to Christianity, along with economic subjugation, was one of the most important aims of the invading forces. The Spanish empire encouraged the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, to establish missions, or reducciones, across Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia with the goals to convert native populations and ultimately subject them to Spanish governance and taxation. Music was one of their primary methods of evangelism, an effective way to introduce native people to the fundamental mysteries of Christianity and to teach it to others. The cultural effects of the Jesuit missions long outlasted their expulsion from the continent in 1767, and can still be heard today among the descendants of the indigenous peoples of the region.
Mexico was one of the first regions to fall under Spanish rule, and by the late 17th century was a center for global trade. The capital, Mexico City, boasted a thriving cultural scene, including a large cathedral with a vibrant tradition of sacred music. Manuel de Zumaya was one of the first native-born Mexicans to hold the post of Maestro di capilla at the cathedral, and was the first New World composer to have written an Italian opera. As was expected at the time, he was equally at home writing choral music in the older Renaissance style for formal worship services in the Cathedral, as well as more forward-looking Italianate cantatas for smaller, more private occasions.
The Metropolitan Cathedral in Guatemala City holds one of the largest collections of sacred music from the Colonial era, and includes some of the only surviving copies of many works by many well-known composers from the Renaissance to the early 19th century, including the all of the few extant works of Mexican composer Gregorio Mariano de Soberanis, about whom we know almost nothing. The cantata Vengan las flores survives in a copy by Guatemalan composer Manuel de Quiroz (d. 1765), who also arranged the piece by adding a third soprano part.
Born in Havana in 1725, Esteban Salas was the first known native-born Cuban Classical composer. While his music has enjoyed almost uninterrupted performance in Cuba, it is just now beginning to be recognized outside of his native country. Salas served most of his life as maestro de capilla at the cathedral in Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second largest city. Salas’ music is full of contradictions – alternatively conservative and forward-looking, heavily influenced by prevailing trends in Italian music yet incorporating native Cuban poetical and musical elements, and effectively adapted to the performing forces he had at his disposal.
In the six Jesuit missions in Bolivia’s eastern Santa Cruz region, Indigenous musicians continued to play 18th century music off of parts hand-copied from the originals well into the 19th century. Beginning in 1969, work to preserve the extensive archive of the Chiquitos and Moxos has resulted in bringing the wealth of Baroque music from this region to an international audience. Especially important is its role as a repository for the works of Domenico Zipoli. Born in Tuscany, Zipoli studied with Bernardo Pasquini and Alessandro Scarlatti, and his reputation was so great that early editions of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas were published under the name Zipoli in order to sell more copies. After joining the Jesuits, he sailed to Paraguay, where he became one of the most highly sought-after composers in the New World before dying at the young age of 37. The canzona sacra on today’s program was written with texts in both Latin and Chiquitano. The violin sonata in A is his only surviving work for that instrumentation.
Oboists Juan Bautista and José Plà came from a musical Catalan family (their brother Manuel (ca. 1725-1766) was a harpsichordist in Madrid) that worked as virtuoso oboists across Europe, spending time in Italy, Belgium, France, England, and Portugal. The Sonata in D minor is taken from a collection published and/or composed jointly by the two brothers, whose 30+ trio sonatas and almost 100 other works blend their native Iberian dance forms and melodic idioms with the cosmopolitan, Italian-influenced style of the European late baroque.
Spanish organist and composer José de Torres y Martínez Bravo was born in Madrid and spent most of his life in service to the Spanish court. In addition to his work as a musician, he founded the first music publishing press in Spain and wrote several important theoretical works. While he never traveled to the New World, a significant number of his works are preserved in the Guatemala City Cathedral archive, including a cantata for soprano and continuo on the text Con Afecto y Harmonia. Native Guatemalan composer Pedro Nolasco, about whom almost no information survives, set the first two sections of Torres’ highly metaphorical and obscure (and most likely original) lyrics to new music, which is offered on today’s program. We close with a dramatic cantata by Torres using a nautical metaphor to describe the battle between humanity and the Devil. Torres’ vivid text painting includes a lilting barcarolle as the setting for the opening movement and a dramatic battle during a storm at sea to conclude.
Henry Lebedinskly, March 2017
Texts and Translations
Tess Altiveros, soprano
Praised by critics for "a ripe, sensual lyric soprano" (Opera News) and a "captivating combination of skilled singing and magnetic acting" (Pioneer Press), soprano Tess Altiveros is in high demand on concert and operatic stages alike. 2016/2017 engagements include Clorinda in The Combat (Seattle Opera), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion semi-staged (Colorado Symphony), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Skylark Opera Theatre), Musetta in La Bohème under the baton of Andrew Litton (Colorado Symphony), Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem (Seattle Pro Musica), the Midwest premiere and recording of Emerson Eads’s Mass for the Oppressed (Notre Dame University), and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (Angels & Demons Entertainment), a performance described as “transcendent” and “luminous” by the Twin Cities Arts Reader. Other recent credits include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Tacoma Opera), Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (Eugene Opera), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Juneau Lyric Opera), Adele in Die Fledermaus (Opera Coeur d’Alene), Elle in La Voix Humaine (Vespertine Opera Theater), and the Queen in Rumplestiltskin (Opera Fairbanks). Upcoming engagements include Euridice in L’Orfeo under Grammy Award winning conductor Stephen Stubbs (Pacific MusicWorks), Violetta in La Traviata (City Opera Ballet), Messiah (Bremerton Symphony), and her ninth season singing for the Seattle Mariners.
Danielle Reutter-Harrah, soprano
Danielle Reutter-Harrah has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, with Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera, California Bach Society, American Bach Soloists, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Alabama Symphony, and Early Music Vancouver, among others. She most recently sang the role of Belinda in Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado’s semi-staged rendition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. In fall 2019 she performed with Pacific MusicWorks, the Byrd Ensemble and Early Music Vancouver. The 2018/19 season involved concerts of music by Brahms, Bach, Monteverdi, Handel, Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn, and others. Reutter-Harrah is a founding member of the voice and plucked strings duo Jarring Sounds, with Adam Cockerham on guitar, theorbo, Baroque guitar and lute. She sings frequently with Seattle’s Byrd Ensemble and Pacific MusicWorks. Danielle received her Bachelor’s of Music degree from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and her Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son.
Tekla Cunningham, Baroque violin
Praised as “a consummate musician whose flowing solos and musical gestures are a joy to watch”, and whose performances have been described as “ravishingly beautiful”, “stellar”, “inspired and inspiring”, violinist Tekla Cunningham enjoys a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, concertmaster, soloist and educator devoted to music of the baroque, classical and romantic eras. She is concertmaster and orchestra director of Pacific MusicWorks, and is an artist-in-residence at the University of Washington. She founded and directs the Whidbey Island Music Festival, now entering its fourteenth season, producing and presenting vibrant period-instrument performances of music from the 17th through 19th centuries, and plays regularly as concertmaster and principal player with the American Bach Soloists in California.
Tekla’s first solo album of Stylus Phantasticus repertoire from Italy and Austria will be released next year – music by Farina, Fonatana, Uccellini to Biber, Schmelzer and Albertini, with an extravagant continuo team of Stephen Stubbs, Maxine Eilander, Williams Skeen, Henry Lebedinsky.
Tekla received her undergraduate degree in History and German Literature at Johns Hopkins University while attending Peabody Conservatory. She studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna Austria with Josef Sivo and Ortwin Ottmaier, and earned a Master’s Degree in violin performance at the San Francisco Conservatory with Ian Swenson.
Adam LaMotte, Baroque violin
Adam LaMotte is becoming well known to audiences throughout the country as a leader of both period and modern ensembles. He has appeared as soloist, concertmaster, and conductor of numerous orchestras, including the Northwest Sinfonietta in Seattle, String Orchestra of the Rockies, Astoria Festival Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and the Maggini String Orchestra in Houston.
As violinist and violist, Adam has been hailed by critics as an “especially compelling” and “superb violinist” with “exceptional talent,” whose performances are “energetic and exquisite.” As Artistic Director of the Montana Baroque Festival, he brings first-class period instrument performances to the rural Montana community. He has co-founded two critically-acclaimed ensembles, in Portland and in Houston, and continues to produce many chamber music and chamber orchestra performances. In collaboration with ensembles such as American Bach Soloists, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ars Lyrica, and Chanticleer, Mr. LaMotte performs on period instruments, using a fine Italian instrument made in 1730 by Bernardo Calcagni, for which he is indebted to his generous patrons who made the purchase possible.
Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp
Seattle-based harpist Maxine Eilander first performed at the Boston Early Music Festival in 1999, and has been the regular harpist for Tragicomedia and the Festival’s operas ever since. Maxine has also performed at numerous opera houses and festivals such as Covent Garden, Staatstheater Stuttgart, and Netherlands Opera.
In 2012 Maxine was invited to perform Handel’s Harp Concerto at the World Harp Congress in Vancouver, B.C. As an administrator, Maxine was the Director of Education for Pacific MusicWorks starting in 2007, and in 2013 became PMW’s Managing Director.
Her recordings include Handel’s Harp, released on ATMA in 2009, with all of Handel’s obbligato music written for the harp, including his famous harp concerto, the 2008 release of William Lawes’ Harp Consorts (ATMA), Sonata al Pizzico, a recording of Italian music for harp and Baroque guitar with duo partner Stephen Stubbs (ATMA 2004), and Teatro Lirico, released on the ECM label in 2006.
Stephen Stubbs, lute and guitar
Stephen Stubbs, who won the GRAMMY® Award as conductor for Best Opera Recording 2015, spent a 30-year career in Europe. He returned to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and baroque opera specialists.
In 2007 Stephen established his new production company, Pacific MusicWorks, based in Seattle. He is the Boston Early Music Festival’s permanent artistic co-director, recordings of which were nominated for five GRAMMY awards. Also in 2015 BEMF recordings won two Echo Klassik awards and the Diapason d’Or de l’Année.
In addition to his ongoing commitments to PMW and BEMF, other recent appearances have included Handel’s Amadigi for Opera UCLA, Mozart’s Magic Flute and Cosi fan Tutte in Hawaii, Handel’s Agrippina and Semele for Opera Omaha, Cavalli’s Calisto and Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie for Juilliard and Mozart’s Il re pastore for the Merola program in San Francisco. He has conducted Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle, Edmonton, Birmingham and Houston Symphony orchestras.
His extensive discography as conductor and solo lutenist includes well over 100 CDs, which can be viewed at stephenstubbs.com, many of which have received international acclaim and awards.
Stephen is represented by Schwalbe and Partners (schwalbeandpartners.com).
Henry Lebedinsky, organ and harpsichord
Hailed by The Miami Herald for his “superb continuo… brilliantly improvised and ornamented,” historical keyboardist, composer, and conductor Henry Lebedinsky has performed with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Charlotte Symphony, Seraphic Fire, and Sonoma Bach, among others. With Stephen Stubbs, he is the co-Artistic Director of Seattle's acclaimed Pacific MusicWorks, and is the founder of PMW's Underground concert series, dedicated to bringing old music to new audiences in unconventional, fun, and boozy venues. Mr. Lebedinsky is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Agave Baroque, with which he has recently released two albums with countertenor Reginald L. Mobley on the VGo Recordings label. He and Mr. Mobley have spent the past decade introducing listeners near and far to music by Black composers from the past 250 years, including recent appearances at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and Festival Printemps Musical des Alizés in Morocco. An active composer and poet, his sacred music for choir and organ is published by Paraclete Press, Carus-Verlag Stuttgart, and CanticaNOVA. He currently serves as Organist and Choirmaster at Seattle’s historic Christ Episcopal Church.
Peter Maund, percussion
A native of San Francisco, Peter Maund studied percussion at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and music, folklore, and ethnomusicology at the University of California, Berkeley.
A founding member of Ensemble Alcatraz and Alasdair Fraser’s Skyedance, he has performed with early and contemporary music ensembles including American Bach Soloists, Anonymous 4, Chanticleer, The Harp Consort, Hesperion XX, Kitka, Musica Pacifica, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Texas Early Music Project, and Voices of Music, among others. He is the author of ͞Percussion͟ in A Performers Guide to Medieval Music, Indiana University Press, 2000. He has served on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as well as in workshops sponsored by Amherst Early Music, the San Francisco Early Music Society, the Texas Toot, the American Recorder Society and the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. Described by the Glasgow Herald as ͞the most considerate and imaginative of percussionists͟ he can be heard on over 60 recordings.