Pacific Spirit United Church (formerly Ryerson Church)
Thousands of vihuelas were built and played during the sixteenth century. Still, only five or six survived and to complicate matters; there are differing opinions about whether these surviving instruments should be called vihuelas or guitars. If so many people played the vihuela in sixteenth-century Spain, why are there so few surviving instruments? Were they converted into guitars at a later date, or did they perish in the annual bonfires that took place on the feast of San Juan?
The body of surviving books of the vihuela repertoire, numbered at seven, is also very small. One reason for this is that printing materials, especially the purpose-specific type needed to print vihuela tablature, were scarce. From the surviving vihuela books and other manuscript sources, Ariel Abramovich’s has created a new imaginary songbook that provides an essential contribution to the vihuela repertoire with various instrumental and vocal combinations. Some of the composers that make up the new anthology are Mudarra, Pisador, Vásquez and Morales, and the influential madrigalists Willaert and Arcadelt. The transformation of many polyphonic madrigals into accompanied lute songs met with great success in Italy and was mirrored by vihuelists in Spain.
Imaginario offers a listening experience that blends the real and the imaginary without a discernible line of demarcation.
This concert is generously supported by Zelie & Vincent Tan.