Special Project/Broadcast: A Baroque Christmas in the New World
Produced by WFIU Bloomington, Harmonia Early Music, and Public Radio International
HPI's chief project in the Fall semester 2014 centered on seventeenth- and eighteenth century music of Latin America, culminating with NPR broadcasts during the Christmas season. Composers such as Juan Gutierrez de Padilla, Gaspar Fernandes, Antonio de Salazar, Juan de Araujo, and Manuel de Sumaya figured prominently in this exciting presentation. Of paramount interest were four works by Sumaya which all received modern premiers, including a four-movement cantata performed by HPI doctoral candidate in voice, Kathryn Summersett.
Craig H. Russell, Distinguished Professor from Cal Poly and an acknowledged expert in Latin American Baroque music, offered the first presentation of the JSoM Lecture Series with his paper, "Manuel de Sumaya: Handel of the Americas." Professor Russell also provided performing editions of all newly premiered works in this project.
Subsequently, the HPI and the Latin American Music Center presented a panel of papers on related topics, entitled: Ceremony, Music, Conversion, and the Peoples of New Spain. Paul Borg, newly appointed Coordinator of the Latin American Music Center, presented a paper on the topic, "Music and Conversion Efforts in 16th-Century Mesoamerica: The Nature of the Evidence"; HPI alumnus Bernard Gordillo presented his Fulbright-funded research on "El Güegüense as a Vestige of Spanish Colonial Music in Nicaragua"; and Craig Russell concluded the session with his paper, "Music and Pageantry in the California Missions: An Examination of Style, Ritual, and Cultural Context."
A performance of relevant repertory (with four Sumaya premiers) was then presented by Concentus in Auer Hall, followed by three days of recording sessions in preparation for the WFIU/PRI broadcast. We offer a sampling from the NPR broadcast below.