Now in its third season, the Austin Baroque Orchestra and Coro Settecento are a Central Texas-based orchestra and chorus dedicated to presenting historically informed performances of musical works from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Each season features a series of four concerts which can vary from a cappella Renaissance motets to large-scale Baroque cantatas, and from Classical-era chamber music to larger orchestral works. Preceding each concert is an informal talk about the music led by founder and artistic director, Billy Traylor.
North and South
November 16 & 17
One of the tools used by the Spanish in their effort to convert the indigenous peoples of the New World to Christianity was music. Discovering that many of the cultures they encountered possessed an uncanny gift for music, the missionaries used this innate talent to their advantage in their conversion, and in the process, they created an enormous corpus of sacred works. The music produced in Spain’s colonies in the New World was just as ornate, complex, and beautiful as anything found in Europe, and this music is only recently being rediscovered and given the attention it deserves.
Along with music by Zipoli, Padilla, Herrando, Billoni, and the ever-popular Anonymous, we’ll perform Ignacio de Jerúsalem’s Matins for Our Lady, the Virgin of Guadalupe, an unjustly neglected work that is one of the largest and most beautiful settings of the morning prayer service to be produced in baroque Latin America.
You’ve heard of Papa Haydn, the first name in the Classic-era "Holy Trinity" (the other two being Mozart and Beethoven), but did you know he had a little brother? Michael Haydn, a Kapellmeister in Mozart's hometown of Salzburg, had a unique musical voice, despite some similarities to that of his better-known sibling. In fact, the elder Haydn found the sacred works produced by his brother for Salzburg's churches to be superior to his own, owing to their more intimate, devotional quality. The tough-to-impress Mozart, too, praised his talents.
Along with excerpts from Michael Haydn’s beautiful Responsories for Holy Week, we’ll play (among other works) Joseph Haydn’s “Alleluia” Symphony (no. 30 in C major), the none-too-often-performed Nicolaimesse, and will feature organist Steve Wiberg on the charming Organ Concerto in D major, all using replicas of Classic-era instruments. As you experience the wit, humor, and emotional depth of Haydn's music, the reason for the profound influence he exacted upon his contemporaries will become clear, demonstrating why at the time of his death he was one of the most revered of European composers.