Sunflower Baroque will present a free concert entitled Una Fiesta Española, an exploration of music by Spanish composers from the 15th to 18th centuries, on Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Swarthout Recital Hall.
The ensemble, which performs on copies of instruments in use during the period, will be joined by Colombian-American soprano Victoria Botero, a dynamic young artist who specializes in opera and concert music from the Baroque to the 21st century. Included in the concert will be villancicos, a genre that was a courtly song of widely varied intentions in the 15th and early 16th centuries but that later “went to church” and became a devotional work with Spanish texts sung in matins and for other liturgical functions. Villancicos on the program will range from early pieces by Johannes Urrede (fl 1451-1482) and Juan del Encina (1468-1529/30) to works by Joaquín García (1710-1779), a Valencian composer. Botero will also sing a tono humano, or secular song, by the noted Baroque composer Sebastián Durón. The program will also include instrumental works by composers from throughout the designated period: the Danza Alta by Francisco de la Torre (fl 1483-1504), recercadas by Diego de Ortiz (c 1510-c 1570), a canzona and dances by Bartolomé Selma y Salaverde (fl 1613-1638), and a flute sonata by Joseph de Herrando (1720/21-1763). Most of the music on this program is seldom heard live, making this a special event for anyone interested in early music or Spanish culture.
The members of the Sunflower Baroque include Joy Laird, a Lawrence recorder player and Baroque flutist who has studied with such early music specialists as flutist Stephen Preston; Elizabeth Berghout, a harpsichordist who is associate professor of carillon and organ at KU; and Paul Laird, professor of musicology at KU who plays Baroque cello and tenor viol. Paul Laird is also author of the book Towards a History of the Spanish Villancico (Harmonie Park Press, 1997); he will introduce each segment of the program.