Oct 082010

The group Oyez! presents a concert, “Con amores: music from 15th and 17th Century Spain”, at the Library on Sunday, September 27th at 3pm.

Ticket price: adults $12 and students through high school are $5. Call the library at 508-548-4709 to reserve tickets or stop by to purchase in advance. The concert supports community events at the library and the group.

Oyez! Is an ensemble of Cape musicians that has performed music of the Renaissance on period instruments for over 15 years. Its name derives from the old French ouir, to hear, and in the imperative means listen! Oyez!’s members for this performance are: Cynthia Brackett – voice, percussion; Thom Dutton – voice, harp, recorder, krumhorn; Joan Kirchner – voice, recorder, krumhorn, percussion; Linda Houle – viola da gamba; Jeff Kaufmann – voice, recorder, krumhorn.

The ‘popular’ music from 15th and 16th Century Spain has a distinctive charm and is very different from the austere Church music of the time. The astonishing thing is that much of it has been preserved. One enormous songbook, largely compiled during the reign of the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella, contains over 450 works. It is easy to imagine a group of amateur musicians playing and listening to these pieces for entertainment in their leisure.

“Most of the music in our program is drawn from either this manuscript (Cancionero de Palacio (Madrid, Biblioteca Real, MS II – 1335) or what is known as the Cancionero de Upsalla, a collection of Spanish secular songs (printed in Venice in 1556). We have drawn from these either directly from more modern editions based on these collections and have arranged the pieces for voice and instruments. Our instruments (viola da gamba, recorders, harp, krumhorns and percussion) are typical of those that would have been common in the 15th and 16th century.

Our objective is to create a listening experience such as it might have been in a salon on a summer evening in Grenada or Madrid during in the halcyon years when riches were pouring in from the Colonies and the defeat of the Armada by Britain was unthinkable.”