Quixotic Musical Treasures from the Golden Age of Spain
Celebrating over 400 years of the novel “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes, Madison Early Music Festival explores the wealth of references to the music, art, and literature that flourished and illuminated Spain during the political rise and fall of the Spanish Habsburg Dynasty.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute presents Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF), a series of workshop and concerts celebrating 400 years of Don Quixote and the music, art and literature of Spanish Renaissance.
The MEMF Festival concert series features four guest ensemble concerts, two MEMF participant concerts and a culminating all-festival concert. All evening concerts begin at 7:30 pm in Mills Concert Hall (Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St.) with free pre-concert lectures at 6:30 pm.
- On Saturday, July 8, 2017.
- Cervantes’ Don Quixote, regarded as the first truly modern novel, explored an emerging sense that humans have a central role to play in the universe. This iconic work provides the narrative arc of Piffaro’s program, The Musical World of Don Quixote, which offers a musical parallel, taking listeners into the sound world of the Spanish Golden Age. Piffaro recreates the “soundtrack” to one of the best stories ever written with the help of a star-studded roster of special guests: Nell Snaidas, soprano; Glen Velez, percussion; Charles Weaver, guitar; Erik Schmalz, sackbut; and some members of The Rose Ensemble.
- On Sunday, July 9, 2017.
- Xavier Díaz-Latorre, from Barcelona, performs Fantasías & Danzas del Siglo de Oro, a solo recital featuring music of the vihuela and the five-course guitar by composers Luis Narváez, Alonso Mudarra, Gaspar Sanz and Santiago de Murcia.
- On Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
- Daphna Mor (recorders, ney, voice) and Kane Mathis (oud) with guest musicians Shane Shanahan (percussion) and Eylem Basaldi (violin) perform Hamsa, a program featuring music from the geographic regions of Andalusia, North Africa, the Ottoman Empire and the Sephardic Diaspora. Based on the monophonic music of modes referred to as the makam, the audience will be drawn to distinct beauty and great similarities of music from the courts, liturgical forms, dances and folk music.
- On Friday, July 14, 2017.
- Vocal and instrumental music flourished in Spain at the dawn of the Renaissance period. The program “Splendors of the Spanish Renaissance” will feature intimate canciones (popular tunes with poetic texts), joyful villancicos (songs with rustic themes) and virtuosic instrumental pieces drawn from over 450 works in the Cancionero Musical de Palacio, a manuscript at the Royal Palace of Madrid which exemplifies music from the Golden Age of Spain.
MEMF All-Festival Concert
- On Saturday, July 15, 2017.
- The all-festival concert features participants, faculty and guest artists in a program created for MEMF by Grant Herreid and Bob Wiemken. Iberian Tapestry: Music and Conquest from the Spanish Golden Age includes sacred and secular compositions by Spanish Renaissance composers and music of the Moors of the Reconquista and Sephardic Jews.