Music from a Golden Era: 17th Century Portugal and Spain

Piffaro, the Renaissance Band


Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, produced two programs exploring contrasts among Iberian musical cultures in the mid-17th century. The first, performed with Choral Arts Philadelphia, recreated music from a Marian Vespers as it would have been celebrated in Lisbon during the reign of John IV. This Vespers followed the rubrics of a service, with the appropriate psalms, hymns, motets and antiphons by 17th-century Portuguese composers, including Rebelo, Melgàs, and Correa. The second program featured Spanish theater music by Juan Hidalgo. Songs, dances, and selections based on musical cues from the plays of Lope de Vega (and reconstructed by Piffaro member Grant Herreid) were performed by soprano Ellen Hargis; dancer and violinist Julie Andrijeski; and plucked string players Patrick O'Brien, Scott Pauley, and Daniel Swenberg. Piffaro was also joined by cornettist Kiri Tollaksen, and wind players Mack Ramsey and Erik Schmalz.