The Latin Baroque:Sources and Performance Practices

Date(s) - August 12, 2013
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

UBC School of Music

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Drew Davies (Northwestern University Professor of Musicology)

Music from colonial Latin America has made a stunning comeback over the past twenty years, and most early music groups have now produced at least one concert of “Latin Baroque” music. Nonetheless, the revival of this repertoire creates new challenges for performers, both in terms of performance practice and ethnical representation of diverse peoples.

This lecture examines how the Latin baroque revival tends to paradoxically construct narratives of multicultural participation in the performance of music that originally served colonialist purposes. Situating the Latin baroque within the context of the early music revival, as well as within problematic historiographies of nationalism and exoticism, this presentation explores avenues towards achieving a more nuanced performance practice of this repertoire.

It will focus on two case studies: the Christmas villancico Convidando está la noche by Juan García de Céspedes from Puebla Cathedral in the 17th century, and Señas ve claras, an early 18th-century villancico by Antonio de Salazar for the Virgin of Guadalupe from Mexico City Cathedral. Where is the local voice in this repertoire, and how can it be unmuted?

Drew Edward Davies is Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of Graduate Music Studies at Northwestern University and Academic Coordinator of the Seminario de Música en la Nueva España y el México Independiente (“MUSICAT”) in Mexico City. A specialist in the music of New Spain, he recently published Santiago Billoni: Complete Works with A-R Editions and collaborated with the Chicago Arts Orchestra on the album Al combate from Navona Records.

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