¡Viva las Diferencias!
The Uncommon Grounds and Sonatas of the Italian and Spanish Baroque

mirableEnsemble Mirable performs the fiery and passionate music of the Spanish and Italian baroque, a Mediterranean feast of sunny sonatas and dazzling dances. From the deftly graceful improvisations of Diego Ortiz through the explosion of instrumental virtuosity during the time of Biagio Marini to the late refinements and elaborations in the era of Antonio Vivaldi, ¡Viva las diferencias! celebrates works by more than a dozen composers, written between about 1550 and early 18th century. This was an era in which close cultural and political connections existed between Spain and southern Italy, both parts of the Habsburg Empire. Composers, musical ideas, and instrumental designs, moved freely between these regions.

Mirable’s program will feature several brilliant examples of first-generation Italian sonatas by Biagio Marini (1587–1663), Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli (c. 1630–c. 1669), and Francesco Turini (c. 1595–1656).

Much of the concert, however, will focus on works drawn from popular Spanish dances of the day. The music for many of these—the pasacalle, folia, chacona, canarios—existed originally as nothing more than guitar chord sequences to be repeated over and over. Guitarists and players of accompanying melody instruments such as violin or flute would improvise various figures and melodies over these chord changes, giving rise to the name diferencias for sets of variations on a melody or chord sequence.  The concert will include traditional dances in their pure (solo instrumental) form and explore the elaborate compositions with written-out improvisations for accompanying instruments.

These sets of variations are hypnotic and joyous, the embellished melodies filled with syncopations and cross-rhythms.  Mirable’s exciting exploration of folias written by four different composers over a 90-year period, from 1615 to 1705 is not to be missed!  >>View Program

Joanna Blendulf, viola da gamba; Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Kevin Cooper, guitar; JungHae Kim, harpsichord; Katherine Kyme, violin


Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 | Palo Alto
8pm @ First Lutheran Church
600 Homer Avenue

Saturday, Apr. 20, 2013 | Berkeley
7:30pm @ St. John’s Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue

Sunday, Apr. 21, 2013 | San Francisco
pm @ St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O’Farrell

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