“Espectacular Concertos” Program

PROGRAM

Homenaje a Cervantes…………………………….Jose Pablo Moncayo

Concerto I in A minor for violin………………………………..Johann Sebastian Bach

Aria “Erbarme Dich” from San Mathew Passion…………………..Johann Sebastian Bach

Estampas Nocturnas ………………………………Manuel M. Ponce

In keeping with its concert series theme of  “Celebrating Hispanic/Latino Cultural Heritage,” BCO presents the music of Jose Pablo Moncayo and Manuel M. Ponce, two of Mexico’s most famous composers.

The year 1947 marked the worldwide celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra who wrote the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha. The program music entitled Homenaje a Cervantes (Homage for Cervantes) was a gift to celebrate his birth and especially significant in Mexico because at this time there was a very active community of Spaniards living as refugees from the civil war in Spain. The piece represents one of the ideals to which the exiled Spanish composers aspired: the creation and evocation of a Hispanic identity.

One of the most important composers in the history of the Americas, Manuel M. Ponce armed himself with inspiration derived from the folklore of his people in the struggle for the future musical independence of Mexico. Estampas Nocturnas is divided in eight parts for the interpretation of the Hispanic spirit. Ponce was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, studied music in Italy and Germany, and spent part of his life exiled in Cuba. His music is magnificently constructed with extraordinary quality and elegant aesthetics. 

Counter-tenor Jose Luis Munoz will sing the aria Erbarme Dich (Have Mercy) from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.  The aria is written for chamber orchestra and a solo violin part which will be played by BCO Concertmaster Teo Benson.

Mr. Benson will also perform Bach’s A minor violin concerto which is the first of two violin concertos that Bach wrote in his lifetime.  At that time, the concerto  was usually more orchestral, leaving less space for the solo instrument than in the classical and romantic periods to follow, and Bach’s violin concertos were no exception.  However, within this more orchestral style, Bach is still able to show the virtuosic capacity of the violin as well as its beauty of tone with the A minor concerto being especially revealing of tones and colors unique to the violin.