World Map, Amsterdam, 1862, T'Amsterdam Gedruckt by G. van Schagen
To celebrate the launch of our new recording, this program features the music of Leonora Duarte (1610–1678), a Jewish Converso living in Antwerp who composed seven Sinfonias for viol consort — the only known seventeenth-century viol music written by a woman. The music is testament to a formidable talent for composition. Born in Antwerp to a prominent family of merchants and art collectors (friends of the keyboard -making Ruckers family, and possibly Vermeer and Rubens), Duarte received a superb musical education that included instruction on harpsichord, lute, and viol, as well as lessons in composition. Duarte’s musical evenings at home with her siblings quickly became well-known ports of call for traveling diplomats and literati, among them Constantijn Huygens, Dutch poet Anna Roemers Visscher, composer Nicholas Lanier, and singer Anne de la Barre. But both a Jew and a woman, Duarte received no commissions from church or court; thus the existence of the Sinfonias presents a remarkable opportunity for us to consider music within the domestic sphere. In this performance, we invite you to consider Duarte’s extant works as products of her interactions with a vibrant, urban community; as vital testimony to the cultural accomplishments of women Converso in early modern Europe; and as evidence of a complex and symbiotic relationship with her male contemporaries, some of whom will also be played, among them the English composer, John Bull (1562/3–1628), director of music at Antwerp cathedral and very possibly one of her tutors.
A Musical Kunstkammer: Selections from ‘T Uitnement Kabinet (1646; 1649)
David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690), The Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in His Gallery at Brussels, 1651, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
This concert will reflect on the theme of the Musical Kunstkammer, or collector's cabinet. Performing in front of selected seventeenth-century works from the Low Countries will help articulate the idea that musical performances of seventeenth-century music can be read as an integral part of the early modern tradition of the Kunstkammer, in which many Dutch mercantile families were crucial participants. Portraits would have been displayed in the home, often next to instruments and other collected ephemera meant to inspire a sense of wonder in the viewer. As with the material objects displayed, musical ability was internalized and placed on view within the Kunstkammer during salon concerts. This concert will draw from the seventeenth-century musical collection, ‘T Uitnement Kabinet (“From The Cabinet”), a two-volume collection of two and three-part instrumental music that plays with the conceit of the art cabinet. Published by Paulus Matthysz in Amsterdam (1646 and 1649), it features work by Dutch, Flemish, German, Italian, and French composers, ca. 1590–1667. Hearing this music in intimate galleries at The Met will bring to light the performative notion that intimate live music, like art, was a wondrous thing in the Baroque period to be observed and to contemplate.
El Laurel de Apolo: Zarzuela from Hidalgo to the New World
Gustave Doré (1832-1883), Une scène du Tio Caniyitas, Zarzuela de M. Soriano Fuentes, Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1874
The Palacio de la Zarzuela, a royal hunting lodge just outside Madrid, takes its name from the brambly thicket of woods on which it stands. Beginning in 1657, a new genre of musical drama was performed there, including Calderón de la Barca’s El Laurel de Apolo, with music likely by Hidalgo — featuring a blend of elevated spoken verse with rustic folk music, dances, and imitations of Italian opera. This new genre, called “zarzuela,” also references the wild, tangled vegetation around which it was born, a crown of laurels on Spain’s musical history. Join us on a journey through the some of the most scintillating moments in Baroque zarzuela and contemporaneous dramatic pieces from the Latin world.
with Camille Zamora, soprano and Esteban La Rotta, lute/vihuela