Latin American masterpieces at Sherborne

SHERBORNE Chamber Choir hopes to bring the sunshine to Sherborne Abbey in its next concert on Saturday 16th March, when Spain meets South America in a programme of Latin American Baroque music.

The choir will be accompanied by  period ensemble In Echo and together they will explore the rich and colourful music of 17th century Central America, where traditional European musical culture meets South American culture and African dance to create a unique fusion which is infectious, colourful and frequently foot-tapping!

The main item in the programme is an exuberant mass setting for double choir by the 17th century Spanish composer Juan Guttiérrez de Padilla, who spent most of his working life in Mexico. The Mass is a wonderful combination of the musical style of his Spanish roots and the traditional colours and rhythms of Central America.

The programme also includes a gentle lullaby in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, and a setting of the Magnificat by Francisco López Capillas, the first Creole composer of significance.

The choir and band really get to let their hair down however in some lively dances: a guaracha, a forerunner of the Salsa, and a villancico, with rhumba style rhythms.

A huge amount of music was created in Central America following the Spanish conquests, but most has remained largely undiscovered until quite recently. Much of the music in the choir’s programme has become popular via Ex Cathedra’s recordings which are regularly aired on Classic FM and Radio 3.

Formed by international cornetto player Gawain Glenton, who lives in Sherborne, In Echo is a period ensemble that explores the rich repertoire of the 16th and 17th centuries, specialising in Renais­sance and Baroque music.

For more details, visit the Sher­borne Tourist Information or telephone 01935 815341.