The Baylor University Early Music Ensembles will present a program called “The Eternal City: Musica Romana” on Thursday, April 5, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Armstrong Browning Library’s McLean Foyer of Meditation.
A long-standing tradition in the School of Music, the Baylor University Early Music Ensembles perform repertoire from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, exploring cultural contexts and historical performance practices. These historically informed musicians are led by Associate Professor of Musicology (and early violinist) Jann Cosart.
In addition to Dr. Cosart, the other early violinists in the ensemble are Savannah Albrecht and Joseph Duque, and Zerek Dodson is the harpsichordist.
At the height of the sixteenth century, Italian city-states were at the center of striking and exciting innovations. Long-held beliefs were being questioned, and the entire Western World was transforming itself. In Rome, new and shocking changes in the philosophy behind music and composition were being realized, changes that would aid in the advancement of music.
The Baylor concert will open with two instrumental pieces by Cesaro Todino. These two arias demonstrate a sweet lyricism that perfectly supports the accompanying text, even when played solely by instruments.
Next, the Early Music Ensembles will present a set of four works by one of the most innovative composers during this time, Girolamo Frescobaldi.
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina based each movement of his Missa O Regum celi (“O King of Heaven,” 1554) on the same monophonic chant, thereby bringing unity and centricity to the Mass. Baylor’s Early Music Ensembles will play its “Sanctus,” “Osanna,” and “Agnus dei.”
Closing the program will be another piece by Frescobaldi, his song “Occhi che sète” (“Eyes That Thirst”).
This concert is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.