Music City Baroque: Playing New World Music with Old World Grace

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This classical music review was written by John Pitcher.

HanacpachapYou’d expect to hear the music of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi at a period-instrument concert – but Fernandes, Jerusalem and Zumaya?

Music City Baroque was stretching its programmatic wings on Sunday afternoon, presenting a concert devoted entirely to early music from the Spanish New World. The performance at Vanderbilt University’s Benton Chapel featured a variety of works, choral and instrumental, sacred and secular. Everything was played with rhythmic vitality and joy.

The concert opened, appropriately enough, with the oldest known polyphonic work written in the New World, a Peruvian processional hymn with a name that looks like letters on a Scrabble board – Hanacpachap. The language, in fact, is Quechuan (Inca), and in time-honored tradition it was played at the start of the program, with the choristers at the back of the sanctuary, accompanied only by a ceremonial drum.

Read the whole review over at ArtsNash.