« A cappella garners GRAMMY nominations | Main | The true colours of Christmas »

December 9, 2004

Peruvian chorus brings past to life

Houston Chronicle (TX):

Like archaeologists searching for treasure, musicians are slowly unveiling the riches that helped drive culture during the Spanish colonial era. Houstonians have been hearing a few musical treasures, thanks to visiting ensembles such as the Peruvian chorus Lima Triumphante, which wrapped up a brief American tour Monday at Rice University.

Lima Triumphante is the musical arm of the Laudate Project, commissioned by the Peruvian government to preserve and promote the culture of the vice-regal era. Ancient manuscripts lie in places such as the Archives of the Archbishop of Lima. Chorus director José Quezada Macchiavello and others are ferreting them out and transcribing them for modern performance.

The tour music was getting its first North American performances. While the quality was not in the category of Machu Picchu, the legendary pre-Columbian fortress city in Peru, the pieces were strong, attractive and, in some cases, influenced by indigenous culture. The most fascinating example came first: the a cappella Hanacpachap Cusicuinin (1631). Composer Juan Pérez Bocanegra used a text in the Incan language Quechua (or Qechua) but set the words in a refined contrapuntal style reminiscent of Baroque motets from Spain or England.

Posted by acapnews at December 9, 2004 12:13 AM