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The Spanish Hour takes us back centuries to Christmas music from Spain and Mexico

16th c. Spanish Christmas
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12/5 An Early Music Christmas from Spain and Mexico No Spanish composer of the sixteenth century was more lauded during his lifetime and for two hundred years after his death than Cristóbal de Morales. We’ll celebrate Christmas with Morales’s six-voice Missa Si bona suscepimus, published in Rome in 1544 under his direct supervision, and not recorded commercially until the year 2000, featuring the Tallis Scholars. Festive Christmas dances and villancicos of the Mexican Baroque performed by the Rose Ensemble round out our program of Renaissance and baroque Christmas music from Spain and Mexico.

12/12 Spanish Songs for Christmas José Carreras and Maria del Mar Bonet sing traditional Catalan carols and sacred music. Plus, Retablo de Navidad (A Christmas Tableau,) Joaquín Rodrigo's charming holiday classic for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra.

12/19 Nochebuena Christmas Eve traditions from 17th-century Mexico, El Cant de la Sibilla (El canto de la Sibilla or The Song of the Sybill,) a work of prophecy from 15th-century Valencia, and The Adoration from Pablo Casals's oratorio El Pesebre (The Nativity or The Manger) in an historic recording conducted by Casals himself.

12/26 A Spanish Renaissance Christmas The Spanish Siglo de Oro -- Golden Age -- witnessed an astonishing musical flowering. Enjoy Stile Antico in works for the nativity by the greatest of Spain's composers from the 16th century: Tomás Luis de Victoria, Francisco Guerrero, Alonso Lobo, Cristóbal de Morales, and Mateo Flecha el Vell (the Elder.)

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