I am singing with the UChicago Early Music Ensemble, a somewhat relaxed group led by David Douglass and Ellen Hargis of The Newbury Consort. I started rehearsing a bit late, so I’ve been playing catch-up. This year the repertoire is all music from Spain and Spanish colonies, and today we worked on two of the harder pieces in the program : an ensalada called La Bomba, by Mateo Flecha “El Viejo”, and a jacara by Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla. Too many words!
In looking for some recordings to get a better sense of the pieces, I came across this charmingly old King’s Singers TV special (check out those sweater vests!) acting out La Bomba in what appears to be the house from Clue:
Lucky them, they get multiple takes which makes it a bit easier to manage the crazy transitions in the piece. There’s also a multitracked recording on which is pretty good:
Unfortunately we are doing it up a third from there, much to the chagrin of my passagio.
We spent a bit of time trying to get the jácara up to speed, but singing Spanish that fast is hard! When I heard how fast this version went I almost lost it:
It looks like I have my work cut out for me, especially if I want to roll my r’s like that.