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Concert and Lecture on the Baroque, with Period Instruments

Mario Moya

By Camie Sands

Benedetto Marcello (1686–1739) was a Venetian composer whose works, according to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, are “characterized by imagination … a fine technique … and progressive, gallant features.” Unjustly overlooked, even by many lovers of early music, Marcello will be the focus of a concert to be performed on period instruments at St. Paul’s Church, on Friday, March 18, at 6pm, followed by a lecture in Spanish and English on the elements of Baroque music, at 4pm the following day at the SmartSpace Hub.

The Splendor of Venetian Baroque Music
Pedro Mangano, viola da gamba; Gabriela Figueroa, recorder; Alonzo Cárdenas, Baroque guitar and lute; Mario Moya, harpsichord
Fri, Mar 18, 6pm
St. Paul’s Church
Calzada del Cardo 6
150 pesos

How Is Baroque Music Built? (in Spanish and English)
Sat, Mar 19, 4pm
SmartSpace Hub
Salida a Celaya 34
150 pesos
If tickets are purchased for both events, the total price is 200 pesos for both.
On sale now at St. Paul’s, SmartSpace Hub, and La Conexión (Aldama 3)

The concert and lecture were conceived by pianist, organist, harpsichordist, and Baroque scholar Mario Moya, long an admirer of Marcello’s music. In 2013, Moya, who plays a harpsichord that is an exact replica of a French instrument from the 18th century, co-founded Entre Tonos y Modos (Between Keys and Modes), along with Baroque guitarist and lutenist Alonzo Cárdenas, a master of both instruments. For many Tonos concerts, including the upcoming one, Moya and Cárdenas recruit additional performers to round out a larger ensemble. “Instead of having a set group of musicians,” Moya says, “Alonzo and I decide what compositions we want to play and then invite guest musicians to join us.”

For the March 18 concert, Moya and Cárdenas will be joined by Pedro Mangano on viola da gamba and Gabriela Figueroa on recorder. The viola da gamba, literally a viola “for the leg” because it is played upright between the legs like a cello, is a bowed instrument that first appeared in 15th century Spain. Mangano, a Cuban-born professor of music who studied at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte, is today one of the foremost Baroque musicians in Mexico. Figueroa, for her part, studied with Horacio Franco, who, Moya says, “is considered by many to be the best recorder player in the world.”

Moya calls the concert “The Splendor of Venetian Baroque Music,” and it will be devoted to Marcello’s sonatas, making it a rare event that should delight lovers of early music. Marcello was a younger contemporary of Vivaldi, and Moya says, “you can hear Vivaldi’s influence, but Marcello was able to develop his own style.”

Moya will also head up the Saturday lecture. An early music scholar who has mastered the figured bass, a Baroque form of musical notation that calls for an improvised bass line, Moya has been invited by the San Miguel International Music Festival to give a subsequent lecture on the figured bass at the Teatro Angela Peralta this coming August.


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