This Is the R&B That I Like

My first cultural journey this year allowed me to time-travel. Yes, I was able to reach the Renaissance and Baroque periods, specifically through music.

I watched the Musika Sophia Recorder Ensemble of the UP College of Music performing classical tunes as they staged “Mostly R&B (Renaissance and Baroque)” at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium in UP Diliman on 12 January 2012.

Musika Sophia is composed of faculty and students of the Department of Music Education of the UP College of Music.

The airy tunes typical of the Renaissance and Baroque were generated by these principal instruments: recorders, harpsichord, violin, and cello. I could not describe the music technically for I am devoid of the inherent knowledge in formal music (all I can brag is that I appreciate this brand of music). I could not even distinguish the fine delineation between what is Renaissance and what is Baroque. All I understand is that the Baroque art employed much ornamentation and the Renaissance espoused reawakening of interest in classical art forms after going through the “dark ages” of history.

I was especially amused with the harpsichord and its plucked-string sound. Also, I never thought that recorders could sound beautifully and warmly. The sound they produce were clear and bright–such that it permeated in the air. I was as if I had been transported to the time of Robin Hood and Queen Elizabeth I of England, or as if I was in a royal court mingling with the aristocratic nobles, dukes and princes. In effect, I was briefly transported to early modern Europe.

This was the repertoire:

Renaissance
Tanz Santze (Orlando di Lasso)
Madonna Mi Pieta<
Non Giorno T’Haggio Haure<
Coeur Desoles (Joaquin Dez Prez)
Joan’s Placket Is Torn (from The Dancing Master)
My Thing Is My Own (Thomas D’Urfey)
Fuggi, fuggi, fuggi da questo cielo (Giuseppino del Biabo)

Baroque
Rondeau (Henry Purcell)
Overture (George Phillipp Telemann)
Fugue in C (JS Bach)
Schaf Koenen Sicher Weiden (JS Bach)
Sonata in Dm (Francesco Mancini)
Overture to Cantata No. 142 (JS Bach)

Filipino
Doon Po sa Amin (Arr: Felipe Padilla de Leon)
Sa Libis ng Nayon (Santiago Suarez, arr: Lucio San Pedro)
Pobreng Alindahaw (T Villaflor, arr: Lucio San Pedro)
Katakataka (Santiago Suarez, arr: Redentor Romero)


For you to better understand what I am writing, for I am lost for words, here are some songs that I recorded. Unfortunately I failed to record the Baroque music part. Soparno Sherla Najera sang the vocals of the songs. These are from the Renaissance period:

Coeur Desoles

My Thing Is My Own

Joan’s Placket Is Torn

Imagine a field with pheasants working gaily under the sparsely clouded azure sky. Or a wooded forest where a fair lass strolls to meet her young lad. These are the scenes that I associate with the music you’ve heard.

Here are some pictures I took. The performers and dancers adhered to the era they were portraying–they all clad garments depicting the medieval times. This gave a lasting and “authentic” impression on the event.

Finally. They rendered some Filipino classics Renaissance-style. Care to listen.

Sa Libis ng Nayon

Doon Po sa Amin

Katakataka

Pobreng Alindahaw

By the way, former UP President Emmanuel Soriano graced the event. He cheered the performances with the expression “Happy!” spoken with an aged voice but surprisingly embedded with joviality and true amusement. The Filipino songs played that night were dedicated to the former president.

Now that’s another way to give meaning to R&B–Renaissance and Baroque!

There. It’s good to time-travel once in a while, I think. Music can really affect the layers of one’s soul. It can seep deep inside and makes you feel light. Music conveys emotion, feeling, culture, experience, and time.

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