I’ll take a villancico with that, please!

It’s never too early to think about Christmas!  In fact, I’m like Ebenezer Scrooge – I think about it year round.

How about adding a villancico by Francisco Guerrero to your choir’s repertoire this year?  They’re not too long, generally within reach of most singers who can hold a part, and have some interesting syncopations in the middle to keep everyone awake.  Many are 4-part, some are 3-part treble.  Here’s a Spanish quartet in rehearsal.  Lots to be found in the Choral Public Domain Library, so finances are no excuse. 

And Guerrero’s life is worth telling – a choirmaster in Sevilla, he was kidnapped by pirates on his return from a Holy Land pilgrimage, landed in debtor’s prison after he was ransomed and returned to Spain,  bailed out by the Cathedral in Sevilla which hired him back.  Guerrero wrote a best-selling account of his adventures and died of the plague before he could undertake a second, planned pilgrimage.  What a guy!

3 Replies to “I’ll take a villancico with that, please!”

  1. Good post, MJ. Over the last couple of years, Guerrero has become one of my favorite composers…and what an interesting life story! Thanks.

  2. MJB
    We performed Guerrero and new world villancicos as part of our 150th anniversary Nativity Concert. Big hit! Particularly with the pastor.

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