Monday, August 5, 2013

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!