Skip to main content
The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: "Folias Gallegas" and "Canarios" performed by Folger Consort (2019)

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness
Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. As many arts and cultural institutions remain closed during this time, these ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

Folger Consort
“Folias Gallegas”
by Santiago de Murcia
and “Canarios”
by Gaspar Sanz
Performed as part of Tastes of the Mediterranean: Music of 16th-Century Spain and Italy
Recorded at Folger Theatre, March 2019
Learn more about the concert on Folgerpedia

Performed by:

  • Robert Eisenstein, Viol
  • Christopher KendallBaroque Guitar

And Piffaro, The Renaissance Band:

  • Priscilla Herreid, Recorder/Bagpipe
  • Greg Ingles, Percussion
  • Joan Kimball, Recorder/Bagpipe
  • Arash Noori, Lute, Baroque Guitar
  • Eric Schmalz, Percussion
  • Bob Wiemken, Percussion

Enjoy a playlist of music that was featured in the concert series on Spotify.

Read the introduction by Piffaro band member Arash Noori:

Hello and welcome to Folger ENCORES. I’m Arash Noori and I’m happy to be able to speak with you today. The Folger has been sharing selections from their plays, music, talks, and readings with you in this ENCORES series.

This week, we’re excited to bring you a selection from Tastes of the Mediterranean, a series of concerts performed by Folger Consort in April, 2019. In this concert, I joined as part of guest ensemble Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, and I played both lute and Baroque guitar. From that concert, I’d like to introduce two pieces by two Spanish composers performed back-to-back.

First, “Folias Gallegas” by Santiago de Murcia, followed by “Canarios” by Gaspar Sanz. Both Santiago de Murcia and Gaspar Sanz are influential as early composers for the guitar, and the second piece, “Canarios,” has become a mainstay of the modern classical guitar repertoire. Both pieces are written in a quick 6/8 time and feature a simple chord progression that repeats throughout.

The musical interest is in the wonderful melodic variations and the dance-like rhythms. In “Folias,” the melody is shared and elaborated on by two virtuosic recorders. In “Canarios,” recorders are swapped out for two bagpipes. You’ll hear the audience’s laughter when the bagpipes get going, and the full band joins in with added percussion, including castanets, to help establish the groove. Bagpipes might seem like an unexpected choice, but they were popular in early modern Spain. Santiago de Murcia wrote many galletas, a form characterized by constant rhythms and drone-like harmonies in imitation of a bagpipe, and you hear influences of this in “Folias Gallegas.”

Accompanying the audio are images from the Folger Library collection that were part of a special pop-up exhibition inspired by the concert and connected to the Folger’s Before ‘Farm-to-Table’: Early Modern Foodways and Cultures research project.

Please be sure to join us again for these weekly episodes of ENCORES, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you.

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darknessCheck back each Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger TheatreFolger ConsortO.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.