2013 Summer Concert #2

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Rain Location

7:30 pm

Thursday, August 15, 2013


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St. Paul’s Church

Founded in 1711 as a mission parish of the Anglican Church in British American during the reign of Queen Anne of Great Britain, St. Paul’s is the oldest continuous Episcopal Parish in Massachusetts and one of the oldest in America. The current building is the fourth, the third on this site at 166 High Street.


J.S. Bach: Suite VI for unaccompanied cello
W. A. Mozart: String Quartet
Fernando Altube: Cantos Tonales for marimba and string quartet
Robert Maggio: Triangle Trade (World Premiere) 

Festival Artist


Artistic Director & Festival Artist


Festival Artist


Festival Artist


Festival Artist, Featured Soloist


"Triangle Trade"




I. Invocacion a la Panchamama
II. Cantos voraz
III. La Cancion de la Noche
IV. Canto final

The first three movements of "Cantos Tonales" evoke the folk music of Altube’s native Argentina. The last is the irresistibly urban music of Buenos Aires and the spirit of tango. Invocacion a la Panchamama is a prayer to Mother Earth (Panchamama). Canto voraz (voracious song) refers to the chacarera, a fast rhythm from Northern Argentina. La Cancion de la Noche is a zamba, a sensual couples dance of conquest inspired by Nietzsche’s “Thus spoke Zarathustra”:

Something unquenched, unquenchable, is in me that wants to speak out. A craving for love is within me; it speaks the language of love.

The two themes in Canto final spring from the Portuguese words "adeus" (goodbye) and "saudade" (nostalgia). The movement appears to wind down, only to be followed by a restlessness that culminates in a headlong fall. Altube is on faculty at the Arts Academy in Setubal, Portugal.

Program notes by David Yang

TRIANGLE TRADE (World Premiere)

TRIANGLE TRADE (World Premiere)
Nonet for string quartet, steel drum quartet, and marimba

Triangle Trade is a musical journey that is best followed like the maps in books and films that use arrows and dotted lines to show the travel routes of the characters. The title refers to the use of a commodity from one region as payment for commodities from another region. It relates specifically to Newburyport in the 17th-19th centuries, which was part of transatlantic slave trade between New England (rum), the Gold Coast of Africa (slaves) and the Caribbean (sugar/molasses).

Part I begins with a serene evocation of Newburyport on a Sunday morning, featuring the string quartet playing a colonial hymn by William Knapp entitled “Weston Favel.” A symbol of the rum that was traded to Africa from New England, a boisterous drinking song, “Jolly mortals, fill your glasses!” interrupts the opening hymn. The voyage across the Atlantic by ship is depicted through a sea-faring song “Had Neptune, when he first took charge of the sea…,” which introduces the marimba into the swelling waves of scales in the string quartet.

Part II features the marimba, accompanied by the string quartet, in a rendition of the African Spiritual “O’er the Crossing.” The voyage back across the Atlantic, this time to the Caribbean, juxtaposes gentle repeated rhythms in the marimba with long sustained notes in solo strings.

Part III is boldly announced by the steel drum quartet in a joyous calypso arrangement of the African Spiritual “Sail, O Believer.” The marimba and strings join in a call-and-response with the steel drums. Then, carrying molasses and sugar, the ships sail back to New England, evoked by overlapping wave-like melodies in the steel pans.

Part IV depicts the arrival back in Newburyport with the original hymn tune in the strings soaring high above the dancing Carribbean calypso. Soon after, the marimba layers in the African spiritual from earlier, and all three melodies join in counterpoint.

Notes by composer

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