Music faculty members present a look into the music of Latin America

Audiences got a glimpse into the music of Latin America at the Alumni Recital Hall on October 17.

Trio Mundo, a musical group consisting of music faculty members José Lezcano, Rebecca Hartka and Marcia Lehninger, performed as part of KSC’s music faculty performance series. The group performed in front of a live, in-person audience as well as those tuning in via livestream.

The program featured musicians from countries across Latin America, including Argentina, Chile and Cuba. Lezcano said he looked forward to sharing the program with the Keene community because of its specific focus on Latin American music.

“It’s hard to find another concert that will focus entirely on Latin American music, especially in this area that we live in,” Lezcano said. “So I feel that I’m providing a service that way for our students.”

The event was a replication of a show the trio performed early this year, Lezcano said. After being commissioned by Cheshire County Administrator Christopher Coates to put on a Latin American musicfocused event, the trio performed the first ‘Libertango’ event in August 2021.

“I was contacted by Chris Coates to coordinate and perform in a concert series that would put [on] a concert in each of seven towns in the Monadnock region,” Lezcano said. “One of the concerts we did was in Railroad Square with Marcia and Rebecca that’s called Libertango.”

The program’s title is inspired by a piece of the same name by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. A number of Piazzolla’s compositions were performed during Sunday’s event, including the event’s namesake.

“We’re playing a number of his pieces on this program, we’re doing Libertango, which is a very fast and excited [piece] and Oblivion, which is very sad. It’s just [a] heartwrenchingly gorgeous, lyrical melody,” Lezcano said.

The group performed together as a trio and also broke off for several solos throughout the performance. Hartka performed three Cuban pieces on the cello, all by 20th century composer Calixto Alvarez. “These are pieces that sort of blend up the folkloric style with classical. The harmonies are somewhat conservative, occasionally more modern,” Lezcano said.

Ending the performance were two movements from Lezcano’s original work called ‘Diarios.’ “I wrote a piece inspired by my travels, called Diary. So Diarios, in Spanish,” Lezcano said. “We’re doing two of the movements, we’re doing Fiestas Andinas, which derives from Andes music, and Brasilierando, which is a samba.”

As a whole, Lezcano said it is a program that can appeal to all audiences and musical interests. “It’s all very carefully chosen, it’s all very accessible, beautiful music that appeals to the ear and the heart, as well as to the mind. If you’re looking for complexity, we’ve got some of that too. If you’re just looking for beautiful melodies, there’s plenty,” Lezcano said.

Hartka and Lehninger did not respond to The Equinox’s request for comment.

For more information about other music events, concerts and recitals, visit the Redfern Arts Center website.

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