"This concert promises to be a wonderful pastiche of choral music, dance and guitar," says Dr. Ricardo Soto, director of OCC's Chorale.
"It is topped off with a distinctive Spanish flavor."
will also direct an OCC orchestra in the performance of Mozart's
composition, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik."
...Soto discovered the unpublished manuscripts while doing research last summer at the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, in Spain.
The monastery is located an hour's drive from Madrid.
"What led me to do the research was my cultural background," Soto
says."As a Latino, I have long been looking for a way to express my culture through choral music.We're all familiar with choral music written by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Vivaldi.And it's spectacular.But I was searching for something that reflected Spanish culture in choral music.
"You won't find much in choral literature that is sung in the Spanish language.
"A villancico is similar in structure to an Italian or German cantata," Soto
says."Villancicos contain arias, choruses and recitatives, all elements of the classical style.Villancicos show an Italian influence, but they are also imbued with Spanish flavor.They contain folk-like melodies with Spanish dance rhythms." Soto
brought two of the unpublished Soler manuscripts home with him from Spain, and has since prepared them for his
Chorale."Anton y Pasqual" is a villancico that tells the story of two shepherd boys who fight over who will serenade the Christ child at the creche.
"St. Lorenzo was martyred for his
was actually burned to death on a grill.While death is revered in the Latino culture, it is not a terror for us.In fact, quite frequently, persons of my culture laugh at death.This is what 'El Laurel del Amor' does.
is in his
second season as director of OCC's Chorale
.Southern California born and bred, he earned his B.A. and master's degrees in music from California State University, Fullerton, and his doctorate in musical arts from the University of Southern California. Before joining OCC's faculty in 2001, Soto led the men's and women's choruses at UC Irvine for four years, and conducted the men's chorus and directed opera at Cal State Fullerton for three years.Prior to that, he was head of the choral program at Saddleback High School in Santa Ana for four years.