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From Serra to Sancho: Music and Pageantry in the California Missions
     

From Serra to Sancho: Music and Pageantry in the California Missions

by Craig H. Russell
 

Music in the California missions was a pluralistic combination of voices and instruments, of liturgy and spectacle, of styles and functions—and even of cultures—in a new blend that was non-existent before the Franciscan friars made their way to California beginning in 1769. From Serra to Sancho explores the exquisite sacred music that flourished on the

Overview

Music in the California missions was a pluralistic combination of voices and instruments, of liturgy and spectacle, of styles and functions—and even of cultures—in a new blend that was non-existent before the Franciscan friars made their way to California beginning in 1769. From Serra to Sancho explores the exquisite sacred music that flourished on the West Coast of the United States when it was under Spanish and Mexican rule, delving into the historical, cultural, biographical, and stylistic aspects of California mission music during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Author Craig H. Russell examines how mellifluous plainchant, reverent hymns, spunky folkloric ditties, "classical" music in the style of Haydn, and even Native American drumming were interwoven into a tapestry of resonant beauty. In addition to extensive musical and cultural analysis, Russell draws upon hundreds of primary documents in California, Mexico, Madrid, Barcelona, London, and Mallorca. It is through the melding together of this information from geographically separated places that he brings the mystery of California's mission music into sharper focus. Russell's groundbreaking study sheds new light on the cultural exchange that took place in the colonial United States, as well as on the pervasive worldwide influence of Iberian music as a whole.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Russell is, in my estimation the leading expert on music of the Hispanic-American world, and this is a major contribution to our knowledge of a music and a period long forgotten." —American Organist

"Craig Russell, expert and specialist in Latin American music and music of the California missions, is opening up a wealth of new repertoire from our own past that has been hitherto unavailable and is worthy of performance. This book and its many performing editions will be an invaluable addition to any choir director's library."—Joseph Jennings, Artistic Advisor, Chanticleer

"Craig Russell presents us with both a remarkable scholarly study of music from the twenty-one missions and also a body of new performing editions of a number of works never before published. His twin goals of music performance utility and carefully crafted musicological scholarship are beautifully and equally realized through a totally approachable narrative loaded with vivid references to mission life, mission iconography and close readings of actual works penned in the missions. This new volume sets a 'gold standard' for research and scholarship on this fascinating epoch in American music history. "— Professor William John Summers, Dartmouth College

"Craig H. Russell's transatlantic odyssey traces how a few tenacious friars transformed Iberian music pedagogy into quotidian religious practices at the Alta California missions and enthusiastically offers a springboard for performers engaged in reviving this attractive New Spanish repertoire."—Drew Edward Davies, Northwestern University

"A must-read for every student of mission studies. I am convinced that Fr. Maynard Geiger would be very pleased by From Serra to Sancho as a lively realization of his call for trans-Atlantic studies and expect this to become the "gold standard" on the exciting subject of California Mission music." —Daniel E. Krieger, Boletin: Journal of the California Mission Studies Association

"A wonderful addition to the rich body of musicological and historical literature on the cultural aspects of the Franciscan missions in Alta California from 1769 to 1848. Russell has aimed to make his work useful for researchers and performers alike, and to remedy the lack of printed scores for the extensive repertory of California mission music: he succeeds in doing both...From Serra to Sancho has been a monumental undertaking, one that will propel forward a new generation of scholarship on mission music and enable audiences to appreciate once again the richness of this musical repertory." —Eighteenth-Century Music

"Russell's work raises the possibility of a cultural revival of a tradition unjustly robbed from California, first by the Mexican usurpation, then by the American annexation. Is it too late for California to re-capture the tradition of its spiritual, liturgical, and proto-cultural patrimony? Thanks to the work of Craig H. Russell, perhaps the clock still ticks. Blessed Junipero Serra, ora pro nobis!" —Usus Antiquior

"The book has much to offer musicologists and historians alike, based as it is on careful research at many different California archives, as well as the insight of someone who has devoted much of his career to arranging and performing mission music. The companion website...is a welcome addition and provides a model for other book websites...The book belongs on the shelf of all scholars of the period." —Southern California Quarterly

"Makes a substantial contribution to American, Mexican, and Spanish music history...People interested in the music of the California missions finally have a dependable source of historical information for both the mind and the ear to ponder." —Notes

"A generally magnificent piece of scholarship...The author has succeeded in writiing a "human narrative."" —American Catholic Studies

"A milestone in the historiography of mission music, and many scholars and performers will return to it frequently after the first reading. This outstanding study will be welcomed not only by readers interested in the early music history of the United States and Mexico, but also by readers and performers on both sides of the Atlantic." —Journal of the Society for American Music

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199916160
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/12/2012
Series:
Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music Series
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Craig H. Russell, Professor in the Department of Music at California Polytechnic State University, is steeped in the music of the Hispano-American world, having published over 100 articles in the field. He collaborated with Chanticleer on four compact disks—two of which received Gramophone award nominations. His compositions have been performed worldwide, including major orchestral concerts in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Sydney Opera House, and Disney Hall.

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