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Clare Hall concert will feature world premiere of a new composition by Carlos Rodríguez Otero

29 February 2024 College life

On 16th March in Clare College Chapel, Continuum will perform the world premiere of a new composition by Carlos Rodríguez Otero in an incredible programme tracing Lent through music from the Iberian Peninsula. Carlos is a Cambridge-based musician with an impressive portfolio and inspiring career, and has written the piece Cruz: A triptych-motet to the Holy Cross for the choir. This piece will be accompanied by celebrated and lesser-known motets from the Renaissance, for a musical journey that will traverse the rich textual and compositional connections found in Iberian music.

Top: Continuum with Harry Guthrie
Left: Carlos Rodríguez Otero

Director of Continuum, Harry Guthrie says, “I’m delighted that Carlos is writing this piece for the choir; with his experience as both a singer and conductor, and academic expertise in Renaissance music from Spain and Portugal (and beyond!), he is the perfect composer for this piece. This new piece is a truly original and immersive soundscape that binds the medieval with the present – I have not come across a piece quite like it!”

Carlos has set three contrasting texts in Spanish by Juan Boscan (1490-1542), Antonio Gala (1930-2023) and Teresa of Ávila (1515-82) in a compositional style that honours the Renaissance polyphonic tradition whilst maintaining a contemporary spin. The three movements are glued together through a shared use of the plainsong melody of the latin hymn Vexilla Regis – one of the most celebrated Christian poems by St Venantius Fortunatus.

It is so wonderful to be celebrating this musical culture with performances of pieces that are not often heard outside of Spain and Portugal and I am very grateful to Clare Hall College and Professor Eric Nye for supporting Continuum with this project.

-Harry Guthrie, Director of Continuum

Other works that will be performed include Alonso Lobo’s Versa est in Luctum, Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Magnificat Primi Toni, Francisco Guerrero’s Ave Virgo Sanctisimma and lesser known Spanish motets and songs including a selection of Guerrero’s Villancicos and King Alfonso X’s Cantigas de Santa Maria.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Read more about music at Clare Hall here.