The Jungle Book of the Baroque

The Jungle Book of the Baroque


3 February
Our Lady’s Church


The Jungle Book of the Baroque

In the university library of Uppsala one finds a lonely, mysterious volume of Latin-American baroque music, upon which posterity has bestowed the name Canciero de Upsala. This collection, which was printed in Venice in 1556, survives in this lone copy, and contains a number of early villancios, which was the dominating form of music in Spain and its colonies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; in the New World it adopted aspects of traditional native American music into a Baroque framework. This collection a unique example of how this fusion of European and indigenous (or, somewhat mischievously, western and even-more-western) music sounded.

The hows and whys of this print’s journey to Uppsala are likely to remain unknown, but the volume has led to a unique interest for the native inflections characteristic of Latin-American baroque music in the largely subarctic Sweden. And who could better do justice to this material than Peter Pontvik, a Swede who grew up in Uruguay, and who in 1995 founded his own ensemble, Ensemble Villancico, with the goal of recording the music in Canciero de Upsala? Pontvik and Ensemble Villancico will provide a monumental finale to Barokkfest 2019!


Ensemble Villancico (Sweden)
Peter Pontvik, direction