El Mundo

El Mundo is a chamber group dedicated to the performance of 16th to 19th-century Latin American, Spanish, and Italian chamber music. Under the direction of guitarist/lutenist Richard Savino, El Mundo was formed in 1999 and comprises some of today’s finest period instrument performers. As an ensemble, El Mundo has recorded eight albums on the Koch Records, Dorian Recordings and Sono Luminus labels. These include the premiere of Sebastián Durón’s 17th-century zarzuela Salir el Amor del Mundo and The Kingdoms of Castille, which received a 2012 GRAMMY Award nomination in the Best Small Ensemble category.

El Mundo combines bowed strings with the rarely heard accompaniment forces of mixed guitars, lutes, and percussion in a setting that recreates the distinctive Latin sound of the old and new world. With its flexible instrumentation, El Mundo is adaptable to meet the changing needs of this diverse repertory with the appropriate flair and effect. With the addition of the wonderful singers Jennifer Ellis Kampani and Nell Snaidas, El Mundo also performs exciting cantatas, zarzuelas, romances, villancicos, and tonos humanos that range from sublimely sensual to light-hearted and folk-like.

Earlier this year, El Mundo made its Carnegie Hall debut to a sold-out Weill Recital Hall and featured music from its latest recording Archivo de Guatemala, a treasure trove of 17th and 18th-century music highlighting the unique confluence of sounds heard in the Guatemala City Cathedral. Regional folk music and dance rhythms of Spain, Africa and the Americas meld with sacred compositions and courtly European elements in pieces by Castellanos, Falconieri, Quiroz, and more. This historically and geographically distinctive music, called a “perfect balance of sacred and profane” (The Guardian), remains as vital and full of life as ever.

El Mundo additional programs include:

  • Reflexión y Revolución: Musica en Tiempos de Goya (1746-1828): A multi-media program in which works by Francisco Goya are projected throughout the concert.
  • What Artemisia Heard: Another multi-media program with music from the Ttme of Caravaggio and Gentileschi
  • ¡Zarzuela y Opera!: Evolving at the same time as Italian opera the baroque zarzuela is a uniquely Spanish musical genre that integrates spoken text with native Spanish musical forms.
  • Nachtmusiken Serenade: Music from Early 19th century Vienna beyond formal concerts for a select group, a growing middle class was clamoring for music suitable for home music making and public “entertainments.”