Dear Listings Editor, FOR: Amsterdam News

Fie on this recession! Let’s play, sing, and dance the ciacona to raise everyone’s spirits! ¡A la vida, vidita bona. Vida, vamanos a chacona!

Sinfonia New York offers a joyful, educational, and vivid program of music, dance, and song. Admission is FREE, as a gift to music lovers in the City.

Thanks for your attention…
Gene Murrow, Executive Director

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gene Murrow, Executive Director
(212) 866 – 0468

Sinfonia New York
John Scott, Music Director
Christine Gummere, Artistic Director

The Art & Ecstasy of the Chaconne:
From the streets of Spain to the mind of Bach

Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Time: 8 pm

Location: Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street
New York, NY 10023

Tickets: FREE


Called "the most unbridled and passionate of dances," the chacona in 17th-century Spain involved whole body undulations, massive hip movements and indecent lyrics. It was banned by the Catholic Church. A person could get up to 200 lashes for dancing the chaconne - and ignoring the dictates of the Spanish Inquisition. As far as the rest of Europe was concerned, anything banned by the Inquisition deserved a closer look.

The concert on May 26th is a visual/musical history of the chaconne, from its origins as a wild and sacrilegious street dance in Spain to its apotheosis in the Bach D Minor Partita for Unaccompanied Violin. Music, dance, and song take us on a tour through Europe via Spain, Italy, England, France and Germany.

Technically, the chaconne, also called passacaille or ground, is a set of variations over a repeating bass line. Each country interprets the chaconne in its own way - quick and fiery, slow and sorrowful, elegant and refined.

In the Chaconne from the Partita in D minor for unaccompanied violin by J.S.Bach we arrive at the zenith of the form: a single voice playing the bass, the upper line, and, when needed, an inner line - a tour-de-force that employs one of the simplest and earthiest of forms to articulate the most profound human emotions.


The history of the chaconne in music, dance, and song:

Villancico - Juan del Encina
Quel sguardo sdegnosetto - Claudio Monteverdi
Chiacono for violin and continuo – Antonio Bertali
Sdegno campion – Virgilio Mazzocchi
Chacony in g minor - Henry Purcell
Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas – Henry Purcell
Passacaille d’Armide from Armide - Jean-Baptiste Lully
Chaconne – Jean-Marie Leclair
Chaconne de Galatée from Acis et Galatée – Jean-Baptiste Lully
Bist du bei mir – G. H. Stözel
Chaconne from Partita in d minor for unaccompanied violin - Johann Sebastian Bach
Gran chacona (finale) – after Arañes


Patricia Beaman. Carlos Fittante – dancers
Nell Snaidas - soprano
Judson Griffin, Christine Gummere
Claire Jolivet, Theresa Salomon – strings
Grant Herreid – lute
Sandra Miller – flute
John Scott – harpsichord

For further information or to set up an interview:

Call 212-866-0468 or Email Website:


Media services provided by: Gotham Early Music Scene, Inc. 340 Riverside Drive # 1-A, New York, NY 10025

GEMS is a non-profit corporation that supports and promotes the artists and organizations in New York devoted to early music — playing repertoire from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical periods.