Plucker Of Strings; Lover Of Opera
The leader of El Mundo, a group that performs early Spanish and Latin American music, is guitarist, lutenist and opera fan Richard Savino. Savino’s biography is studded with his history of his solo career as a classical guitarist and lute player, along with participation in a number of premiere early music groups. Here, he talks about the group.
“I formed El Mundo about ten years ago to focus on early music of Spain and Latin America. I did it because it was an area that was largely unrepresented in performances and recordings. The reasons for neglecting the material were simple: It’s hard, and the music was largely unpublished, available only in widely scattered locations and with little or no direct clues about performance practice.”
More Strumming Than Plucking
El Mundo performs in Indianapolis in July. “Probably the essence of Spanish music is its core of dance rhythms. Although I primarily play plucked instruments like the guitar or the lute, for this concert there’ll be more strumming than plucking. My instrument will be the Baroque guitar, a perfect instrument for the kind of dynamic rhythmic approach that the works demand.
“I’ll be leading an instrumental ensemble of six players, and we’ll have four singers. We’ll be performing Salir el Amor del Mundo. It’s work that I’ve edited for performance; the title loosely translates as ‘Cupid’s Final Folly.’ It’s a comical account of Cupid’s confrontation with the chaste huntress Diana and a marvelous example of Spanish baroque musical theatre.”