Cover (Photo: The Instituto Cervantes, Manila)

As always, the Instituto Cervantes brings Spanish artistry to Filipino shores through captivating events—this time around, Pedro Bonet wows the crowd

Guests of Instituto Cervantes, the cultural arm of the Spanish Embassy in the Philippines, were serenaded by Spanish-born musician Pedro Bonet in a concert held on Tuesday, May 3. Titled From the first circumnavigation to the Manila Galleon: Music on the Iberian circumnavigation routes," the artist's performance was composed of 14 different pieces played in different types of flute. 

The musical pieces flawlessly played by Bonet were carefully selected to represent a site in the journey or historical figure relevant to the Magellan-Elcano expedition; it opened with "Two Cantigas" by Alfonso X of Castile who reigned in the 13th century. It was followed by "Two Glosas" (pieces with diminutions) published in Rome in 1553 by Diego Ortiz. 

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Next are three pieces from a Portuguese songbook of the same period. The lyrics of the vocal version of the first piece are by the great Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões, who made the journey to Goa in the footsteps of Vasco da Gama. The second is by Pedro Escobar, who was master of Seville Cathedral and who in 1521, was in the service of the King of Portugal.

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The next block comes from the Gulf of Guinea, where some pieces were collected there at the beginning of the 19th century and others by an English traveller in the late 17th century in Jamaica.

The program closed with a performance of some folias for a solo instrument from a Catalan manuscript preserved and taken care of in the Library of Catalonia, Barcelona. 

A music professor specialising in the recorder flute, Bonet is a founding member and director of the baroque music ensemble La Folía, one of the veteran groups internationally recognized in the field of historical performance. He has held concerts in more than forty countries on five continents and recorded albums such as Baroque Madrid, Instrumental Music in the Age of Velázquez, and La Nao de China (Music from the Spanish trade route to the Far East), among others.

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