Música Antigua de Albuquerque opens its 40th anniversary season with paired concerts titled “”Charming the Beast: The Love of Music in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.” The concerts are at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 at Christ Lutheran Church, 1701 Arroyo Chamiso, Santa Fe and at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, 601 Montaño NW.

Tickets are $20 general public, $15 seniors and $10 full-time students. For reservations and more information on the Música Antigua season call 505-842-9613 or email musicaantigua@comcast.net.

By David Steinberg

Compositions that praise the joys of performing, the art of music and the lives of musicians are on a diverse program that Música Antigua de Albuquerque will present for its 2018-19 season-opening paired concerts.

There’s a special reason for this program: It celebrates the early music ensemble’s 40th anniversary.

“The concerts themselves I hope are celebratory,” said Art Sheinberg, a founding member of the ensemble. The paired concerts are Sunday, Sept. 30 in Santa Fe and Sunday, Oct. 7 in Albuquerque.

Each section of the program has different themes.

The first section is about the nuts and bolts of making music, Sheinberg said. One piece is “Fammi Una Canzonetta Capriciosa from Renaissance Italy. In it are the first notes of the scale “do re mi.”

The second section is about critics and patrons. For example, he said, there’s a piece from 14th century Italy that’s taken from Francesco Landini’s work “Musica Son Gia Furon Ciascun Vuoli (“Music Am I and Weeping I Regret”). That’s the translation of the work’s first line.

The piece, Sheinberg said, states that some people criticize some composers for not writing authentic music. “However that which is composed should be authentic and should be about the virtues of music because it makes everything better. Music is praised as a virtue,” he said.

Another set called “Soothing the Savage Breast,” was corrupted to “Savage Beast.” The phrase was taken from Frances Pilkington’s work “Music Dear Solace to My Thoughts.” Pilkington was a 16th century English composer.

In another set, “The Musician’s Life,”  there is a piece by the 16th century German Leonhard Lechner titled “A Musician Wanting to Be Happy.” “The song says his music would be even better if he had more wine and more money,” Sheinberg said.

The following set, “Musicians Immortalized,” contains a work by F. Andrieu(cq) that memorializes Guillaume Machaut, whom Sheinberg said was the most important French composer of the 14th century. “He was prolific and wrote in a variety of styles that were groundbreaking. His music was inspired and wonderful. And he was a renown poet,” he said. The piece memorializing Machaut as the noblest bard is “Armes Amours.”

The last set, “Music Among Friends,” has a work by 17th century German composer Paul Peuerl titled “O Music You Noble Art,” and it’s about singing, dancing and skipping, which together fill our hearts with joy, Sheinberg said.

“We have cherished our loyal audiences,” he said. “Some audience members have been coming all these 40 years. We feel very lucky to have been able to bring this music that nobody around does and we’re glad people love hearing it. It’s been  very rewarding for us to share these experiences with our audiences.”