University of New Mexico graduate Javier José Mendoza is the founder and director of the Chicago Arts Orchestra. In 2011, the CAO started performing music that hadn't been heard since the 18th Century -- works retrieved from the archives of churches and cathedrals in Mexico, Ecuador and other regions of Colonial New Spain.
The orchestra brings its latest program from this Rediscovered Treasures series to New Mexico for concerts on March 4 and 5. Maestro Mendoza hopes that the CAO will recreate for modern audiences the musical "soundscapes" of the churches of New Spain.
The March 4 and 5 concerts feature music written in Mexico in 1760 by Italian composer Ignacio Jerusalem. In this longer version of the conversation, Javier José Mendoza describes Al Combate as a rare secular work for New Spain, music Jerusalem wrote in tribute to the newly-crowned Spanish monarch, Carlos III.
Listen to three movements from the CAO's recording of Jerusalem's Al Combate (Allegro, Andante, and the Chorus's Mexicana Minerva)