Carlos V - Mille Regretz

Hesperion XXI and La Capella Reial perform to their usual high standard in this attractive collection of works, though the Charles V connection is rather tenuous

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Josquin Desprez, Cristóbal de Morales, Adrian Willaert, Mateo Flecha, Anonymous, Thoinot Arbeau, Clément Janequin, Heinrich Isaac, Hieronimus Parabosco, Antonio de Cabezón, Juan del Enzina

Label: Alia Vox

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Stereo
DDD

Catalogue Number: AV9814

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(La) Spagna Jordi Savall
Josquin Desprez Composer
Hespérion XXI
Circumdederunt me Jordi Savall
Cristóbal de Morales Composer
Catalan Capella Reial
Hespérion XXI
Missa, 'Mille regretz' Cristóbal de Morales Composer
Mille regretz Josquin Desprez Composer
Hespérion XXI
Jordi Savall
Vecchie letrose non valete niente Adrian Willaert Composer
Catalan Capella Reial
Jordi Savall
Hespérion XXI
(La) Guerra Mateo Flecha Composer
Dit le Bourguygnon Hespérion XXI
Anonymous Composer
Jordi Savall
Belle que tiens ma vie Catalan Capella Reial
Thoinot Arbeau Composer
Jordi Savall
Quand je bois du vin clairet Catalan Capella Reial
Jordi Savall
Hespérion XXI
Anonymous Composer
Pavana 'La Battaglia' per sonar Hespérion XXI
Clément Janequin Composer
Jordi Savall
Fortuna disperata Heinrich Isaac Composer
Hespérion XXI
Jordi Savall
Catalan Capella Reial
Mille regretz Josquin Desprez Composer
Jordi Savall
Catalan Capella Reial
Fanfarria Hespérion XXI
Jordi Savall
Anonymous Composer
Harto de tanta porfía Anonymous Composer
Jordi Savall
Catalan Capella Reial
Da Pacem Domine (Ricercare XIV) Hespérion XXI
Hieronimus Parabosco Composer
Jordi Savall
Catalan Capella Reial
Jubilate Deo omnis terra Catalan Capella Reial
Cristóbal de Morales Composer
Jordi Savall
Hespèrion XXI
Vive le roy Hespérion XXI
Jordi Savall
Josquin Desprez Composer
Diferencias sobre Belle qui tiens ma vie Hespérion XXI
Antonio de Cabezón Composer
Jordi Savall
Amor con fortuna Jordi Savall
Hespérion XXI
Juan del Enzina Composer
Catalan Capella Reial
Todos los bienes del mundo Catalan Capella Reial
Jordi Savall
Juan del Enzina Composer
Hespèrion XXI
The latest recording from Hesperion XXI on Alia Vox – and the CDs are still coming thick and fast from this most prolific of groups – is a reconstruction with a difference: ‘Carlos V’ does not merely seek to reconstruct a particular event, but a whole life, that of the Emperor Charles V. A wide range of pieces are presented as having a connection, in one way or another, with Charles V, who had numerous works dedicated to him and who is known to have been taught music as a child and in later years to have enjoyed beating time to the music of Guerrero; indeed, he seems to have regarded himself as something of a musical connoisseur. An interesting figure, then, musically as well as historically, but the selection of pieces on the CD doesn’t bear close scrutiny: yes, the chanson Mille regretz was said by the vihuelist Luys de Narvaez to be the ‘Emperor’s song’, so presumably he liked it; and Morales’ impressive motet Jubilate Deo omnis terra was written in celebration of a peace treaty negotiated by Charles. However, the relationship between a mid-15th-century cancion and the Valencian uprisings of the first half of the 16th is less than clear, historically at least – a romantic interpretation of the poetic text seems to be the motive. If there is another angle on this, I would love to know it, but you won’t find the reasoning behind the choice of pieces and how they relate to the different events of Charles’s biography in the liner-notes, which is a great shame.
Some of the choices, if not obvious in this sense, are in any case very old favourites (for example, Willaert’s Vecchie letrose or Susato’s arrangement of Janequin’s La battaglia) in the renaissance canon. Many other works which can very definitely be connected with Charles, his wife Isabel of Portugal and his son Philip are not included here and, indeed, have never been recorded, so this is an opportunity lost. Still, there is much that is good and much that is well performed (including the Susato-Janequin) and the Morales motet.
Those familiar with Hesperion XXI’s recordings will know what to expect: colourful ‘orchestration’, including percussion, of the secular items (too much drumming for my taste, though it’s appropriate enough in the ceremonial and dance pieces) and viol accompaniment to the sacred music, which often works very well. The voices of La Capella Reial de Catalunya – whose timbre is so different from the sound produced by British, or indeed any other choirs – are always worth hearing, and there is some fine singing from Jordi Ricart (to name one of the best-known singers) and his colleagues.
All in all, I’m happy enough to add this recording to my Hesperion collection, but I do think a little more research could have gone into the selection, and the presentation could be quite misleading without further explanation.'

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