Music in the time of Velázquez

Author: 
Tess Knighton

Music in the time of Velázquez

  • Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra espan, Folías
  • Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra espan, Lantururu
  • Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra espan, Canarios
  • Flores de música, Diferencias sobre la gayta
  • Flores de música, Canarios
  • (El) templo de Palas, Ay que si, ay que no
  • Los celos hacen estrellas, De los luces que en el mar
  • Los celos hacen estrellas, Peynándose estaba un olmo
  • Ay, que me río de Amor
  • (La) Estatua de Prometeo, Tonante Dios!
  • Cuydado pastor
  • Ojos, que me desdenais
  • Song Collection, Aquella sierra nevada
  • Song Collection, No piense Menguilla ya
  • Primo libro de canzoni, fantasie and correnti da s, ~, Fantasia sobre el 'Canto del Cabellero'
  • Susanna passeggiata
  • Luz y norte musical para caminar, Españoletas
  • Poema harmónico, Marionas
  • Salir el Amor del Mundo, Sosieguen, descansen

La Romanesca is a recently formed Spanish group which bears witness to the extraordinary surge of interest in early music in Spain, as does the emergence of Glossa, the new early music label for which this disc was recorded. Spanish ensembles such as El aire espanol, La Colombina and now La Romanesca are quickly establishing themselves as mainstream international contenders in the specialist field of early music, and they have much to offer. The standard of performance is generally high and the interpretations are often highly distinctive, offering fresh insights into music which is itself rapidly becoming more familiar thanks to the many recordings of the past few years.
On this recording of Spanish instrumental and theatre music from the seventeenth century, both the instrumental playing and the solo singing are of a high order. Soprano Marta Almajano has a clear and well focused voice, that is both fuller and more nuanced with a wider range of expression than that of Montserrat Figueras; the singing is also less idiosyncratic but equally idiomatic. Almajano is at her most expressive, perhaps, in Jose Marin's Ojos, que me desdenais, and is scintillatingly alive to the drama of some of the other pieces by Juan Hidalgo, the Spanish equivalent of Purcell. In some items (for example, Hidalgo's Peynandose estaba un olmo) the balance between voice and instruments is rather odd, with the latter too prominent or, at least, with the voice sounding curiously distant by comparison. At other times (in Hidalgo's Cuydado, pastor) the balance seems better.
Both Jose Miguel Moreno on vihuela and baroque guitar and Paolo Pandolfo on gamba are technically assured and imaginative players, and lead the rest of the team (Nuria Llopis on harp and Juan Carlos de Mulder on theorbo) in performances that are full of rhythmic zest and imagination. The music itself is charming and dramatic by turn, and certainly bears repeated listening. It is generally less harmonically adventurous than Purcell (despite some telling chromaticisms in Marin's Aquella sierra nevada), but has a cogent harmonic idiom of its own and is full of rhythmic interest.'

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019