Musica Mediterranea

Author: 
Tess Knighton

Musica Mediterranea

  • A quando, a quando haveva
  • O bene mio
  • Cingari simo venit'a giocare
  • Trattado de glosas
  • Tres libros de musica en cifras y canto, Villancicos:, Si me llaman, a mi llaman
  • Madonna qual certezza
  • Discantar sobre un punto
  • Tenore del passo e mezzo
  • Intavolatura di liuto libro primo, Ballo detto il Conte Orlando
  • Intavolatura di Balli d'Arpicordo, Ballo ongaro
  • Chiaccone
  • Non si vedde giamai
  • Vestiva i colli
  • Arie di passacaglia
  • (Un) sarao de la Chacona
  • Riu, riu, chiu
  • Recercar
  • Donna vagh'e leggiadra
  • Folias

This recording of music from renaissance Spain and Italy by the solo vocal and instrumental ensemble Kithara is a delight. The music, by Willaert, Ortiz, Mudarra, Valente, Picchi et al., is charming and expressive by turn and the performances are above reproach, both at ensemble and solo level. Susanna Pell's excellent account of Ortiz's La spagna catches just the right slightly mournful feel with her rich-toned gamba-playing; William Lyons's divisions on the renaissance flute (which, quite exceptionally, he makes sound like a real musical instrument capable of varied timbres and expressive phrasing) in Bassano's Vestiva i colli are superbly executed; and the plucked string accompaniments and solo items, led by Christopher Wilson on a variety of instruments, are gossamer fine and rhythmically strong as and when needed.
Shirley Rumsey both contributes to this colourful plucked string section and sings. Her voice has a darker quality that is in many ways suitably Mediterranean, but she tends to stay in the shade when it comes to conveying emotion—by which I mean that her interpretative approach is a little shadowy and elusive, her voice creating an attractive dappled effect with the instruments, but never really asserting itself. Still, this works extremely well in such pieces as Bottegari's Non se vedde giamai with its richly expressive accompaniment.
How much of this is actually improvised for the recording is hard to tell (how one improvises for successive takes is one of the imponderables of the recording business), but it certainly has the appropriate flexibility or sprezzatura. Dinko Fabris, in his accompanying notes, emphasizes ''the true sensibility of the northern European travellers of that time'' in Kithara's interpretations of this colourful music. He's right in that in many ways the group sound very 'English', given the excellent teamwork and high level of musicality that fights a little shy of anything too extrovert. A very enjoyable disc neverthe-less.'

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. 2018