Search - Antonio de Cabezon, Alonso de Mudarra, Juan Cabanilles :: Folias & Canarios

Folias & Canarios
Antonio de Cabezon, Alonso de Mudarra, Juan Cabanilles
Folias & Canarios
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical


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A very special recording
Kenneth Rooney | Ireland | 05/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Savall and Hesperion XXI often return to the same material, almost obsessively; yet this repertory - the interface of early Iberian art music and the traditional - sustains endless re-visiting and re-interpretation; there can never be one definitive interpretation of this endlessly rewarding music, as Renaissance and Baroque composers knew - producing as they did endless variations on traditional themes which had woven their way from the popular sphere to the realm of 'art' music. Some of these bass melodies are presented here - the 'Follia' and 'Canaries' -and it is wonderful that Savall has the artistic freedom to perform versions of these again and again on his own label, Alia Vox. The above disc was made with the French label Naive in the early nineties, and on the face of it, might appear to have been superseded by a number of discs made by Savall recently on Alia Vox - see titles such as 'Ostinato' from 2001 , 'La Folia 1490-1701', from 2000, and 'Altre Folie' from 2005, which has 're-takes' of some of the pieces on this disc, such as Mudarra's, and De Cabezon's. Yet I think this CD remains a very special disc, and I don't think Savall has necessarily improved on his interpretations as recorded here. Listen to the last piece on this CD, Savall's own improvisation for viol with violone on the Canarios ground melody; far terser, more grave and finally more interesting than his later rather rambling essay on the Canarios theme on the 'Ostinato' disc. The same applies to Arauxo's beautiful 'Todo el mundo' where Lorenz Duftschind's violone makes for an almost hypnotic bass part, more so than the organ used in the 'Ostinato' disc. In fact it is the eschewal on this CD of any keyboards or (especially) a percussion at times liable to irritate which make the viol consort-based peformances on this disc so pleasing - producing a clean, dark texture almost unique in Savall's recorded output.
The string-based pieces comprise transcriptions of 'high style' Fantasias for organ by Cabaniles (for me the highlight of the disc) and improvisations on melodies going back to the time of the Troubadors. These are alternated with solos for Lawrence-King's double harp and Lislevand's guitar and theorbo. In short this is a unique disc comprising performances which clearly have recieved a lot of thought before being commited to disc. It's one which, if you like this repertory, you'll want to return to again and again, and I hope too that Savall has not paid the last visit to this repertory - even several recordings later!"
Beautiful music!
Tuckers Kahuna | San Francisco, CA USA | 05/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have about ten Cds of the Hesperion groups music. This is my favorite. It has a richness and life that rivets me to the performance every time. By the time this disc is over, I am completely relaxed. I have played it for my non-classical loving friends, and they have also commented on what a great piece it is. The sonics are excellent too."