Search - Mateo Flecha, Francisco Guerrero, Antonio de Cabezon :: Fire-Water: The Spirit of Renaissance Spain

Fire-Water: The Spirit of Renaissance Spain
Mateo Flecha, Francisco Guerrero, Antonio de Cabezon
Fire-Water: The Spirit of Renaissance Spain
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

Other recent King's Singers' recordings on this label have reaffirmed the ensemble's credentials as compelling advocates of contemporary music. Here, only the most hardhearted of early music purists could fail to find the ...  more »

     
   
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Other recent King's Singers' recordings on this label have reaffirmed the ensemble's credentials as compelling advocates of contemporary music. Here, only the most hardhearted of early music purists could fail to find the infectious cocktail of popular and religious Spanish music--largely 16th century--going to their heads, even if the King's Singers add the occasional theatrical embellishment. The music (much of it by "Anon") is organized into five categories, among them "fire" and "water" (with the alternative implications of ardor and alcohol). Of the named composers, none takes the ear more readily than Mateo Flecha the Elder. His La Bomba, one of several lengthy ensaladas (miniature music dramas), steals the show, with its comic tale of a bunch of sailors' impassioned but shallow prayer for deliverance from shipwreck. Elsewhere the moods range from pious to bitter-sweet melancholy--and just try to keep your feet still in villancicos such as Rodrigo Martinez. Those familiar, warm Harp Consort textures contribute markedly to the overall richness of sound. --Andrew Green

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CD Reviews

Different from other programs with similar music
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The King's Singers and the Harp Consort with Andrew Lawrence-King as director form a wonderful union of vocal and instrumental, just right for a program such as BMG's (09026 63519-2). The material is organized into parts: Quodlibet, Water, Fire, The Widow's Lament, and The Peasants' Dance. In this way, a sort of metaphorical/metaphysical story line can be imposed; but you will have to read the little essay provided in the booklet to learn more about that aspect of the project. What concerns us here is the listening experience. There is enough variety of mood in the selections offered here to stave off monotony. The music spans the years 1500 to the early 1660s and draws upon composers whose names might have more meaning to specialists in that period than I am afraid they do to me. It is all beautifully done, especially the dramatic effects such as the cries of "Fuego, fuego!" in one of the more impressive pieces. But unless you are studiously following the texts, you might find it a bit heavy going to listen to as pure music all at once. (71 minutes is the running time.) Still it is different from most Spanish Renaissance programs in my collection, mostly because of the framing device into which the songs are arranged. For that and for the excellence of the performers, I think it is worth five stars. Full texts and translations are thoughtfully provided."
The King's Singers work their magic again
Heather A. Buettner | Los Angeles | 01/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Having been a fan of the King's Singers since my teenage years, which are growing ever more faint in my memory, I am sometimes surprised that they still surprise me. And yet, they always do. There is something quite magical about their voices - not just their individual voices, which are all wonderful, but what happens when you put them all together - the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. They have hit upon a great formula, which will hopefully be around for many more wonderful recordings.

The other thing I love about the KS is how well they do different styles of music. Their technique on this is superb - the pronounciation, the intonation, all of it is right on the money. Yet they also manage to "take off the viking hat" (as my choral director likes to say when we're switching styles) and do the Beatles without butchering them. It's really quite something to behold.

This CD is a great introduction to the classical side of the KS, and a definite must-have for any current fan. The pieces are beautiful and exciting, they all complement each other wonderfully, and the whole thing is just a joy to hear!"
PERFECT INTERPRETATION
MICHALIS ACHNIOTIS | Cypriot, live in Greece | 03/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a fun of Spanish Renaissance Music and I found this recording extremely good! King's Singers shows their abilities once again!"