Aureole etc.




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Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Musique Baroque à la Real Audiencia de Charcas: (Le style Italien à La Plata (XVIIIème siècle)
Juan de ARAUJO (1646-1712)

Aquí, aquí, valentones [2.37]
Roque CERUTI (c.1686-1760)

Hoy que Francisco reluce [6.03]
Segun veo el aparato [3.43]
En la rama frondosa [6.46]
Antonio DURÁN DE LA MOTA (18th cent)

Lleguen las luces [4.24]
CHAVARRÍA / TARDÍO / CERUTI

Afuela, apalta [5.01]
Blas TARDIO Y GUZMÁN (18th cent))

Entre obeliscos nevados [11.45]
Alarma, alarma, afectos [4.31]
Todos los cuatro elementos [5.27]
Roque Jacinto de CHAVARRÍA (18th cent))

Con tan tierno llanto [3.27]
Andrés FLORES (18th cent))

Afuera nubes [4.22]
CERUTI / TARDIO

Naced antorcha brillante [4.56]
Ensemble Elyma/Capella Cisplatina
L’Ensemble Luis Berger/Coro Juvenil de la Fundación Pro Arte de Córdoba/Gabriel Garrido
rec April 1996, Cathedral of Concepción, Bolivia
K617 K617064 [63.06]

 

The French label K617 has released a number of discs of Spanish American baroque music performed by Gabriel Garrido’s Ensemble Elyma, teamed up with various South American ensembles and children’s choirs. This was a major recording project of the 1990s, involving large financial input from a multitude of French ministries and Departments, various international festivals and broadcasting organisations. The results on CD were the exposure of fascinating music, unknown but of the highest quality. Generally the performances have been something of a mixed bag. This disc is one of the most musically consistent of the series. Some excellent solo singers are accompanied by a host of instrumentalists who play with polish and flare, especially the violins, under the able leadership of Manfredo Kraemer.

This reviewer has previously lamented the contribution of some rather inferior children’s choirs in discs of this "Paths of the Baroque" series. They seem to have had various names and come from various cities, but all seem to have been directed by one Emma Sanchez. One begins to wonder if they were not put together especially, as each recording came about. In this disc the Coro Juvenil de la Fundación Pro Arte de Córdoba, under Emma Sanchez, features in the booklet but is rather harder to find in the recording. Thus, one of the main disadvantages of the series is removed from this particular disc.

The music itself is extremely good. The Italian style arrived late in Spanish America, but when it did, native composers took to it with alacrity. The composers represented here were generally holders of the post of Maestro at the Cathedral in Sucre (Bolivia), originally called La Plata after the extensive silver mines that gave the city the wealth that contributed in no small measure to this musical flowering. Although the church dominated, all the music on this disc seems to be secular; principally villancicos and cantatas. It is tuneful, melodically imaginative and colourful. The solo sopranos Rosa Dominguez and Silvia Perez Monsalve, and the mezzos Alicia Borges and Roberta Invernizzi are uniformly excellent and, with the violins, carry most of the passagework. There is a sense of abandon in both the music and the performances that is infectious (Samples 1 and 2). There is also very good wind playing with oboe and bassoon. However, as on several other discs in the series, there is a question hanging over the bajones. These large, reedy panpipes were a feature of this period and location (indeed, the CD cover depicts a man playing bajones.) On other discs in the series they have been mentioned, and discussed in the booklet, but remained inaudible in the recording. In this programme four tracks include specific mention of bajones in their titles; (Track 3 "Con dos bajones"; track 7 "Con bajón y fogote"; track 9 "Con violin y bajón"; and track 10 "Con bajón y fogote"). However, a sample of track 7 shows the sound of an oboe. Nils Ferber, who gets a credit for it in the booklet, plays it. But nowhere is a player (or players, for track 3) of bajones mentioned in personnel list, or booklet note. This seems to be a very strange omission of one of the instrumental features that makes this music distinctly Spanish American rather than just Spanish. (Sample 3)

Unfortunately, although the presentation is of the usual glossy standard of K617, the notes in the booklet are rather confused and incomplete. There are no track timings listed, recording details are buried on page 14 of 24 and the programme note, while reasonably detailed about the development of La Plata / Sucre, gives no real information about the music. Hence this writer’s earlier supposition that the works recorded appear to be secular. This is gleaned only from the titles in Spanish as there are no texts or translations. With music that is bound to be unknown, this is a distinct pity. In the final analysis, this disadvantage should not put the listener off this disc as the singing, playing and the music itself are far more consistent than the accompanying writings. Of all the "Paths of the Baroque" discs from K617, this disc is probably the easiest to recommend as a consistently well-performed offering.

Peter Wells

see also

VÊPRES DE L'ASSOMPTION
Lambert de BEAULIEU / Baltasar de BEAUJOYEULX: Le Balet Comique de la Royne
Tomas Torrejon y VELASCO (1644-1728) Musique à la Cité des Rois

 



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