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Unter der spanischen Krone
Francisco Fernández PALERO (1533-1597)
Veni redemptor, quaesumus [2:15]
Primer Kyrie de Iusquin glosado [1:23]
Ave mari stella de Palero [2:45]
Super Philomena, Septimo tono [1:57]
Mor me a prive [2:21]
Giovanni SALVATORE (1610-1688)
Toccata Seconda del Nono Tuono Naturale [3:21]
Canzone Franzese Seconda, del Nono Tuono Naturale [3:46]
Pablo BRUNA (1611-1679)
Tiento de 1er. tono de mano derecha [7:36]
Pieter CORNET (1562-1626)
Salve regina [10:20]
Ballo del Granduca [2:35]
Francisco Correa de ARAUXO (1575-1654)
Tiento y discurso de medio registro de dos baxones de octavo tono [7:04]
Johann Jacob FROBERGER (1616-1667)
Toccata da sonarsi alla Leuatione [5:48]
Fantasia sopra Sollare [2:59]
Pier Damiano Peretti (organ)
rec: Hof- und Stadtkirche St. Johannis, Hannover, 2006. DDD
MOTETTE  MOT 13501 [64:52]


‘Unter der spanischen Krone’ (Under the Spanish Crown) is the title of a newly released CD of organ music from the Spanish ‘Golden Age’, the period in which first Charles V, and then Philip II ruled over a large proportion of Europe. The CD features predominantly Spanish music, ‘filled-out’ with music by composers from other countries which were influenced by Spanish rule.

The ‘Glosados’ of  the 16th century Spanish composer Francisco Fernández Palero are strongly influenced by the polyphonic vocal music of the renaissance, while the compositions of Francisco Correa de Arauxo and Pablo Bruna represent 17th century Spain. The Tientos of Pablo Bruna in particular, with their lively rhythms and echo effects, form a vivid contrast to the more sober polyphonic music of Palero. The CD also features music by the Brussels composer Pieter Cornet, the Neapolitan Giovanni Salvatore, and the Vienna court organist Johann Jacob Froberger.

The featured organist here is Pier Damiano Peretti. He was born in Northern Italy, and studied in Vienna and Hamburg with, among others, Michael Radulescu, Wolfgang Zerer, and Pieter van Dijk. He won several international competitions, is presently the professor of organ at the Musik Hochschule in Hannover, and is also active as a composer. His playing is expressive and sophisticated. His personal style adds, for me, an extra dimension to the relatively sober 16th and 17th century Spanish music through his rich vocabulary of articulation, suppleness of meter, and added ornamentation. The subtle lengthening and shortening of selected notes allows, cleverly, certain polyphonic structures to be clearly audible, without ever compromising the tactus. Occasionally I find certain chords are too strongly articulated, for example in the Aria della Granduca by Pieter Cornet. Here, I feel that a more flowing legato way of playing could form a more beautiful contrast to the more ‘staccato’ passages. 

The featured organ was built between 1998 and 2001 by the Brussels organ builder Patrick Collon. The instrument is strongly inspired by the historic Spanish organ in the ‘Iglesia Colegial’ in Lerma. I am not entirely convinced by the quality of Collon’s creation however. Despite its characteristic and clear sound, my attention was not held sufficiently for the duration of the disc. The overly sharp mixtures and the rough reeds in particular disappoint, while a persistent secondary sound disturbs the initial attack of certain notes. In general, and despite the mean-tone tuning, I can’t help feeling that the organ’s language has not moved sufficiently forward from that of the first generation of post-war organ reformers.  A lack of individuality between stops leads, for me, to a lack of refinement and poetry. And while I appreciate that the CD will function as a promotion tool for the organ department of the Hannover Musik Hochshule, who own the instrument, it’s hard not to find it a shame that a real historic Spanish organ wasn’t used. The majority of Spain’s historic organ riches are, after all, all but unknown to the majority of the world’s organ lovers.

However, this is an outstanding debut CD from Pier Damiano Peretti, and I await his future recordings with great anticipation.

Gijs Boelen


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