La Lira d’Esperia II: Galicia
Invocacao & Ductia [3.18]
Cantiga, Ronda, Baile [7.06]
Invocacao & Alborada [3.29]
Ductia de Santa Maria [1.47]
Istampita & Rota [3.44]
Panxolina, Baile da Terra [3.26]
Ductia & Rota [2.41]
Ainhara & Canto de Ciego I [4.02]
Canto de Ciego II [2.04]
Canto de Despedida & Danza [2.22]
Jordi Savall (rebec, tenor fiddle and rabab), Pedro Estevan & David Mayoral (percussion)
rec. Collegiale de Cardona (Catalogne), February-March 2014
ALIA VOX AVSA9907 SACD [74.00]
This is a companion disc to one recorded twenty years previously (1994), which also features Jordi Savall on rebec, tenor fiddle and rabab, and Pedro Estevan on percussion – as here. Whereas the last disc covered mediaeval music from the Christian, Jewish and Arabo-Andalusian cultures throughout the peninsulas of Italy and Iberia (together named Hesperia by the Ancient Greeks), this disc features works specifically from Galicia, in the North-West of the Iberian peninsula. These pieces are drawn from the Cantigas de Santa Maria, compiled by King Alfonso X “the Wise”, as well as comprising folk music drawn from oral sources.
As usual with Alia Vox discs, the production standards are exceptionally high. The booklet here is an integral part of the case and is 130 pages long, with some of the most fascinating booklet notes I have ever read, by Jordi Savall, covering the music in a clear and interesting – indeed gripping – manner, whilst setting it in historical context in such a way that brings the whole thing to life even before one has listened to a single note. The texts are illustrated by full and double page pictures of thirteenth-century paintings, contemporaneous with the music, and beautifully clear and atmospheric photographs of the performers and their music.
Here, Savall and Estevan are joined by David Mayoral, also on percussion. The beautiful songs and dances featured – which are placed in a sensible and well-programmed order –plumb a range of emotions and styles from melancholic through to boisterously joyful, which one senses the performers bring out beautifully. It goes without saying that the playing is of the very highest standard – and there is less of the all-too-intrusive sniffing that had that has marred some of Savall’s earlier discs for me.
Highly recommended – lovely music; excellent performances and exemplary production.