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Capella de Ministrers/Carles Magraner
rec. live, Baga Festival of Ancient Music, Catalonia, 15 July 2016 LICANUS CDM1641 [63.45]
This is another in a series of CDs created by Carles Magraner director of Capella de Ministrers, based around the life of the philosopher and writer Ramon Llull, who lived across the 13th and early 14th centuries. In each, his life and travels have been put into the context of the sort of music he may have encountered en route, and the stylistic changes which occurred during his long lifetime. The difference with this CD is that it is completely instrumental; also, it was recorded live, at a concert in July 2016. The title, incidentally, really means ‘here and now’.
The chosen pieces have been grouped in two sets of seven, which play as a continuous group - one of six and a closing coda, as it were, of three. Applause is restricted to end of each section and there are few audience noises otherwise.
The very brief booklet note, in various languages, tells us Llull’s journey begins in 1265, travelling from Mallorca to Rocamadour and then to Santiago, Naples and later to Cyprus, Jerusalem, Armenia and Tunis; the list of pieces reflects this cosmopolitanism.
The choice of instruments played by the five musicians speaks for itself. They include not only the usual medieval western, percussion, vielle and violes, but also: an ud, a Middle Eastern lute; a lavta, a similar instrument of Turkish origin; a xeremia, a sort of double clarinet; and an anafil, a slide trumpet of some length. There is much else. The music creates a steamy, colourful atmosphere, especially once we reach Asia Minor and North Africa, with improvisations around popular melodies. However, there are also arrangements of songs from the ‘Cantigas de Santa Maria’, credited to Alfonso el Sabio, the famous ‘Carmina Burana’ manuscript, the Spanish ‘Huelgas’ Manuscript and songs by Adam de la Halle, which might be more familiar.
If you have the previous discs you will find there is some duplication of pieces; for instance, with those on ‘Ramon Llull: The Last Pilgrimage’ (CDM1640). The present recording, spacious and vivid, offers a pleasing hour of escapism. Gary Higginson
Veris dulcis in tempore (Carmina Burana) [2.47] Guiraut d’Espanha(fl.c1250)
Ben volgra, s’esser poges [3.17] Adam de la HALLE (d.1287)
Je muir d’amourete [1.59]
Quant je parti (Codex Montpellier) [2.51]
Plany de la Vierge (Catalan) [5.21] Alfonso X ‘el Sabio’ (1221-1284)
Estampida de Rocamadour (3.00]
Alpha, bovi et leoni (Codex Las Huelgas) [1.22]
Salterello [1.32] de la HALLE Fi, Maris de vostre amour [1.45]
De la flor de paradis (Chansonnier de Clairambault ) [3.06]
Apris ai qu-en chantant (Chansonnier Cangé) [3.25]
Aetova (Canco grega) [2.30]
Derdj Zidane (Song from North Africa) [6.04] Alfonso X
Quen leixar Santa Maria [1.34]
La Ultime Estampie real (Manuscrit du Roi) [2.52]
Mikdash (Sephardic melody) [4.28]
Sharakhi Dzernapar (Song of Asia Minor) [5.34]
Zurni Trngi (Song of Asia Minor) [3.02]
Quant ay lo mon consirat (Catalan melody) [3.41]
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