Secular Spain

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Program: #16-16   Air Date: Apr 11, 2016

Luys Milan, Cabezon, and the Guerra Manuscript.

NOTE: All of the music on this program features music from Cervantes’ time and soon after.

I. Antonio de Cabezón: Obras de Musica (Doulce Mémoire/Denis Raisin-Dadre). Ricercar CD 335.

Antonio de Cabezon - Obras de Musica by Doulce Memoire

The bulk of the surviving compositions of 16th century composer, Antonio de Cabezón, can be found in the Obras de Música. It’s an impressive collection: one sizeable volume comprising 400 pages assembled by Antonio’s son, Hernando. The collection came out in 1578, two years after the elder Cabezón passed away.

The title page of the Obras de Música indicates that the pieces in it would be suitable for performance on keyboard instruments, harp or vihuela.  But they can also translate very easily into ensemble pieces for multiple instruments—each adopting a different line of the polyphony.
This is what the ensemble Doulce Memoire has done on their Ricecar release.

Many of the pieces in the  Obras de Música are actually modeled on vocal song. Cabezón used songs by the most eminent composers in Europe of his day including Josquin, Gombert, Willaert, Lassus and others. A really nice touch on this recording from Doulce Memoire is the inclusion of original vocal models–sung by soprano Clara Coutouly–alongside Cabezón’s instrumental decorations of them.

  1. Diferencia Sobre "La Gallarda Milanesa" for organ  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  2. Ancol que col partire, for organ  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  3. Dulce memoriae, for organ  - Hernando de Cabezón  -  
  4. Dont vient cela, belle, je vous supply, chanson for 4 voices  - Claudin de Sermisy  -  
  5. Duuiensela  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  6. Ardenti miei suspiri (after Verdelot)  - Antonio de Cabezón  - 
  7. Qui la dira, for keyboard (after Antonio Willaert)  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  8. Un gay bergier, for keyboard (after Crequillon)  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  9. Diferencias for organ sobre el canto "llano de Cavallero"  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  10. Durmendo un jorno (after Verdelot)  - Antonio de Cabezón  - 
  11. Je pres en grey, for keyboard (after Crecquillon or Clemens non Papa)  - Antonio de Cabezón  - 
  12. Prenes pitié, for keyboard (after Crecquillon)  - Antonio de Cabezón  - 
  13. Prenez pitié du mal, chanson for 4 voices  - Thomas Crecquillon  -  
  14. Divisions on Susanna un jour  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  15. Pour un Plaisir for organ  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  16. Je pres en grey, for keyboard (after Crecquillon or Clemens non Papa)  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  17. Diferencias sobre el Canto de La dama le demanda  - Hernando de Cabezón  - Antonio de Cabezón  -  
  18. Ultimi mei sospiri, madrigal for 6 voices  - Philippe Verdelot  -  
  19. Ultimi miei suspiri (after Verdelot)  - Antonio de Cabezón  -

II. Luys Milán: El Maestro, Libro 1  (José Antonio Escobar, viheula da mano). Naxos CD 8.573305.

MILÁN, L.: El maestro, Libro 1 (Escobar)

From Early Music Review:

Luys Milán’s El Maestro (1536) was the first of seven books of vihuela music published in the 16th century. The first nine pieces are fantasias, in modes 1-4, not too hard to play, and graded according to difficulty. There follow nine fantasias with redobles (running passages) exploring all eight modes, four fantasias in modes 5-8, and six pavanas, the last of which is in triple time. José Antonio Escobar plays all the solo music in the order in which it appears in the source, and plans another CD to cover the rest of El Maestro (Libro 2). Milán’s music has an improvisatory feel, and he seems to enjoy the repetition of little motifs or riffs, which may be heard in more than one piece. In bars 73 and 77 of Fantasia 19, there is an extraordinary throw-back to earlier times with a double-leading note chord. There are some curious changes of harmony, such as the unexpected shift from major to minor in bar 15 of no. 3. 
Escobar’s playing is clear and expressive, and he creates a variety of moods from the lively to the slow and reflective. He adds his own ornaments sparingly – an upper mordent here and a lower mordant there – and a flourish in the repeat of Pavana 1. He articulates chords to good effect, for example in Fantasia 19. He sounds fine when he keeps the rhythm steady, and he has a nicely paced ending to Fantasia 7, but sometimes he has a jerky way of playing – accelerating through fast passages – which creates a feeling of instability and unease. Milán advises playing fast notes extra fast, but he doesn’t invite a drastic change of speed within each phrase.
Escobar’s vihuela was made by Julio Castaños from Málaga, and is tuned to G at A=415. It has a clear, bright sound, which suits the music well.

Fantasías De Consonancias                                                                (17:25)
1 Fantasia 1. Tono 1. Compas Apresurado
2 Fantasia 2. Tono 1. Compas Apresurado
3 Fantasia 3. Tono 1. Compas Algo Apresurado
4 Fantasia 4. Tono 2. Compas Apresurado
5 Fantasia 5. Tono 2. Compas Batido
6 Fantasia 6. Tonos 1 & 2.
7 Fantasia 7. Tono 3. Compas Apresurado
8 Fantasia 8. Tono 4. Compas Apresurado
9 Fantasia 9. Tono 3 & 4. Compas Apresurado
Fantasías De Consonancias Y Redobles                                             (23:53)
10 Fantasia 10. Tonos 1 & 2. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
11 Fantasia 11. Tonos 1 & 2. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
12 Fantasia 12. Tonos 3 & 4. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
13 Fantasia 13. Tono 1. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
14 Fantasia 14. Tonos 4 & 3. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
15 Fantasia 15. Tonos 5 & 6. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
16 Fantasia 16. Tonos 5 & 6. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
17 Fantasia 17. Tonos 5 & 6. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
18 Fantasia 18. Tonos 7 & 8. Las Consonancias A Espacio y Los Redobles Apriesa
Fantasías De Consonancias                                                                 (13:29)
19 Fantasia 19. Tono 5
20 Fantasia 20. Tono 6
21 Fantasia 21. Tono 7
22 Fantasia 22. Tono 8. Ni Muy A Espacio Ni Muy Apriesa
6 Pavanas                                                                                                    (11:18)
23 Pavana 1. Tonos 1 & 2. Compas Algo Apresurado
24 Pavana 2. Tonos 3 & 4. Compas Algo Apresurado
25 Pavana 3. Tonos 5 & 6. Compas Algo Apresurado
26 Pavana 4. Tonos 7 & 8. Compas Algo Apresurado
27 Pavana 5. Tono 8. La Bella Franceschina. Compas Algo Apresurado
28 Pavana 6. Tono 8. Compas Algo Apresurado

III. The Guerra Manuscript, Volume 2  (Juan Sancho, t./Ars Atlántica/Manuel Vilas). Naxos CD 8.572876

01 Guerra Manuscript 2

From The Whole Note:
The University of Santiago de Compostella’s libraries are an indispensible source of information regarding Spanish music. Many tonos humanos (secular songs) were copied by José Miguel Guerra; his name is given to the Guerra manuscript. It is Ars Atlántica’s aim to record all 100 of these tonos humanos.

 In this recording the instruments accompanying tenor Juan Sancho comprise a two-course Spanish harp based on a 1704 original – a highly contemporary touch – and a four- and five-course pair of guitars based on originals even older than the manuscript!

 From the start Juan Sancho’s clear Spanish tenor voice brings the songs to life. Juan Hidalgo’s Ay de mi dolor, despite its sorrowful title, places varied demands on Sancho’s vocal range. This is comforted by what immediately follows, Dichoso yo que adoro, in turn benefiting from the guitar accompaniment. It was rare for instruments to be specified but harp and guitar are known to have been used frequently. As an example, Hidalgo exploited the range of both tenor and baroque harp in his La noche tenebrosa.

 Many of the songs on this particular recording are of anonymous composition. Frescos airecillos with its beautiful guitar embellishments is one such example; what a shame that we do not know who composed this beautiful and expressive piece.

 Among the composers who can be identified (sometimes by similar songs appearing in other manuscripts where they are attributed) are Hidalgo and José Marín. The latter exploited his talents as a tenor, composer and guitarist to write Amante, Ausente Y Triste, although the notes in this recording indicate he did not have too much time for composing, having been sentenced to exile and the galleys!

 All of the songs in the Guerra manuscript will be recorded in this series – they will form a joyful and informative contribution to our knowledge of the Spanish Baroque.

Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Nina si encontrares (My Girl, If You Encounter), song
>Hidalgo, Juan : Ay de mi dolor!, song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Dichoso yo que adoro (Happy Am I for I Love), song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Frescos airecillos (Fresh Little Breezes), song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Que las rosas de suyo (By Their Nature, Roses), song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : A quien me quejare? (To Whom Should I Complain?), song
>Hidalgo, Juan : Cuando puede en lo amante (When Fire Can Kill), song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Suma belleza (Beauty Supreme), song
>Hidalgo, Juan : Los celos hacen estrellas
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Calla, no cantes (Be Silent, Sing Not), song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Pues quiero la pena (Since I Love Sorrow), song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Manda la piedad divina (Divine Mercy Ordains), song
>Navas, Juan de : Pero bien haces (But You Do Well), song
>Marín, José : Amante, ausente y triste, for voice & continuo
>Hidalgo, Juan : Como ha de saber Belilla?
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : Yo joven (When I Was Young), song
>Anonymous, Guerra Manuscript : No cantes Filomena (Sing Not, Philomena), song

Composer Info

Antonio de Cabezón, Hernando de Cabezón ,Thomas Crecquillon , Philippe Verdelot , Luys Milán’s El Maestro (1536), José Miguel Guerra , Juan Hidalgo , José Marín , Juan de Navas

CD Info

Ricercar CD 335, Naxos CD 8.573305, Naxos CD 8.572876