mercoledì 29 aprile 2015

O Lusitano (Gerard Lesne & Circa 1500)

23 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR 113 Mb

It is salutory, in Columbus year, to have a musical memento in honour of the great maritime achievements and discoveries of the Portuguese while at the same time drawing a little explored corner of the repertory to a wider public. This is clearly the aim of Circa 1500's new release "0 Lusitano". The title refers in general terms to all matters Portuguese, but it also has a more direct resonance in the refrain of possibly the most interesting song on the recording, the anonymous Puestos estan frente a frente. This highly dramatic lament for King Sebastian, "El Lusitano", who was killed in battle against the Moroccan army in 1578, encapsulates the strengths of this disc: Gerard Lesne's clear, controlled but expressive singing--in this item in an appropriately declamatory vein—with a vital and varied accompaniment from Circa 1500 in a simple but effective piece which marks a precise moment in Portuguese history. Not all the other numbers on this recording have this degree of relevance to the intended theme, nor are they all quite so successfully rendered.

Only a very few songs with Portuguese texts survive; even an occasional piece, of great significance to the Portuguese, like Puesto.s es/an frenle a frente is in Castilian, the dominant language, courtly and cultural, for most of the period. So it is perfectly valid to include songs in Castilian by Portuguese composers, or those which would have been known in Portuguese court circles. As if to avoid too much Castilian-texted music, however, Circa 1500 perform many of these songs as purely instrumental versions. No doubt this also reflects the usual orientation of the ensemble, but I for one could easily have taken more from Lesne. Not that the instruments are not superbly played and often imaginatively used. Erin Headley's lirone accompaniment to Senhora del tnundo is a particularly fine example. At times, however, I find there is almost too much 'colour', the combinations of instruments chopping and changing to the extent that the element of 'scoring' achieves undue prominence. Funnily enough, this seems to be a reflection of the old-fashioned concern of early music groups to give every member their turn rather than putting the demands of the music first. Andrew Lawrence-King certainly gets his turn in the most extended (by about six minutes) piece of the recording, a lien/a for harp by Manuel Rodrigues Coetilo. Again, this is played extremely well on a richly resonant instrument (about which, sadly, no information is given in the accompanying booklet—has the sense of discovery of the early early music revival been lost already?), so it seems unfair to quibble. Perhaps the most important thing is that here many fine pieces are presented for the first time in high quality performances. J particularly relished hearing Alonso Mudarra's arrangement for voice and instrumental accompaniment of Pedro de Escobar's fourvoice motet Clamabat autem mulier, and I'm sure you will also find much to enjoy.   -- Gramophone [9/1992]


1 - La Folia
2 - Dos Estrellas La Siguen Machado
3 - Ja Nao Podeis Ser Contentes
4 - Perdi A Esperance
5 - Cuydados Meus Tao Cuidados
6 - Testao Minha Ventura
7 - Porque Me Nao Ves Joana
8 - Fant Fuenllana
9 - Clamabat Autem Mulier
10 - Pavan & Galliard D'Alexandra
11 - Secaronme Los Pesares
12 - Ninha Era La Infanta
13 - Vos Senora A Maltratarme
14 - Mis Ojos Tristes Ihorando
15 - Gran Plaser Siento Yo Ya
16 - Pasame Por Dios Barquero
17 - Tantum Ergo Sacramentum
18 - Tiento Para Arpa
19 - Senhora Del Mundo
20 - Nao Tragais Borzeguis Pretos
21 - Paso A Paso, Empenos Mios Machado
22 - Yo Sonhava Que Ma Ablava
23 - Puestos Estan Frente A Frente  

Gérard Lesne (Alto)

Ensemble Circa 1500
dir. Nancy Hadden

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento