Adio España: Romances, Villancicos & Improvisations from Spain, Circa 1500

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The dominant American early music group of the 1990s, the Baltimore Consort seems to have spent much of the first decade of the twenty first century on sabbatical. While the essential core of the Baltimore Consort -- Mary Anne Ballard, Mark Cudek, Larry Lipkis, Ronn McFarlane, and Mindy Rosenfeld -- remains as part of the group, two of its star performers have departed. Chris Norman, he of the wooden flute, left to begin his own ensemble, and in 2004 vocalist Custer LaRue -- the most famous member of the group -- decided to depart. Along with the collapse of the record label Dorian Records, this left the future of the Baltimore Consort in considerable doubt. Cut ahead ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The dominant American early music group of the 1990s, the Baltimore Consort seems to have spent much of the first decade of the twenty first century on sabbatical. While the essential core of the Baltimore Consort -- Mary Anne Ballard, Mark Cudek, Larry Lipkis, Ronn McFarlane, and Mindy Rosenfeld -- remains as part of the group, two of its star performers have departed. Chris Norman, he of the wooden flute, left to begin his own ensemble, and in 2004 vocalist Custer LaRue -- the most famous member of the group -- decided to depart. Along with the collapse of the record label Dorian Records, this left the future of the Baltimore Consort in considerable doubt. Cut ahead a few years, and the label has bounced back as Dorian Sono Luminus; the Baltimore Consort, though still Custer-less and Chris-less, would soon follow, resuming a regular performance schedule in September 2008 and bringing along the comeback release Adio España: Romances, Villancicos & Improvisations from Spain circa 1500. This disc was released in 2009, already a busy year for fans of the Spanish renaissance, as Dorian's Adio España follows hard on the heels of Jordi Savall's massive two-disc collection Ministriles Reales on AliaVox. Though the Baltimore Consort is dealing with the same period and style of music as Savall, it is hard to imagine two early music collections more different from one another than these two. The Baltimore Consort made its reputation with a sort of early music cum folksy bluegrass flavor that -- let's face it -- sounds good, even as one might wonder how such performance style reflects the various historical contexts from which early music originates. When it comes to Spanish renaissance music, the Baltimore Consort is a bit more like a chilled California chardonnay than a Spanish rioja, and for this reason Spanish renaissance hardcores might not get very far with Adio España, though that would be a pity because some of the performances further into the disc can stand with anything of their kind in terms of clarity, cohesion, and verve. Adio España is partly good and partly less than good. The Sephardic pieces totter dangerously close to a picture postcard ambience, and the extent to which the group applies its "rocque 'n roll" approach to "Ríu, ríu, chiu" almost makes one laugh; you start to wonder when the musicians will break into "Humo en el agua." However, they use the same approach with "Cucú, cucú, cucucú" and everything about that works; it works exactly right and is an absolute joy to behold. Several of the instrumental pieces are enchanting and hold true to the best standards of the Baltimore Consort of old. The Baltimore Consort has attended to their Custerlessness with the addition of countertenor José Lemos; although listed as a "guest artist" on the band's website, he is definitely a keeper. Lemos is genuinely a terrific singer, a countertenor on a level with Russell Oberlin, though with a slightly purer vocal tone, and he adds a lot to this album, even in pieces where you wonder if the overall realization is headed in the right direction or not. In the main, as an album of Spanish renaissance music, Adio España: Romances, Villancicos & Improvisations from Spain circa 1500 may have some challenges, and it is definitely not for purists, but as a comeback album for the Baltimore Consort, we'll definitely take it. Welcome back, gang!
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/28/2009
  • Label: Dorian Recordings
  • UPC: 053479090126
  • Catalog Number: 90901
  • Sales rank: 361,426

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Morenica a mí me llaman - Baltimore Consort & Sephardic Traditional (5:21)
  2. 2 Avrix mi galanica (Let Me In, My Love) - Baltimore Consort & Sephardic Traditional (1:33)
  3. 3 La mañana de San Juan - Baltimore Consort & Diego Pisador (3:00)
  4. 4 Recercada "La Spagna", for vihuela (from Trattado de Glosas) - Diego Oritz (0:58)
  5. 5 Alta à 3 (Danza sobre La Spagna) - Francisco de la Torre & Baltimore Consort (2:04)
  6. 6 Tiento - Alonso de Mudarra & Baltimore Consort (0:38)
  7. 7 Trieste estava el Rey David, song for voice & vihuela - Alonso de Mudarra & Baltimore Consort (1:41)
  8. 8 Riu, riu, chiu!, carol (Spanish) - Baltimore Consort & Christmas Traditional (2:14)
  9. 9 Tres Morillas M'Enamoran - Baltimore Consort & Anonymous, Cancionero de Palacio (1:14)
  10. 10 Di, perra mora (Instrumental) - Baltimore Consort & Pedro Guerrero (2:14)
  11. 11 Quinta pars (Ruggiero), for vihuela (from Trattado de Glosas) - Diego Oritz (1:37)
  12. 12 Recercada No. 1 (Passamezzo antiguo), for vihuela (from Trattado de Glosas) - Diego Oritz (1:59)
  13. 13 Recercada No. 2 (Passamezzo moderno), for vihuela (from Trattado de Glosas) - Diego Oritz (3:10)
  14. 14 ¿Qu'es de ti, desconsolado?, cancionero (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Baltimore Consort & Juan del Encina (3:46)
  15. 15 Levanta, Pascual, cancionero (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Baltimore Consort & Juan del Encina (2:16)
  16. 16 Morenica, dame un beso, for vihuela - Miguel de Fuenllana & Baltimore Consort (1:26)
  17. 17 Una sañosa porfía, cancionero (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Baltimore Consort & Juan del Encina (7:04)
  18. 18 Sagaleja del Casar, for vihuela (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Anonymous, Cancionero de Palacio (1:22)
  19. 19 Cucú, cucú, cucúcu, cancionero (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Baltimore Consort & Juan del Encina (1:54)
  20. 20 Calabaça, no sé, buen amor (Pumpkin, I don't know, my love), villancico (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Anonymous, Cancionero de Palacio (1:59)
  21. 21 Tu Madre cuando Te Parió - Baltimore Consort & Sephardic Traditional (4:31)
  22. 22 Yo me soy la morenica (I am the little dark girl), villancico - Baltimore Consort & Anonymous, Cancionero de Upsala (2:35)
  23. 23 Ay triste que vengo, cancionero for 3 voices (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Baltimore Consort & Juan del Encina (1:40)
  24. 24 Oy comamos y bebamos, cancionero (from Cancionero de Palacio) - Juan del Encina (2:43)
  25. 25 Baila nena (Dance little girl), folk song (Galician) - Galician Traditional (2:14)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Baltimore Consort Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2013

    5 stars not 3 !!!!!!

    5 stars not 3 !!!!!! I am bewildered as to WHY? the one other review posted only gave this CD 3 stars. I fully agree with his/her comments but happily endorse this CD to 5 stars. Further it gets better with each playing. Truly love anything the Blatimore Consort does. Vocals and instrumentation is truy inspired.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Satisfying Collection of Spanish Renaissance Music

    If you think about historic recreation, you'll undoubtedly think of today's popular Renaissance Faires. In music, such dedication to historic reproduction is to be found in recordings and performances by early music ensembles, such as The Baltimore Consort, one of the finest groups of musicians in the U.S. whose passion is music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque periods. In their new Dorian Recording entitled Adio España, The Baltimore Consort unveils 25 Renaissance gems from 15th-16th century Spain.

    In The Baltimore Consort's well-curated program, there are several types of works recorded of Christian, Jewish, and Moorish origin, from all regions of the Iberian peninsula: simple Sephardic melodies (folksongs with minimal accompaniments); instrumental dances or improvisations - for lutes, viols, wind instruments, vihuelas (early Spanish guitars), and percussion; and secular folksongs and dances - or cancioneros, often classified into two categories - romances (poetic ballads) and villancicos (livelier, often heroic songs and dances with refrains). Just as you might enjoy a Renaissance Faire without being a rabid historian of the period, it can be fascinating to just experience this music without reading any historical notes. One can clearly hear the distinctive seeds of Spanish musical style in these old works. However, the succinct, informative historical notes enclosed in this CD, as well as the excellent translations of lyrics, provide an increased level of understanding and enjoyment, like taking a tour through a Spanish museum with an expert. The romances and villancicos are particularly well chosen, found often in related pairings that complement each other. Several of the finest sets were composed by Juan del Encina, considered the most prolific and popular master of cancioneros from the Ferdinand-Isabella era. Among several anonymous works, a few singular works by various composers, six of Encina's works are featured, along with four colorful improvisations by Diego Ortiz.

    Brazilian countertenor José Lemos' guest vocal performance throughout the recording is a definitive highlight, with polished singing befitting the varied enchanting, heroic, and occasionally saucy lyrics. You may snicker a bit at lines such as "Be sure to satisfy your wife yourself / Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuck-cuckoo / Be careful not to be one," as I did, but if I had to choose a favorite track, it would be Lemos' haunting, fado-like performance of Tu Madre Cuando Te Parió in which he sings an especially touching Spanish refrain, translated "Farewell, farewell beloved / I no longer wish to live / You made life bitter for me." Also worth hearing is vibrant vihuela/guitar playing from Mark Cudek, one of the founding leaders of the consort. The technical production causes the CD to suffer slightly from occasional unevenness of balance, with some vivid percussion parts pushed further into the background than necessary, and an occasional microphone so close to a wind instrument to capture its player's deep consumption of breath, as well as their dominant presence in the sound of the ensemble.

    Overall, advocates and fans of early music should find The Baltimore Consort's collection a satisfying journey through Spanish Renaissance music history.

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