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Posted January 11, 2012
El Cortesano – SI ME LLAMAN – Carpe Diem
Vocalist, Jose Hernandez-Pastor, and vihuelist, Ariel Abramovich, have provided a real public service in recording rarely heard selections from Diego Pisador’s “Libro de Musica de Vihuela”. Published in 1552, Pisador’s book was a collection of his own compositions drawing on early Spanish poetic forms like ‘romances’ (basically, love songs) and ‘villancicos’ (historic tales of Christians vs. Moors), and instrumental ‘fantasias’.
Though I can’t claim any expertise regarding Renaissance poetry (in any language), I do know beauty when I hear it and both the singing and playing on this recording are stunningly beautiful. Mr. Hernandez-Pastor’s vocals are clear and pitch perfect, while Mr. Abramovich provides sympathetic accompaniment and, on the instrumentals, displays virtuoso technique.
Diego Pisador has been given short shrift in the “official” musical histories; the Grove encyclopedia calls his music 'mediocre' and the Oxford encyclopedia doesn’t bother to mention him at all. One may hope that “Si Me Llaman”, lovingly performed and flawlessly recorded, will begin to change the regard Mr. Pisador’s music is held.
Highly recommended to fans and students of early music, guitarists interested in the Spanish vihuela tradition, and anyone looking for a flat-out gorgeous listening experience.
10 out of 10 Oscar O. Veterano