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Moon, Sun & All Things
     

Moon, Sun & All Things

by Ex Cathedra Choir
 
CDs featuring early music from Latin America have appeared regularly in recent years, and the striking thing is that little repertoire has been duplicated. Obviously the field of Renaissance and Baroque music from the Spanish-speaking New World (Brazil is something else yet again) is a large field whose riches haven't yet been even close to fully tapped. This disc by

Overview

CDs featuring early music from Latin America have appeared regularly in recent years, and the striking thing is that little repertoire has been duplicated. Obviously the field of Renaissance and Baroque music from the Spanish-speaking New World (Brazil is something else yet again) is a large field whose riches haven't yet been even close to fully tapped. This disc by the British choir and instrumental ensemble Ex Cathedra presents mostly music by composers who worked in South America, but the characteristic mixture of styles -- high-style polyphony; the semi-popular (and semi-sacred) Spanish villancico, which might have an African influence; and simple, rather mystical pieces in Amerindian languages (here Quechua and Nahuatl) -- that makes the Latin American repertory as a whole so fascinating is fully in evidence. It's a lovely disc, and fully worth investigating for those who have been snared by this unique Latin sound. Ex Cathedra's approach to the repertory differs from that heard on the other recordings that have appeared so far, and it has both advantages and disadvantages. The biggest difference is that the music here is sung by a choir; ensemble leaders Jordi Savall and Andrew Lawrence-King, as well as the Mexican groups that have presented music of their own country, have mostly performed sacred repertory with smaller groups. Documentary evidence indicates that Spanish composers working in the New World often had good-sized choirs at their disposal, and anyone who has visited a small Latin American town will not fail to have been impressed by the size of its cathedral. Moon, Sun & All Things is structured like an actual Vespers service, which does give a sense for the multicultural collision of styles in the New World but has the effect of mixing music of different eras together in a way that the original musicians probably would not have done. Savall's wide-ranging approach, which communicates the Spanish roots of the African influence in the music, is ultimately more coherent despite the attempt here to assemble an actual unit of service music. The performances of the villancicos are a bit reserved; Savall's freer approach on his Villancicos y danzas criollas album gets across their rhythmic excitement better. The singers of Ex Cathedra plainly enjoy the fabulously down-to-earth religious metaphors of the villancicos, however, and they articulate the texts clearly. Any new recording in this marvelous field is to be welcomed, and this one has much to offer in a package that will be enjoyable for all.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/11/2005
Label:
Hyperion Uk
UPC:
0034571175249
catalogNumber:
67524

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Hanacpachap cussicuinin (God, Joy of the Universe), hymn
  2. Deus in Auditorium
  3. Dixit Dominus, for 11 voices
  4. Salga el Torillo
  5. Beátus Vir, for soprano, choir, 2 violins & continuo
  6. Viva Ignacio! Viva!
  7. Laudate Dominum
  8. Aquí, aquí, valentones, for chorus
  9. Dios Itlaco nantzine
  10. Ave Maris Stella, for soloists, chorus & ensemble
  11. Magnificat à 8
  12. Cui luna, sol et omnia
  13. Albricias, mortales!
  14. Sancta Mariae, for chorus
  15. Ay, andar!
  16. Dulce Jesús mío (Yyaî Jesuchristo)

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