Spanish Dances: Selections from Ruiz de Ribaya's

Spanish Dances: Selections from Ruiz de Ribaya's "Luz y Norte"

by Harp Consort
     
 
The name of the group is a little deceptive since the Harp Consort contains only one harpist, Andrew Lawrence-King, alongside up to four guitarists/lutenists, two gamba players, and a percussionist. Not every instrumentalist plays on every track, however, so the harp almost invariably dominates. This may sound boring to non-harp

Overview

The name of the group is a little deceptive since the Harp Consort contains only one harpist, Andrew Lawrence-King, alongside up to four guitarists/lutenists, two gamba players, and a percussionist. Not every instrumentalist plays on every track, however, so the harp almost invariably dominates. This may sound boring to non-harp lovers, but it's not so bad. For one thing, Lawrence-King uses seven different harps and harp-like instruments over the course of the album, some quite powerful and rather far removed from the stereotypically dreamy sound of the modern concert harp. For another thing, the music comes from a 1677 collection of dance band music from Spain, so the pieces are bound to have some rhythm. Unfortunately, this consideration is partially neutralized by the tendency classical musicians have of turning dynamic dance music into static objects of aesthetic contemplation. The three best pieces are the ones which employ all the musicians: "Xacaras por primer tono," "Torneo," and "El Gran Duque & Baylete" actually get up enough steam to be danceable. Like Lawrence-King's best work with the group Tragicomedia on Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdelena Bach, they achieve a real passion and power. A short tarantella for four musicians attains a similar level of enthusiasm. The rest of the pieces, while pretty, are generally just too sedate. It's almost as if Lawrence-King was afraid of damaging his reputation as a classical musician by cutting loose, but he owes it to the music and to his audience. An album for enthusiasts.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/16/1996
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0054727734021
catalogNumber:
77340

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