Villancicos y Danzas Criollas

Discussion in 'Classical Music' started by tones, May 25, 2004.

  1. tones

    tones compulsive cantater

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Or, to give its full title, "Villancicos y Danzas Criollas de la Iberia Antigua al Nuevo Mundo" (Alia Vox AV9834).

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000E64U4/qid=1085564282/202-2291234-3639009

    I'm listening to it at this very moment and it's great! It's by Jordi Savall and his groups (La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI) and it's of music from Latin America, when this was a series of Spanish colonies. It's a fascinating blend of European classical style and local dance rhythms, with much percussion, something that wasn't in vogue in European music of the time! Savall argues that Spain never had the big separation of "popular" and "highbrow" music then current in other European countries (so that the nobility could distinguish themselves from the common herd). As a result, the acquisition of local traits by Spanish composers in the New World came quite naturally. A very colourful and enjoyable CD, also nicely recorded. If you like something a bit different, I recommend it. "Stereophile" made it its Record of the Month recently.

    P.S. Useless Information Dept. How many people realise that the typical European-style waltz "Over the waves", known to the point of boredom by everyone who has ever visited a fairground, was written not by a European, but by a Mexican - and an "Indian" at that?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2004
    tones, May 25, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. tones

    GrahamN

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suwway
    Sounds as if it would be just like that piece by de Araujo I played over at Titan's last year - which was also based on a villancico. There's also another one on the same disc (from Skidmore and Ex Cathedra on Hyperion called "New World Symphonies", rather bizarrely since it's a couple of masses, plus a few hymns and antiphons) that's a mixture of European homophony and a Cuban 'guaracha'. If so, looks like it could be on my shopping list, as those two pieces are tremendous fun, and I think even outdo Praetorius.
     
    GrahamN, May 25, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. tones

    tones compulsive cantater

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Switzerland
    It reminds me a lot of that piece you played, Graham (in fact, I wondered whether it was the same). But you're right that it does indeed sometimes out-Praetorius Praetorius. Lots of bounce and sparkle, well sung and played.
     
    tones, May 26, 2004
    #3
  4. tones

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Dear Tones:

    That's rubbish and Savall ought to know it. Yes, the court was extremely ignorant, but that is because the real elite was the church. And Iberian Church music is difficult, counterpointy, elitist, complex, you name it.

    Just think of the organ works of Antóniuo de Cabezon, António Carreira, manuel Rodrigues Coelho, Corrêa d'Arauxo, Pedro de Araújo, Juan Cabanilles. And the Vocal works of Victoria, Cardoso, Duarte Lobo and so on.

    I think Savall is a good musician (on his day - a great pity he has so often off-days), but he is a far better opportunistic businessman.

    I studied Villancicos; I even had a book with the partitions. Beleive me, there is nothing in common with a tento (or tiento). One (villancicos) is pop music, well suited to the illiterate nobility; the other (tentos) is hard and abstract counterpoint, suited to educated friars.

    I could go on. But believe me: If Savall says that, it's rubbish. Also, drumming was NOT common in 17th century music. He just happens to have a good drummer with him; and pop oriented people just like drummers. That's really all there is to it.

    As a matter of fact, Iberia preserved modality (which is harder and much more difficult than tonality) far longer than, for instance, Germany (where there really was a intermingling between the popular and erudite genres - because of Luther's idea that music ought to be able to move the masses).

    This is not because Iberia was retrograde. It was just because musicians composed for erudite ears (and eyes) and not for the people.

    Please excuse my abrupt ways, but I'm really fed up with Savall's commercialism. By the way, if anybody's interested, it is pronounced Sa'vagl, as in Italian SerraGLIo. Quite a different consonant from L. And Jordi is pronounced Djor'dee, with an almoust mute d at Dj(ordi)., and the J is almost a semi-vocal I (as in Notrthern Europe 'Bjorn').

    So now I'll definitely disappear into darkness again. That means teh WTC II. :)
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, May 27, 2004
    #4
  5. tones

    tones compulsive cantater

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Thanks, RdS. Actually, when I think of it, the sleeve note writer might not have been Savall himself, but I guess he must have agreed (or perhaps not). Anyway, it's still a good listen, flaws in scholarship notwithstanding! Now, having succeeded once, I must work on new ways to prod you out of self-imposed exile!
     
    tones, May 27, 2004
    #5
  6. tones

    GrahamN

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suwway
    Not sure whether it's Savall or RdS, but I think someone's missing the point here....the "Nuevo Mondo" bit. I looked at that link, and this collection does include two of the Hyperion disk: Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin - same piece despite the spelling, but listed as "Anon" by Hyperion, implying it was a preexisting piece adopted by Bocanegra, and Convidando esta la Noche. The point that Skidmore makes is that when the Iberian composers got to the New World they amalgamated some of the folk tradition they found there with their more classical Old World background to come up with a rather interesting crossover. BTW - is the 'de Araujo' RdS mentions related to the Jean (1648-1712) who worked in Lima and Bolivia.

    Not sure whether it's just the poor quality of the downloads or just my more Anglican-attuned ear but I do find the voices on the Savall disc rather plummy and mannered, and much prefer the sound of "Ex Cathedra". Fun music though.
     
    GrahamN, May 27, 2004
    #6
  7. tones

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    I'm trying to stay clear from the Net because it is so time consuming. But I did commit a very long post about Glenn Gould here

    I posted about twice. It is the last post that is worth reading (at page 8). Now I did it because I was more or less asked for it.

    Anyway, thank you for your kindness.

    I'll pop up from time to time :)

    Now, back to work!!
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, May 27, 2004
    #7
  8. tones

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Yes, you have a valid point. I was just reacting to the commercialism of the statement.

    Now, Pedro de Araújo, Francisco Corrêa de Arauxo and Jean Araujo (I did not even know him - and Jean strikes me as a French name; in Bolívia it would have been Juan) were independent composers afaik. Which is odd, because Araújo (or the Northern Portuguese-Galaic spelling, Arauxo) is not a very common name; as a matter of fact it is a fairly aristocratic one.

    And now, I'll really make myself scarce.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2004
    Rodrigo de Sá, May 27, 2004
    #8
  9. tones

    tones compulsive cantater

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Do I have to? :(
     
    tones, May 27, 2004
    #9
  10. tones

    GrahamN

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Suwway
    My mistake/mistype - I did of course mean Juan. He was born in Villafranca de los Barros in Spain (according to Grove in 1646 rather than 1648), but became probably the most prolific of the Latin American composers of his day, leaving oer 200 works, mostly polyphonic villancicos. From a quick trawl on the Web it seems that there's a fair bit more known about Juan than Pedro (disagreement about dates, locations etc...and he doesn't get into the on-lin Grove either)!
     
    GrahamN, May 27, 2004
    #10
  11. tones

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    Sorry, I meant *I* should get back to work!

    I have two monster PhD thesis to read (about 600 hundered pages each - in small type), three papers to write, I'm conducting a research on reptiles, there is a lot of University business to antend to and, on top of that, I'm trying to study the WTC! And there are other, very time consuming, things. If I don't go mad now I guess I never will. But then, perhaps I am slightly mad already and it will pass unnoticed :)

    Anyway, thanks for the lure. I'll come back eventually.
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, May 28, 2004
    #11
  12. tones

    Rodrigo de Sá This club's crushing bore

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lisbon
    My very last post for this month.

    It is small wonder that I know Pedro de Araújo better - he was an organist and composed very interesting (highly polyphonic and terribly difficult to play) tentos.

    Now I'll ask a girlfriend of mine about Juan de Araujo. She is a singer (and what a marvelous voice she has!) and knows polyphonic repertoire rather well.

    And, as is well known, organ music, like all things eternal, is dismissed in this sordid and capitalist world of ours (that should please Sideshow!, but I fear he has been Naimized).

    Well, have a good time here. I'd keep you company (a dubious benefit!) but allas, I am really overworked, nay, overslaved.

    All the best
     
    Rodrigo de Sá, May 28, 2004
    #12
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Similar Threads
There are no similar threads yet.
Loading...