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Mision: Barroco Amazonico

Sphera Antiqva
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Columna Musica   Catalog #: 269   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  AnonymousDomenico Zipoli
Performer:  Florian CousinSoledad Cardoso
Conductor:  Pablo GutierrezJavier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MISIÓN BARROCO AMAZÓNICO: Music from the Jesuit Missions to the Chiquito and Moxo Indians Soledad Cardoso (sop); Florian Cousin (fl); Javier Illán, Pablo Gutiérrez (dir); Sphera Antiqva COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0269 (60:11)


The extraordinary musical legacy of the Jesuit missions in Bolivia has only been brought to the attention of wider audiences in the past couple of decades, most notably by the ensemble Florilegium and the Arakaendar Bolivian Choir in their three Bolivian Baroque CDs (2005–10) on the Channel Read more Classics label. Music of anonymous Baroque and early Classical Jesuit composers has been preserved as hand-copied manuscripts in the mission churches of the Chiquito and Moxo Indians, and some pieces have been performed regularly since their composition. The Bolivian ensemble Sphere Antiqva’s new recording covers some of the same repertoire as Florilegium’s, but whereas Ashley Solomon and his U.K.-based ensemble bring out the more cosmopolitan, European side of the music, Sphera Antiqva and its directors, Baroque violinists Javier Illán and Pablo Gutiérrez, offer a riveting and illuminating journey into the spicy blend of native and Mediterranean sounds that is Chiquito and Moxo mission music.


In the hands of a less creative and less adventurous ensemble, the pieces on this recording would be less than memorable. There are no hidden masterpieces in these Bolivian archives. However, from the very first track, this album is captivating, compelling, and genuinely fun. The ensemble blends the familiar cast of characters of European Baroque music—flute, violins, cello, theorbo, Baroque guitar, harpsichord, and organ—with native Indian instruments, such as the bajones, a large, deep-pitched panpipe-type instrument made from palm leaves, and a wide range of native and European percussion instruments. The instrumental playing is altogether excellent, from the sweet, focused sound of flutist Florian Cousin, featured in the delightful Pastoreta Ychepe Flauta , to the adventurous and athletic violin playing of Illán and Gutiérrez—these guys are not afraid to take risks—and Keiko Gomi’s elegant yet incisive continuo cello. From castanets to shakers and rattles to an instrument made from a toucan’s beak, Daniel Garay’s percussion is treated as an integral part of the basso continuo. In the opening Folias (not the usual divisions on the ground bass), the effect is exhilarating. In the ritornelli of the motet In hac, mensa novi Regis , it borders on annoying.


Soprano Soledad Cardoso’s rich, complex, and clear voice is just dark enough to lend an exotic and mesmerizing color to this repertoire, especially the beautiful Chiquito motet Quid moror Maria. Her low register is smoky and sultry, and her high notes soar with clarity and power. Only occasionally, such as in the rapid-fire passagework of In hac mensa novi Regis, does Cardoso miss the mark, her articulations heavy enough to noticeably clash with the spirited lightness of the string playing.


The disc concludes with a bonus track, A. Martín Saldaña’s arrangement of Domenico Zipoli’s Toccata in F Major for the Elevation. The only named composer on the disc, Zipoli was a Tuscan-born Jesuit who worked in Argentina, and whose music was widely known throughout colonial South America. Originally for solo organ, Saldaña’s arrangement, while pretty, is much closer to Remo Giazotto’s faux-Baroque Adagio (attributed to Albinoni) than Zipoli’s original in many places.


Sonics are tight and focused; I find myself missing a richer acoustic, but pleased by the clarity of the individual instruments, especially the flute and cello, and the forward presence of the soprano. At times, the studio-produced sound verges on the artificial, bringing a few overly busy Baroque guitar riffs into too sharp a focus.


FANFARE: Henry Lebedinsky
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Works on This Recording

1.
Folías for keyboard (Misiones de Chiquitos - Bolivia) by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Written: 17th Century 
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
2.
Caîma, Iyaî Jesus, motet for voice & ensemble by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
3.
Pastoreta Ychepe Flauta, for recorder, violin & continuo by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 8 Minutes 59 Secs. 
4.
Quid moror María, for voice & ensemble by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Period: Baroque 
Written: Bolivia 
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
5.
Aqui ta naqui Iyai, for voice & ensemble by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 0 Minutes 48 Secs. 
6.
Flute Sonata No. 5 in B major by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Written: Bolivia 
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
7.
In hac Mensa Novi Regis, aria for voice & ensemble by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 6 Minutes 40 Secs. 
8.
Flute Sonata No. 6 in G major by Anonymous
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Period: Baroque 
Written: Bolivia 
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 9 Minutes 26 Secs. 
9.
Sonate d'intavolatura: All'Elevazione by Domenico Zipoli
Performer:  Florian Cousin (Flute), Soledad Cardoso ()
Conductor:  Pablo Gutierrez,  Javier Illan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sphera AntiQva
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716/1722; Italy 
Venue:  los estudios Musigrama, Madrid 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Worth the wait August 4, 2012 By M. Brady (Spokane, WA) See All My Reviews "I ordered this CD after hearing selections from it on Harmonia. I had to wait a couple of weeks for it and since I recieved it I've played it almost every day. I am not a musician nor do I have any expertise in reviewing music, but what I can say is that the music is lovely and I don't tire of listening to the CD. If you're interested in Baroque music you should buy this CD." Report Abuse
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