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Bolivian Baroque / Florilegium


Release Date: 04/12/2005 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 22105   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Domenico ZipoliAnonymousHenry Villca
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium EnsembleBolivian soloists
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Includes a DVD about the making of this recording.

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During the past decade or so, interest in Baroque music composed and/or performed in South American cities--particularly the cathedrals--has inspired a number of recordings. This one focuses on European-style 18th-century vocal and instrumental music from the Jesuit "Reducciones", or "settlements" in Bolivia. Not only was there a regular flow of music and musicians (and musical instruments) to South America from Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, but over time native-born composers trained in church-run schools began contribute their own works to what became an enormous body of instrumental and vocal repertoire.
Read more /> Although there's nothing surprising here in terms of musical originality--it sounds exactly like what Spanish and Italian and German composers of the period were writing--it's of remarkable quality and effervescence, with no lack of technical demands on the performers. In fact, some of these pieces are fairly virtuosic, especially Domenico Zipoli's Beatus Vir and the anonymous (Handelian-style) aria "Chapie, Iyaî Jesu Christo", both of which require a soprano of substantial agility and accuracy. Although at first I wasn't enamored of Katia Escalera's somewhat uneven technique, on second and third listen I warmed up to her mostly pleasing tone (which occasionally can become harsh and under-pitch) and her engaging energy and enthusiasm for what really is very appealing music. Tenor Henry Villca is better, and his aria by Zipoli, "In hoc mundo", which sounds almost Mozartean in its opera-like dramatic character, is one of the disc's highlights. Incidentally, all four of the vocal soloists are native Bolivians, which, along with the location recording gives the performances a welcome cultural and ambient authenticity.

The instrumental work by the members of Florilegium is excellent, particularly the lively ensemble in Sonata Chiquitanas XVIII and the infectious "fiddling" in the (also anonymous) La Folia. Sonically, this SACD (it also can be played on regular CD players, which is where I heard it) is a treat, and you'll know why from the first seconds of the first piece. Voices and instruments have an immediacy and presence that--while we've come to expect this from Channel Classics--is particularly vivid throughout the program, and balances are perfect no matter what the configuration. For those interested in such things, the musicians' experience in making the recording is captured on an accompanying DVD. I must add that I found the packaging for this CD very frustrating in terms of readability--the insanely small, knockout type style (white-on-dark) is hard to read and the illogical organization of the track information, performer lists, and texts detracted from what otherwise is a beautifully-designed and colorful presentation. Oh well. The music and performances are very fine, and I can recommend those without reservation!

-- David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Beatus vir by Domenico Zipoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: Baroque 
2.
Chiquitos manuscript: Aqui ta naqui by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: Baroque 
3.
In hoc Mundo by Domenico Zipoli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: Baroque 
4.
La folia by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Portugal 
5.
In hac mensa novi Regis by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: Baroque 
Written: Bolivia 
6.
Chiquitos manuscript: Caîma, Iayî Jesus by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: Baroque 
7.
Chiquitos mauscript: Ychepe Flauta by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1740 
8.
Ascendit Deus in iubilatione by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1730; Bolivia 
9.
Exaltate Regem Regum by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1730; Bolivia 
10.
Improvisation by Henry Villca
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble,  Bolivian soloists
Period: 20th Century 
11.
Chiquitos mauscript: Sonata no 18 by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble
Period: Baroque 

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