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Folias: Spanish Music For Harpsichord From The 17th Century

Cabanilles / De Arauxo / Ximenez / Bruna / Blank
Release Date: 02/25/2014 
Label:  Passacaille   Catalog #: 992   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Juan Bautista José CabanillesJusepe XiménezFrancisco Correa de ArauxoPablo Bruna
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



FOLIAS: Spanish Music for Harpsichord from the 17th Century Lydia Maria Blank (hpd) PASSACAILLE 922 (76:58)


Music by JOAN BAUTISTA JOSÉ CABANILLES, FRANCISCO CORREA DE ARAUXO, JOSÉ XIMÉNEZ, PABLO BRUNA


Here’s a fine album devoted to 12 selections of Spanish keyboard music, far too neglected in comparison even with the less noteworthy English composers of the 17th century. It may be the conservative complexity of their thematic Read more inspiration, the prevailing darker tone of much of the music, its comparative lack of rhythmic drive (at least once outside the ostinato-based folk pieces—so much keyboard music in England at that period was either transcribed or developed from dances, outside of the inevitable In Nomines ), but the harpsichord works of such composers as Arauxo and Cabanilles are certainly not as well known internationally as Byrd, Bull, Gibbons, Farnaby, or Tomkins.


Given her technique, her knowledge of period ornamentation in general and that of the Iberian peninsula in particular, Lydia Maria Blank is as fine a performer in this music as could be hoped for. I admired her previous release of music by Giovanni Maria Trabaci (on Stellamaris 201001; sadly, still not easily available as an import) for its flexible singing line, and the way she harnessed its harmonic dissonance to expressive ends. That is certainly apparent on this release as well, though the dissonance is less and the extravagance of gesture is greater. Like Byrd’s variation sets, several of these pieces preen, and Blank gives them every chance to swagger with all the skill that must have drawn admiration of their performers in their day. She also possesses an ear for selecting a memorable piece or one with a striking effect—whether the vihuela strumming that leads off Correa’s Dies y seis Glosas , the arabesque fancy and contrapuntal play of his Tiento de quinto tono (XX), the kaleidoscopic brilliance of the Tiento lleno de quinto tono (XVIII) by Cabanilles, with its constant succession of imitative echo points, or the cumulative power of Ximénez’s dance-like Folias con 20 diferencias.


My only criticism is that the recording sound is boomy, and moderately over-reverberant. The former can be dealt with easily enough through basic tonal or equalizer controls, so it’s less of an issue in such works as the delicate Tiento lleno de cuarto tono of Cabanilles, but the latter tends to blur some of the fastest, most elaborate divisions in several other pieces, among them the latter pages of Correa’s Tiento de primero tono (LXII). It’s all the more a pity in that the unnamed harpsichord is a beauty, with a sweet treble and well blended, elegant bass.


That said, the beauty of the music and the great skill of the performer are reason enough to overlook the sonic deficit. Definitely recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Diferencias de Folias, for keyboard by Juan Bautista José Cabanilles
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
2.
Obra de Lleno de Primer Tono Sin Paso, for ensemble by Jusepe Ximénez
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
3.
Siguense Diez y seis glosas sobre el canto llano 'Guárdame las Vacas' (Libro de tientos y discursos, by Francisco Correa de Arauxo
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 8 Minutes 28 Secs. 
4.
Tiento de 5 registro entero de primer tono No. 52 by Francisco Correa de Arauxo
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 8 Minutes 54 Secs. 
5.
Folías con 20 diferencias, for organ by Jusepe Ximénez
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 5 Minutes 52 Secs. 
6.
Tiento de sexto tono sobre ut re mi fa sol la, No 12 by Pablo Bruna
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 7 Minutes 36 Secs. 
7.
Gallardas (2) de tercero tono by Juan Bautista José Cabanilles
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 6 Minutes 17 Secs. 
8.
Tiento pequeño y facil de septimo tono by Francisco Correa de Arauxo
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
9.
Tiento de primero tono No. 62, for keyboard by Francisco Correa de Arauxo
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 10 Minutes 27 Secs. 
10.
Tiento de quinto tono No. 20, for keyboard by Francisco Correa de Arauxo
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
11.
Tiento lleno de cuarto tono, for keyboard by Juan Bautista José Cabanilles
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
12.
Tiento lleno de quinto tono No. 18, for keyboard by Juan Bautista José Cabanilles
Performer:  Lydia Maria Blank (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Heiligenkreuz-Gutenbrunn 
Length: 6 Minutes 46 Secs. 

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