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Cabezon: La Tecla de l'Alma / Paola Erdas

Cabezon / Erdas / Serafini
Release Date: 08/20/2010 
Label:  Arcana   Catalog #: 357   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonio De CabezónNicolas GombertAnonymousJan Pieterszoon Sweelinck,   ... 
Performer:  Paola ErdasLia Serafini
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



CABEZÓN Keyboard Music Paola Erdas (hpd); Lia Serafini (sop) ARCANA A357 (65:12 Text and Translation)


If Cabezón’s music may be said to embody any expressive characteristic, it is the somber magnificence of Spanish theater, not just literally from the stage, but from the drama embedded in its music. Cabezón’s tientos are similar to the Italian ricercar, except that the former usually rely more heavily upon richly dramatic chords while wending their severe Read more way through linear counterpoint. Cabezón, however, adapted style to material; so the Tiento sobre “Malheur me bat” relies upon reflectively strummed chords to accompany, guitar-like, Malcort’s popular song that also furnished the cantus firmus of several earlier parody masses. The Flemish heritage of the Spanish court (Philip’s father, Charles I, was Ghent-born) accounts at least in part for Cabezón’s awareness of Arbeau’s Orchésographie and its anonymous song Belle qui tiens ma vie —which figures into his spirited, astutely constructed, but all too brief variations, Diferencias sobre canto “La Dama le damanda.”


It’s to the credit of Paola Erdas’s programming ability that this album provides several musical comparatives. Besides Belle qui tiens ma vie , there’s the anonymous Vespers plainchant Ave maris stella , and Cabezón’s archaic-sounding, two-part ricercar upon it, with the theme walking slowly in the superius over a fast-moving tenor; his Pavana italiana and Sweelinck’s simpler Pavana hispanica , based on the same popular tune; and an arrangement of Gombert’s madrigal Dezilde al caballero , along with a set of Cabezón’s variations. The most elaborate sequence includes the anonymous melody Guardame las vacas , a keyboard version of variations written by the celebrated vihuelist Luis de Narváez, a second, anonymous series of variations, and a third set of Cabezón’s own brilliant variations.


Erdas is a new performer to Fanfare ’s pages. She has several previous recordings to her credit, however, including a fine performance on Stradivarius 33673 of three suites by Nicolas-Antoine Lebègue (who first applied the term suite to refer to an ordered series of French keyboard dances). Her technical proficiency is unquestioned, and her knowledge of the required style is never at a doubt, whether in late 17th-century Paris, or the court of the powerful 16th-century monarch Philip II. She phrases supplely in this music that owes so much to the improvisatory skills of court lutenists and guitarists, without ever losing momentum or lucidity of voicing. If anything, her flexible tempos clarify matters by subtly underscoring partial cadences and new entries. I’m less sanguinary about her partner on five of these pieces, though. Lia Serafini’s slightly unfocused and drooping tone works against her solid enunciation and attractive sound.


The harpsichord used here is a fine instrument, a restored 1652 Couchet that was later expanded in France, then returned to its original state (save for its Rococo decorative case), which unusually employed three rows of jacks for two sets of strings. This provides a greater wealth of colors, which Erdas deploys sparingly and to excellent effect.


Finally, it should be noted that, contrary to the information listed on the jewel box and accompanying booklet, this release contains 22, not 21 cuts. The final, unlisted cut I’ve discovered with a bit of digging is a Sephardic romance by our old friend Anon. The upper range of the keyboard is employed to imitate a Medieval harp or guitar, while Serafini vocalizes sporadically above it.


There’s no competition for a (nearly) full disc of Cabezón’s keyboard music at this point; for all that Serafini’s contribution is equivocal, the album as a whole is a success.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Tiento del quinto tono by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
2.
Ave maris stella I by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
3.
Pavana italiana by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
4.
Tiento no 1 by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
5.
Tiento sobre “Malheur me bat” by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
6.
Diferencias sobre el canto llano del "Caballero" by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
7.
Para quien crié yo cabellos by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
8.
Pavane with glosa by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
9.
Diferencias sobre "La dama le demanda" by Antonio De Cabezón
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
10.
Dezidle al cavallero by Nicolas Gombert
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
11.
Guardame las vacas by Anonymous
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
12.
Diferencias sobre las Vacas by Anonymous
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
13.
Ave maris stella by Anonymous
Performer:  Lia Serafini (Soprano)
Period: Medieval 
14.
Gloria patri by Anonymous
Performer:  Lia Serafini (Soprano)
Period: Medieval 
15.
Pavana hispanica by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Netherlands (Holland 
16.
Orchésographie: Belle qui tiens ma vie by Thoinot Arbeau
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Written: pub 1588/89, 1596 
17.
Diferencias sobre "Guárdame las vacas" by Luis de Narváez
Performer:  Paola Erdas (Harpsichord)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1538; Spain 

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