Durón: La Guerra De Los Gigantes
A Corte Musical; Rogério Gonçalves, direction
Sebastián Durón (1660-1716)
"La Guerra de los Gigantes" by Sebastián Durón is one of the earliest Spanish operas in the history of music – a musical rarity in a stirring presentation by Rogerio Gonçalves, his Ensemble A Corte Musical as well as singers Eva Juárez (Jupiter), Camilla de Falleiro (Hercules), Anna Freivogel (Minerva) and Maria Weiss (Palante). This "War of the Giants" is about the battle of colossuses who, incited by their leader, Palante, rebel against the gods but are ultimately defeated. In setting this warlike storyline, Durón makes use of a musical language influenced by Spanish folk music and in which the rhythmic complexity is particularly impressive. The music's special timbre is largely due to the use of a natural trumpet, guitars, harp and percussion instruments. Composed in 1702 for the occasion of an aristocratic wedding, Durón gives evidence of his reverence for the new Bourbon King Philip V through his skilled integration of both Italian and French formal elements. The mythological plot of this "opéra escénica" can be interpreted as an allegory of the incipient Spanish war of succession – Durón, who had received highest honours at the court as maestro of the Real Capilla under Charles II, made no secret of his proHabsburg attitude. It was probably only thanks to his good connections to the Spanish high nobility that he was able to return to the Madrid court after having lived in French exile beginning in 1706.