Traditional Catalan Songs For Voice, Lutes And Vio
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Format: COMPACT DISC
Krivda, Peter; Cadena, Marta Garcia; Waters, William; Tsukada, Satoshi; Canigó Early Music Ensemble, The
Through these songs we hear the voice of a nation - one of the oldest nations in Europe. In them is embodied the identity of the Catalan people through a popular expression of their national character. The lutenist William Waters has compiled almost 30 songs from Catalonia’s medieval and modern history and arranged them for an early-music ensemble. In spirit, we may listen to the album and join a group of troubadours, even if many of the songs themselves date from the Baroque and later periods. Waters presents the songs in a variety of arrangements – for solo lute or a pair of lutes, for one or two bass violins with or without chordal accompaniment from the theorbo, and then for a trio of musicians accompanying a soprano. In them we find tales of love, jealousy, escape and murder, the raw material for graphically drawn music by composers up to de Falla, Gerhard and beyond. But there are also gentler numbers that evoke a pastoral mood and depict childhood and rural ways. There is even a harvest song, Els Segadors, which in time became a national anthem for Catalonia. These stories are explained by brief but valuable contextual notes in the booklet, which also prints the texts of the songs in both Catalan and English translation. A previous Brilliant Classics album by William Waters revives the lute music of the 17th-century Silesian composer Esiaias Reusner (BC95242). The album was reviewed in glowing terms by the Italian Giornale della musica, praising Waters’ sensitive evocation of the ‘peace and tranquillity transmitted by Reusner’s music.’ Here he is joined by the members of a Catalan-based early music ensemble for a vividly presented sense of authenticity.