Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nuevo Mundo: 17th Century music in Latin America - Encore! (again)

I guess you just can't keep a good recording down. "Nuevo Mundo" was first released on the Italian Symphonia label in 1991. Pan Classics reissued it in 2012, and here it is again on Glossia in 2017. Why does it keep being reissued? Probably because it deserves to be.

The Ensemble Elyma delivers spirited, energetic performances -- which is exactly what the music requires.

Roman Catholocism and its attendant music were imported to the New World in the 1600s, and they soon went native. Baroque music developed differently in the Americas than it did in Europe.

The program presents a wide variety of composers active in Central and South America in the 17th Century. Two good examples are Juan de Araujo and Gaspar Fernandes, both of whom have several selections on this release.

Fernandes was a Portuguese composer who spent most of his career in Guatemala and Mexico. De Araujo was a Spanish composer who worked in both Peru and Panama. Their works -- as are most on this album -- are an exotic blend of influences. Early Baroque writing combines with Andalusian and native folk traditions.

It's a vibrant mixture, and the Ensemble Elyma brings it to life.

The sound of the recording is a little soft, I think. The highs and lows seem to lack a little detail. But that's the difference between 1991 and current recording technology. I'm glad to see "Nuevo Mundo" back -- again.

Nuevo Mundo: 17th Century Music in Latin America 
Maria Cristina Kiehre, Adrian Fernandez, sopranos; Mariuccia Domenighini, alto; Pietro Valguarnera, Sandro Naglia, tenors; Roberto Balconi, contertenor; Josep Cabré; baritone 
Ensemble Elyma; Gabriel Garrido 
Glossa Cabinet GCD C80022

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