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Alonso DE MUDARRA & Miguel DE FUENLLANA: "Lágrimas corriendo"/"Flow tears"

Carlos Mena, alto; Juan Carlos Rivera, vihuela

rec: March, 1999, Sevilla, Monasterio de Loreto
Almaviva - DS-0131 (© 1999) (71'25")

Miguel DE FUENLLANA (c1515-1585): Covarde caballero; De los álamos vengo; La carta de Boscán; Las Endechas; No sé qué me bulle; ¡O más dura que mármol!; Passeavase el rey moro; Quiero dormir; Alonso DE MUDARRA (c1505-1570): Claros y frescos ríos; Durmiendo yva el Señor; Isabel, perdiste la tu faxa; La vita fugge; O Geloía d'amanti; ¿Que llantos son aquestos?; Recuerde el alma domida; Si por amar, el hombre ser amado; Triste estava el Rey David

This CD contains songs by two of the most important Spanish composers of the 16th century, Alonso de Mudarra and Miguel de Fuenllana. Most texts are in Spanish, but some are in Italian (one of them on a text by Petrarca), one is half in Spanish, half in Latin. They are about (unhappy) love, but also about political events, like the premature death of the princess Doña María of Portugal, the first wife of Philip II (the very moving ¿Qué llantos son aquéstos?), or about the conquest of the kingdom of Granada (Passeavasa el rey moro). Some have a more or less religious character: for example the famous Triste estava el Rey David (about David and Absalom) and the last song, Durmiendo yva el Señor (about Jesus calming the storm at sea).

This CD contains excellent music and is given a great performance by these artists. I like the voice of Carlos Mena, which is very warm and colourful in all registers. He seems to be a natural tenor, because the lower notes in some songs are sung with chest voice, and that sounds completely natural. One of the songs, De los àlamos vengo, madre, is even sung in chest voice from beginning to end, and that sounds fine as well.

Juan Carlos Rivera is playing the vihuela - a typical Spanish instrument, later more and more overshadowed by the guitar - and he does so in great style. It is an intimate instrument, and blends very well with Mena's voice.

This is a very recommendable recording with little known repertoire, which deserves to be more widely known. It is done a great favour by these two artists.

Johan van Veen (© 2002)

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