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Harmonia Early Music

Elisabeth Wright Highlights A Valencian Organist

Spanish harpsichord music written by an organist...

Valencia Cathedral

Photo: ColinsCamera

The cathedral where Juan Cabanilles worked for the majority of his life.

Not many people know the name Juan Cabanilles: even today, we don’t know much more about him than his birth and death dates, and his life-long position as organist at the Valencia Cathedral. But his fame lies in his enormous output of over 800 pieces annotated by one of his students, Joseph Elias. Although Cabanilles seems to have never left Spain, his music survives in manuscripts all over Europe, a testament to the popularity of both him and his music.

Music Heard On This Episode

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Elisabeth Wright, harpsichord — Flores de musica (Musica Ficta, 2009)
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Elisabeth Wright, harpsichord — Flores de musica (Musica Ficta, 2009)
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Jan Cabanilles: ?
Elisabeth Wright, harpsichord — Flores de musica (Musica Ficta, 2009)
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album cover
Anna Pranger

Anna Pranger moved to Bloomington in 2009 to pursue a degree in music librarianship. Before this, she worked on a degree in music history at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She serves as both an assistant producer for Harmonia and the Music Library Assistant for WFIU.

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  • Kittybriton KB

    Given the major similarities between the harpsichord and the organ, I have no difficulty understanding why musicians who play one, often play the other also.

    Kudos to Anna for unearthing Cabanilles; in the course of writing a work of fiction set in sixteenth century Spain, I have encountered a surprising paucity of historical information in my searches.

    Practical musicians may be interested to know that the IMSLP has several Cabanilles scores.

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