Photo: Hanja Chlala
O’Dette plays dall’Aquila
Paul O’Dette is one of the finest lutenists in the world. He is a critically-acclaimed and award-winning performer, as well as a distinguished teacher and scholar, who has championed the music of Renaissance composers throughout his career, releasing numerous recordings of well-known and obscure music. Paul continues to leave his unique stamp on early music and in particular the early repertoire for lute and guitar.
One of Paul’s more recent projects involved recording lute pieces by Marco dall’Aquila, an important performer and composer from Renaissance Italy.
Paul’s experience in recording dall’Aquila’s music was met with unexpected challenges. In April of 2009, the city of L’Aquila, Italy, where he planned to make the recording, suffered a catastrophic earthquake. What was initially supposed to be another recording project turned into a deeply personal experience.
Cristóbal de Morales and the Spanish Renaissance
The most influential Spanish Renaissance composer before Victoria was Cristóbal de Morales, a native of Seville. Trained as a singer and organist, Morales wrote primarily for the church, yet a few villancicos and madrigals by him survive.
After he passed away, his reputation grew as his music spread to France, Germany, Italy, the Low Countries and Spain, as well as the New World where at the end of the 1550s his music was sung in Mexico to commemorate Emperor Charles V. Another far-flung place where Morales’ music was performed during the 16th Century was Luanda, the capital Angola (records give an account of the singing of a mass and a motet).
Morales composed for every possible church occasion, including masses, motets, lamentations, requiems, and magnificats.
Our featured release of the week is a world-premiere Alpha label recording of villancicos by Spanish baroque composer Joseph Ruiz Samaniego. The Zaragoza-based ensemble Los Musicos de Su Alteza (directed by Luis Antonio Gonzalez) perform select works mostly dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, patron virgin of Zaragoza and of the city’s cathedral.
Samaniego was chapelmaster at the cathedral during the 17th Century and composed prolifically during his tenure.