Harmonia Early Music

Spanish Composers Joseph Ruiz Samaniego and Juan de Ledesma

Excellent recordings of villancicos and violin sonatas.

soprano and orchestra

Photo: Courtesy of the Ensemble

Los Musicos de su Alteza in concert.

Joseph Ruiz Samaniego

Joseph Ruiz Samaniego is one those composers that we don’t know much about. At the very least, we do know that he was a chapelmaster at Saragossa Cathedral during the second-half of the 17th Century, and was a relatively prolific composer at that. His villancicos are beautiful, elegant, and a joy to listen to.

Directed by Luis Antonio Gonzalez, the ensemble Los Musicos de su Alteza make their Alpha label debut with an entire recording devoted to the villancicos of Samaniego. Their latest release is beautifully realized – a world-class performance, full of spirit and energy.

Juan de Ledesma

Juan de Ledesma was a prominent 18th-century Spanish violinist who worked a good part of his life at the royal court in Madrid. His violin sonatas give us an idea about his abilities as a composer and performer. They represent an inventive mind with skill to match. Spanish violinist Blai Justo, with cellist Elisa Joglar, and guitarist Bernard Zonderman, have put together a fine Ramee label recording of a few of Ledesma’s only known violin sonatas, giving them life and as fine an interpretation as you’ll find anywhere.

Music Heard On This Episode

Joseph Ruiz Samaniego: “De esplendor se doran los aires” – a la Virgen del Pilar
Los Musicos de su Alteza/Luis Antonio Gonzalez — La Vida es Sueño: Villancicos of Joseph Ruiz Samaniego (Alpha, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Joseph Ruiz Samaniego: “De esplendor se doran los aires” – a la Virgen del Pilar
Los Musicos de su Alteza/Luis Antonio Gonzalez — La Vida es Sueño: Villancicos of Joseph Ruiz Samaniego (Alpha, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Joseph Ruiz Samaniego: “No puedo más, que me voy” – a San Francisco de Asís
Los Musicos de su Alteza/Luis Antonio Gonzalez — La Vida es Sueño: Villancicos of Joseph Ruiz Samaniego (Alpha, 2009)
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album cover
Joseph Ruiz Samaniego: “Venga Norabuena del mar la estrella” - a la Expectación y a la Navidad
Los Musicos de su Alteza/Luis Antonio Gonzalez — La Vida es Sueño: Villancicos of Joseph Ruiz Samaniego (Alpha, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Juan de Ledesma: Sonata in D major, III.Allegro
Blai Justo, violin, Elisa Joglar, violoncello, and Bernard Zonderman, guitar — Sonatas for Violin and Bass: Spanish Violin Music from the Time of Ferdinand VI (Ramee, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Juan de Ledesma: Sonata in A major, II.Allegro
Blai Justo, violin, Elisa Joglar, violoncello, and Bernard Zonderman, guitar — Sonatas for Violin and Bass: Spanish Violin Music from the Time of Ferdinand VI (Ramee, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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