Harmonia Early Music

The Villancico

On Harmonia this week we explore the Spanish popular song known as the villancico. We’ll also review a new release of Mozart’s works for keyboard and violin.

Play Episode (Real Audio)
woman and action shots of musicians

Photo: Anonymous

Alicia Lázaro and the Capilla Jerónimo de Carrión in recording.

Unriquited love, feelings of longing, shepherds, the countryside…these are the themes that can be found in the popular song known as the villancico.  Today the word means Christmas carol in Spanish, yet from the 15th to 19th centuries it took on the broad range of the themes. One of the most famous collections of villancicos can be found in the late 15th century Cancionero de Palacio, which includes over 300, a good many by Juan del Encina.

A selection of villancicos can be found on the release Cancionero de Palacio: Juan del Encina and others, recorded in 2003 by the Capella del Ministrers under the direction of Carles Magraner.

Another collection of villancicos is found in the CD Calendas–El tiempo en las Catedrales, recorded in 2002 by Capilla Jerónimo de Carrión (Alicia Lázaro, dir.).

Spain and its colonies aren’t the only places where villancicos are found. One song collection in particular was discovered in Italy.  Located today in Madrid, the Cancionero de Turín is an example of how popular the villancico had become in countries other than Spain. Nearly all of the songs in the cancionero remain anonymous.

Musica Ficta performs music from the Cancionero de Turín on their 2005 Enchiriadis label release Romances, villancicos y canciones del Siglo de Oro.

As the villancico was a Spanish invention it was only natural that it be imported to its American colonies.  Examples are found all over Mexico, Central and South America by composers both Spanish and native born. Fine performances can be found in Maestros Andaluces en Neuva España, a 2004 CD release from the musicians of the Cappella Mediterránea (directed by Leonardo García Alarcón).

We move on to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in our new release this week from Channel Classics Records.  The third installment of his complete sonatas for keyboard and violin are performed by the illustrious duo of Gary Cooper and Rachel Podger.

Music Heard On This Episode

Pedro Rimonte: Luna que reluces-villancico a 6
Musica Ficta, Raúl Mallavibarrena, dir. — Parnaso Espagñol...de Madrigales, y Villancicos (Enchiriadis, 2004)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Pedro Rimonte: Luna que reluces-villancico a 6
Musica Ficta, Raúl Mallavibarrena, dir. — Parnaso Espagñol...de Madrigales, y Villancicos (Enchiriadis, 2004)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Juan del Encina: Si amor pone las escalas
Capella del Ministres, Carles Magraner, dir. — Cancionero de Palacio, Juan del Encina and others (Licanus, 2003)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Alonso: Tir'allá, que non quiero
Capella del Ministres, Calres Magraner, dir. — Cancionero de Palacio, Juan del Encina and others (Licanus, 2003)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Oy comamos y babamos
Capella del Ministres, Calres Magraner, dir. — Cancionero de Palacio, Juan del Encina and others (Licanus, 2003)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Jerónimo de Carrión: Hola digo, cuidado
Capilla Jerónimo de Carrión, Alicia Lázaro, dir. — Calendas--El tiempo en las Catedrales (Verso, 2002)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Jerónimo de Carrión: Jácara al Nacimiento
Capilla Jerónimo de Carrión, Alicia Lárzaro, dir. — Calendas--El tiempo en las Catedrales (Verso, 2002)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Anonymous: No Lloréis Casada
Musica Ficta, Raúl Mallavibarrena, dir. — Romances, villancicos y canciones del Siglo de Oro (Enchririadis, 2005)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Anonymous: Gavilán que andáis de noche
Musica Ficta, Raúl Mallavibarrena, dir. — Romances, villancicos y canciones del Siglo de Oro (Enchiriadis, 2005)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Anonymous: Salta y Bayla (Por dinero bayla el perro)
Musica Ficta, Raúl Mallavibarrena, dir. — Romances, villancicos y canciones del Siglo de Oro (Enchiriadis, 2005)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Diego José de Salazar: Afuera pompas humanas
Cappella Mediterránea, Leonardo García Alarcón, dir. — Maestros Andaluces en Nueva España (Almaviva, 2004)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Francisco Sanz: Ah, de la vaga campaña
Cappella Mediterránea, Leonardo García Alarcón, dir. — Maestros Andaluces en Nueva España (Almaviva, 2004)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Antonio de Salazar: Tarará, que yo soy Antón
Cappella Mediterránea, Leonardo García Alarcón, dir. — Maestros Andaluces en Nueva España (Almaviva, 2004)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata in Eb major, KV 380, III. Rondeau: Allegro
Gary Cooper, fortepiano and Rachel Podger, baroque violin — Complete Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin, Vol. 3 (Channel, 2006)
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.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Harmonia Early Music:

More Subscription Options

Follow Us

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Harmonia Early Music

About The Hosts

Search Harmonia Early Music

where to hear harmonia