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CDM Sampler (Licanus Records)

This week on Harmonia we explore selections from the CDM label and a new release of Handel’s opera Fernando by Il Complesso Barroco.

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The CDM label (Licanus Records) was created specifically to record the Spanish ensemble Capella de Ministrers by its director Carles Magraner.  Among the wide expanse of repertoire it has recorded, the Capella has focused on presenting a new face to the music of the Middle Ages.

On the 2000 release Trobadors: El Amor Cortesano en la Edad Media, the Capella de Ministrers performs the songs of the musician-poets from the medieval Iberian Peninsula.

Medieval dances from the 13th and 14th Centuries were the subject for the 2002 recording entitled Lamento di Tristano: Medieval Estampie.  Spanish, French, and Italian dances with an Arabo-Andalusian flavor were given intense readings by the Capella de Ministrers.

A drama is recreated every August in Alicante, Spain at the Church of Santa Maria in Elche.  Said to have originated in the 15th Century, the Elche Mystery Play has been reconstructed on two separate releases by the Capella de Ministrers.  The first CD, called La Vespra or “The Eve,” coincides with the first day of the drama. The second, La Festa, or “The Festivity,” focuses on the subsequent day of the play’s recreation.  This recording in particular exhibits the amalgam of styles in which the music has come down to us.

The new release of the week features a lesser-known opera from George Frideric Handel’s vast oeuvre.  Directed by Alan Curtis, the opera Fernando was recently recorded by Il Complesso Barocco, featuring countertenor Lawrence Zazzo.

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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