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Harmonia Early Music

Musica Fictas (Spain and Colombia)

This week on Harmonia you’ll get two for the price of one with two ensembles that share one name: Musica Ficta. Plus, we review a new release by Marin Marais.

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Musica Ficta (Spain):

In 1992, Spanish musician and musicologist Raúl Mallavibarrena founded a small group which he called Musica Ficta.  The ensemble was created out of his interest in performing Renaissance and early baroque repertoire specifically related to Spain.  They have since achieved a special place on the international scene for their interpretations of both sacred and secular works.  Their 2005 recording, Cancionero de Turín includes an extended improvisation of dances by theorbist Rafael Bonavita and the anonymous villancico Bella Pastorica.

Apart from having founded the ensemble, Raúl Mallavibarrena also created his own recording label, Enchiriadis.  To date the label has release all of Musica Ficta’s recordings, including Victoria’s requiem mass of 1605, which includes a beautiful interpretation of the composer’s motet Vadam et circuibo civitatem.

Musica Ficta (Colombia):

The Colombian ensemble Musica Ficta has been exciting audiences around the globe with their dynamic interpretations of Spanish and New World baroque repertoire.  The ensemble, based in Bogotá, Colombia and Bloomington, Indiana, is currently made up of Colombians Jairo Serrano, singer and percussionist, his brother and early winds player, Carlos Serrano, the guitarist Julián Navarro, and American harpsichordist Elisabeth Wright.  For their 2006 release, Sepan Todos Que Muero, they focused on the Viceroyalty of Peru with both peasant and courtly music.

The ensemble’s most recent recording, Esa Noche Yo Bailá, featured, once again, baroque music from Peru.  Subtitled Feast and Devotion in High Peru of the 17th Century, the recording highlighted a number of anonymous works mixed with composers Murcia, Cabanilles, Marín, Guerau, and others.  Instrumental solos for harpsichord and guitar gave moments of repose to vocal pieces of varying expression.

Our new release of the week features the music for solo viol and continuo by Marin Marais on the MA Recordings label.  Soloist Andrea de Carlo is accompanied by colleagues Sergio Alvares on viol, harpsichordist Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, and theorbist Dolores Costoyas.

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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