Author Topic: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc  (Read 6469 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Keyboard music by Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2015, 11:31:45 AM »


If you didn't know, and you were slightly tipsy, you could easily think that Veronique Musson-Gonneaud was playing a strange harpsichord. In fact she's a harpist. And I would say this is one of the essential Antonio Cabezon recordings for two reasons. One is that she really lets the music breath - Veronique's Cabezon wrote the most gentle, humane, poetic,  tranquil, reflective, introspective music imaginable. And second, she knows that the music is often contrapuntal in essense - no sense whatsoever of tune + accompaniment in the background. All voices equal, all voices mutually responsive. So Cabezon is revealed to be part of Old Complexity - and that makes it stimulating to hear, not just relaxing and moving. Highly recommended.

I wonder if the keyboard-like style of playing harp is a feature of authentic early music harp playing.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 01:18:24 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2015, 08:42:52 AM »


José Enrique Ayarra plays some tientos by Arauxo, on three baroque organs in Seville. What's striking is the separation of the voices by means of registrations, all recorded in a very unreverberant ambiance. There is a very marked separation of lower and upper voices. The consequence is that Arauxo is revealed to be a more interesting explorer of polyphony than I had previously realised. The performances are strong rhythmically too, and the combination of the rhythms and the colours is a winning one, a hypnotic one.

The recording is part of about 6 hours of Arauxo, the first "complete Arauxo edition." The sheer quantity of interestng music in Arauxo's legacy is another revelatory aspect of this release.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 08:56:17 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2015, 09:13:50 AM »

What's striking is the separation of the voices by means of registrations, all recorded in a very unreverberant ambiance. There is a very marked separation of lower and upper voices.

Most historical Spanish organs have only one manual, but the stops (or the keyboard you may say) are divided, enabling you to use different stops for the upper and lower part of the manual. Much Spanish organ music presupposes this option, which results in the effect you describe.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2015, 09:36:05 AM »
Most historical Spanish organs have only one manual, but the stops (or the keyboard you may say) are divided, enabling you to use different stops for the upper and lower part of the manual. Much Spanish organ music presupposes this option, which results in the effect you describe.

What is this called? I wonder if it was a feature of Arauxo's organs in Seville - I'm not sure if he used the ones in the recording.

Added later: I can see you say "divided registers" and that many of Arauxo's compositions were written in a form specially designed for it - tiento de medio registro. I have yet to learn how the Ayerra CDs are arranged, and how that relates to the arrangement of Facultad Organica. But I can tell you that the registrations are spectaular, the non homogeneous sound is revealing , the rhythms are infectious, and the dissonances are astonishing on the final two CDs. This is good music/performamces.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 11:31:35 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2015, 12:09:24 PM »
What is this called? I wonder if it was a feature of Arauxo's organs in Seville - I'm not sure if he used the ones in the recording.

Added later: I can see you say "divided registers" and that many of Arauxo's compositions were written in a form specially designed for it - tiento de medio registro. I have yet to learn how the Ayerra CDs are arranged, and how that relates to the arrangement of Facultad Organica. But I can tell you that the registrations are spectaular, the non homogeneous sound is revealing , the rhythms are infectious, and the dissonances are astonishing on the final two CDs. This is good music/performamces.

Now I have ordered the only p.t. available CD from Ayerra´s Arauxo-set. And I look forward to hear it.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2015, 10:22:13 PM »
Now I have ordered the only p.t. available CD from Ayerra´s Arauxo-set. And I look forward to hear it.

Which CD did you order? By the way, when I awoke I found Roland Götz's Arauxo CD had arrived in the mail.

Here's a doctoral thesis on Arauxo

http://ethesis.siba.fi/ethesis/files/nbnfife200805301490.pdf
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2015, 12:07:35 PM »
Which CD did you order? By the way, when I awoke I found Roland Götz's Arauxo CD had arrived in the mail.

This one:

http://www.amazon.de/Organo-Historico-Iglesia-Salvador-Sevilla/dp/B000FS3FW2/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1426794975&sr=1-1&keywords=ayarra+arauxo

but I got it for 24 Euro´s.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2015, 11:13:24 PM »



Astronio's Cabezon, CD 3.


This consists of unutterably drab transcriptions of motets, sometimes made bearable barely by attractive viol and brass playing, and some workmanlike preludes to hymns, workmanlike though no doubt pioneering stuff in the day. And then, at the end, everything is saved by eight kirie preluludes which are altogether in a different league, masterful rich polyphonic music, sometimes quite minor-epic in scale, played with great intensity by all concerned.

I was coming to the view that Cabezon was a great composer who wrote no great music. But those Kyrie preludes are making me think that that judgement may be premature. The task is to separate the wheat from the chaff.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 11:21:09 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2015, 12:12:52 AM »



Astronio's Cabezon, CD 2.

This CD opens with nine beautiful meditative duos and then goes downhill, with some monotonous and workmanlike music based on hymn tunes and a set of fauxbourdons which, though not unattractive, are too tame to sustain my interest for the duration. The longest, taken on strings and organ, is quite memorable though.

The heart of the disc is a sequence of motet transcriptions, all in the expected style of static imitative counterpoint. Some are pretty large, the largest (a motet by Jean Mouton) is played on brass, which is unforunately a timbre I don't like - too brassy. Astronio takes the same Mouton motet on organ, but the playing suffers from the usual Cabezon toughness, you feel more browbeaten rather than wooed. I can do without that. And oh, there's a long and uninteresting Josquin transcription taken on strings and organ.

Hats off to Cabezon for intuiting the potential of instrumental counterpoint, but maybe the music on this CD shows that he hasn't quite mastered it yet.

A CD then which I'm glad to know for the duos, and maybe when I'm in a better mood I'll get more from the fauxbourdons too.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 02:23:12 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2015, 12:17:53 PM »



Astronio's Cabezon, CD 5

This one seems an unmitigated success.

The CD opens with a sequence of tientos, most of them stuffed with imaginative rhythmic variations, and one of them (6th tone) an enormous masterpiece with a great finale - it has to be a summit of not just Cabezon's work, but a summit of early music.

The tientos are then followed by two amazing motet transcriptions, and one of them --Josquin's Stabat Mater --  is every bit a masterpiece as the aforementioned 6th tiento. And the Josquin Inviolata transcription which follows isn't far behind.

At some point - why not tomorrow? - I'll listen to the originals and try to work out what Cabezon was doing in these transcriptions. I have an intuition that they're pretty imaginative.

The CD ends with canciones - less austere music maybe, but utterly charming nonetheless. Good to find some more music in this genre, to put alongside Frescobaldi's,instrumental canzoni.

High standard of performance IMO, and nice instruments. Astronio on organ in the big tiento and transcriptions has great momentum and his registrations are suitably simple and (in the case of the Stabat Mater) imaginative and exciting in the second part.  My only disappointment is that there's no harp or clavichord.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2015, 09:52:33 PM »


Astronio's Cabezon, CD 4

I think one of the pieces here, the 1st tone tiento, is probably a masterpiece, with imaginative imitation and a sectional form like a Frescobaldi capriccio. It's given an alert performance by Astronio on organ.

Apart from that, there are some transcriptions of motets and some canciones. They all have a big tune in one voice and figuration in the other(s), the result is static and rather attractive.

And there are some other tientos, including quite a memorable one based on a song (called "qui lo dira") played on a harpsichord. But in all these other tientos I feel a bit trapped by the form.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 11:10:29 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2015, 08:31:50 AM »


Astronio's Cabezon CD 1

This is a disc of two halves, motet transcriptions and differencias.

The transcriptions are Vogon poetry. They are some of the most boring, sprawling, formless, meaningless, drab, sombre, monochrome music I've ever heard, played with one exception on a heavy sounding old meantone tuned organ. This music calls to mind Morton Feldman's For Samuel Beckett. The best of the bunch is an Ave Maria by Josquin, but really, I'm scraping the barrel for something positive to say.

The differencias on harpsichord are livelier and lighter, but I  thought that Astronio's harpsichord playing is sober and uninvolving. If these are interesting and inspired and imaginative and exciting sets of variations then please let me know, because they didn't sound it to me. The pick of the bunch is "la dama de demanda"

And then, we're plunged back into The World of The Organ for an epic set of variations - "Quien ti me enojó Isabel" Astronio plays it rather rigorously, and then loosens up slightly at the end to create a nice feeling of ecstatcy. It's OK.

The final piece, a harpsichord redition of Duuinsela, which has pretty moments, a central passage,  but, really, no, enough's enough.

I wonder how many people bought the box, played CD 1 first, and never dared to go further.


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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2015, 09:28:21 AM »


i've been enjoying José Enrique Ayarra plays two very substantial contrapuntal pieces by Arauxo on the first CD on this set - Tiento 62 and a sort of variations form piece based on what I guess was a pop tune called "Dexaldros mi madre." The latter is particularly impressive: dissonant, not at all cookie-tourist-Spanish-style, and a real sustained sense of being off the rails, transcending the form. The shorter pieces are thoroughly enjoyable and very varied. Once or twice I thought I heard music that sounded almost Dutch even (Tiento MR 51)! I'm starting to think that I enjoy Arauxo more than Cabezón. At least I think that Arauxo is more consistently interesting and his high points are more exciting than Cabezón's.

There are six CDs in the set. I may have to work my through them all carefully soon, I bet there are some real gems tucked away there.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2015, 06:07:54 AM »


José Enrique Ayarra plays Arauxo on two organs in Seville, one at the cathedral and one in Osuna College Church. It's the second organ which is the real star of the show for me, the puppy on the right in this here image:



As you would expect, it's high and acid and full of dissonance and personality. And what's more Ayarra uses it for what sounds to me like a major masterpiece, a piece of music with a real distinctive character, Tiento 60 " de baxon de treinta y dos numeros al compas de segundo tono", whatever that means.

The title has made me think, probably quite unfairly, of somethink that Ochs says to butter up the Marschallin in Rosenkavalier "Da gibt's keine Flausen, keine Etikette, keine spanische Tuerei!"

« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 06:15:21 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline The new erato

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2015, 10:24:51 PM »


Astronio's Cabezon CD 1

This is a disc of two halves, motet transcriptions and differencias.

The transcriptions are Vogon poetry. They are some of the most boring, sprawling, formless, meaningless, drab, sombre, monochrome music I've ever heard, played with one exception on a heavy sounding old meantone tuned organ. This music calls to mind Morton Feldman's For Samuel Beckett. The best of the bunch is an Ave Maria by Josquin, but really, I'm scraping the barrel for something positive to say.

The differencias on harpsichord are livelier and lighter, but I  thought that Astronio's harpsichord playing is sober and uninvolving. If these are interesting and inspired and imaginative and exciting sets of variations then please let me know, because they didn't sound it to me. The pick of the bunch is "la dama de demanda"

And then, we're plunged back into The World of The Organ for an epic set of variations - "Quien ti me enojó Isabel" Astronio plays it rather rigorously, and then loosens up slightly at the end to create a nice feeling of ecstatcy. It's OK.

The final piece, a harpsichord redition of Duuinsela, which has pretty moments, a central passage,  but, really, no, enough's enough.

I wonder how many people bought the box, played CD 1 first, and never dared to go further.
Me.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2015, 08:19:51 AM »


Jose Enrique Ayarra plays Arauxo at San Salvador church in Seville, being Part II CD 2 of his complete Correa.

The organ at San Salvador is characterful, colourful and well balanced. It has a split keyboard (medio registro) and a baxon (bassoon) stop.

Musically many of the pieces here have the familiar structure of  imitation and variation of a simple idea in several voices, leading to an ecstatic climax which gives the impression of transcending the previously established pattern. Tension builds by means of rhythm and tempo, and by the way the voices respond to each other. Some of the pieces are really quite epic and some are clearly explorations of dissonances.  I don't think that there's anything new here in terms of form, but I would say that they have a distinctive Arauxo stamp (which I can't explain), and that they are very high quality. At least as interesting as Sweelinck - if Cabanilles is the Spanish Bach, Arauxo is the Spanish Sweelinck.

High points were the epic and very dissonant Tiento 12th tone (xii); Discurso LV with it's  striking registrations using baxon; the Siguense media registro,  7th tone, this time no baxon  but just a really masterful example of the genre which I enjoyed tremendously. On the whole I thought the first half of the CD was more interesting than the second, but really the whole thing is outstanding. Don't forget we're dealing with a complete works here, not everything can be a masterpiece.

Ayarra is a great organist in the theatrical, rhetorical tradition - rhetorical in the informal sense of giving the feeling of building logically to major events, climaxes, like a discourse. You get a much more showy impression of Arauxo's music than you get from Foccroulle. He's is completely at home with the music, and what he does always sounds organic. I would love to hear Ayarro play Bruhns or Lubeck.

So there you are - organ, music, performance. Ayarro's is an important set of recordings I think, every home should have one.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 10:13:19 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2016, 11:30:14 AM »


Louis Thiry and Patrick Bismuth play tientos by Correa Arauxo. What strange music, both mad and mystical, passionate, full of abandon, at times I thought of Sufi music.

Some of these pieces are really voix égales, totally independent and characterful voices in different sorts of dialogue. The timbres of the shoulder violin in particular are lovely, fabulous.

Is it destroying the integrity of the music, to divide it up for two instruments? The music was written for organs with medio registro, with all that that implies about the possibility for completely separating the voices with different registrations. The same is not true for Cabezon and Cabanilles, nevertheless I wish Thiry and Bismuth would play some of their music too.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 01:31:23 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2016, 03:40:49 AM »

Louis Thiry and Patrick Bismuth play tientos by Correa Arauxo.

I have had this in my radar and have listened to some clips on JPC. Thiry is as always fascinating, what a wonderful set of Correa he might do on his own. The problem with this CD is the choice of string instruments as a partner, I think they blend badly with the organ in this kind of music, and Bismuth has an annoying tone with too much vibrato as well. A wind instrument had been more appropriate (cornetto/dulcian) blending better with the organ. I own a recording of Peraza´s Tiento played by Jeremy West on cornetto with organ, this is an "efficient" combination displaying some kind of equality between the instruments..
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2016, 03:49:05 AM »
I have had this in my radar and have listened to some clips on JPC. Thiry is as always fascinating, what a wonderful set of Correa he might do on his own. The problem with this CD is the choice of string instruments as a partner, I think they blend badly with the organ in this kind of music, and Bismuth has an annoying tone with too much vibrato as well. A wind instrument had been more appropriate (cornetto/dulcian) blending better with the organ. I own a recording of Peraza´s Tiento played by Jeremy West on cornetto with organ, this is an "efficient" combination displaying some kind of equality between the instruments..

What I had noticed is that the organ doesn't seem to be as well recorded as the strings, and I'd put this down really to the recording quality or the reverberation.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2016, 04:08:03 AM »
What I had noticed is that the organ doesn't seem to be as well recorded as the strings, and I'd put this down really to the recording quality or the reverberation.

Well, clips are clips, and I use them mainly to get an idea of the performing styles of the artists.
As to the sound in some low mp3 resolution I do not dare to judge. However on this CD the organ is recorded with close miking, and I hear the sound of it as very integrated and with some resonance adding to the "mystical" feeling of the music. The strings spoil that picture completely, and Bismuth even plays in another very different and romanticized style.
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