Author Topic: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc  (Read 17971 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #120 on: December 29, 2018, 01:38:47 AM »
I’ve sometimes had a bit of trouble appreciating Cabezon on record, that’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed many things by him, but occasionally I’ve felt that fundamentally he’s not a composer for me.

Reading Leon Berben’s essay in his new recording for Aeolus, I’m starting to see that Canezon is specially challenging to get off the page. In fact, I see that his publisher (i.e, his son) asked people to be indulgent in their judgement of the music

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In the  the Proemio or introduction to the ”Obras de música para tecla, arpa y vihuela” (1578), Hernando de Cabezón, son of Antonio and publisher of much of his father’s music, writes the following: ”His duties and travels did not allow him to compose as he could have done in tran- quillity and ease. And as far as the content of this vol- ume is concerned, one must compare it with the crumbs that fell from his dish rather than view it as premeditated and well-wrought compositions; are they not merely pieces which he used to teach his pu- pils, which do not represent the artistic judgement of the master but were tailored to talent and skills”.

Berben goes on to suggest that the scores require a particularly imaginative, creative, interpretation - his reading of Fray Tomás de Santa María’s ”Libro llamado Arte de tañer fantasiá para tecla, vihuela y todo instrumento...” and other documents lead him to the conclusion that

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the written music does not (always) include all the information re- quired for its execution and is sooner intended ’only’ as point of departure for performance. But it is not simply a matter of adding the cus- tomary ornaments such as trills and mordents (mostly referred to as quiebro and redoble). The characteristic glosas too, based on the embel- lishment of intervals – the art of diminution – are vital to the performance of Iberian music. In his ”Tratado de glosas” Diego Ortiz (1553), for example, meticulously describes this type of or- namentation.

Rather fancifully, Berben suggests that Canezon’s blindness may itself indicate that when he played at least, he was specially free

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Is the blind musician liber- ated from the slavery of the physical score and
14 the necessity of a finished, definitive version? Does this not also underline the position of the interpreter, of the improviser? Experience and memory gain new importance and create the circumstances for new and perhaps unforeseen occurrences.

Re the music itself Koos van de Linde, who’s involved in the production of the booklet at least,  says the following

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. . .  Cabezón’s works are not purely organ or keyboard music, but rather abstract compositions to be played on all sorts of instruments

I’ve not had a chance to listen to the whole recording yet, but I’m wondering what the impact, if any, of this last idea will be for his interpretations. In the booklet, Berben does not comment on Koos van de Linde’s proposal.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 01:53:34 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Cabezón, Arauxo, Cabanilles etc etc
« Reply #121 on: March 04, 2019, 03:38:30 AM »


It's nice that this CD exists, because the music's rare, especially on a harpsichord. Nishiyama is a harpist as well as a keyboard player, so I was hoping for harp effects on the clave, but if there are any I didn't notice -- on harpsichord the music remains a bit tough, but not unbearable. I just wish that Nishyama varied her attacks more, and I wish that she had the skill to make her music less flat -- to give the sense of one voice interrupting or supporting another to create a 3D texture. But when she recorded this, her first CD I think, she hadn't. She's a bit grim monochrome too, and is not beyond pounding the keyboard with her boots. Ouch.

The final three tracks are on a virginal, and here she begins to show a slightly more tender and poetic sensibility.

After listening to it I went back to Erdas in Cabezon



and here we're in an altogether superior world of music making -- so it can be done.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen