Author Topic: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.  (Read 435 times)

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Online Mandryka

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This is a mass reconstruction from Codex Heuelgas by the women's group Voces Huelgas. The manuscript was found in a convent, so using women's voices is not without justification. And the music could well have been sung out of the context of a real mass - so instruments are a possibility.

The really astonishing thing is how they use instruments. A lot of the time it's just the singers. When the instruments come in it's all very subtle, often just a harp or a viol, it sounds right.

But often there's this deep deep hum in the background, it's some sort of trombone. The effect is totally unlike anything I've ever heard before - the singers have very high voices and the contrast between them and the trombone is utterly disorienting, not unlike Pérès' throat singers.

Anyway, whatever.  It's  committed and serious and sensual, by turns prayerful and dramatic, totally involving and needs to be heard.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 01:46:49 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 04:25:40 PM »
They have another Codex Huelgas CD:



According to the entry for this disc at medieval.org (http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/sny60844.htm) other volumes are planned for this series, though I can't find any more. As both volumes were recorded in 1998 further releases would seem unlikely, more's the pity.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 06:59:47 AM »
They have another Codex Huelgas CD:



According to the entry for this disc at medieval.org (http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/sny60844.htm) other volumes are planned for this series, though I can't find any more. As both volumes were recorded in 1998 further releases would seem unlikely, more's the pity.

Thanks I've ordered it and I've had an email to say it's been dispatched, so fingers crossed. I also ordered Thomas Binkley's Camino CD, mainly because I've been really enjoying a track called Planctas aus las Huelgas here - I don't know what the music is, where it's from or anything, but it's like I'm transported to a club with hashish pipes in Istanbul when I hear it, which is just what I need.



Oh, and I ordered their Abelard CD while I was at it, it's been an expensive day.
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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 08:18:33 AM »
Thanks I've ordered it and I've had an email to say it's been dispatched, so fingers crossed. I also ordered Thomas Binkley's Camino CD, mainly because I've been really enjoying a track called Planctas aus las Huelgas here - I don't know what the music is, where it's from or anything, but it's like I'm transported to a club with hashish pipes in Istanbul when I hear it, which is just what I need.


Sounds like a perfectly good reason for buying it to me! I think I have the Planctus disc as part of an old box set on Virgin. I bought the reissue of Binkley's Camino albums. It's good that they put both albums on a single CD, but the lack of sung texts and translations is a real pain. Having said that, I've no idea if the original releases had them and even if they did they're probably only available at absurd prices.


Quote
Oh, and I ordered their Abelard CD while I was at it, it's been an expensive day.

You did well to get that Abelard disc, especially if you didn't have to pay through the nose for it. The only separately released CD version I could find on Amazon is completely unavailable - not even a second hand copy at an obscene price. Even the US Amazon has no copies listed. The only other way to get it on CD appears to be as part of one of those old Reflexe box sets. That set is on Amazon, at the bargain price of £225.

Still, while I had no luck finding Binkley's Abelard disc, I did find this while I was searching for it:



I wasn't sure if this was a reissue of something I already had under another title, but no, according to the back cover it's a recent recording - May 2016 - so I've ordered it. Should be good.


Online Mandryka

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 12:24:50 PM »


Theatrum Instrumentorum sing the Cantigas de Santa Maria like a bunch of fishwives and goatherds, the result is fresh, colourful, light somehow, secular sounding and very satisfying in a sort of Musica Reservata way. They took their inspiration from images in the manuscript showing instruments like ones used even today by (northern? ) Mediterranean folk musicians.

   .   
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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 03:20:45 PM »
Voces Huelgas director Luis Lozano Virumbrales was also involved with another ensemble, Grupo de Musica Alfonso X el Sabio. They released a CD of music from the Codex Calixtinus:



As with the Voces Huelgas CDs this was recorded in the late 90s. They don't seem to have released anything for years so I assume they're no longer around.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 09:52:19 PM »


A serious, engaged and restrained  performance of some music from Codex Huelgas and elsewhere here from the women's ensemble Cum Jubilo. The music they chose is often polyphonic, in presentation at least - sometimes they sing two songs simultaneously, or break up a song to create a sort of pared down antiphony. No instruments, which may not be justifiable historically but, for better or for worse, it contributes to a feeling of purity, austerity, interiority. All that makes me want to say that they're like a women's Orlando Consort or Gothic Voices.  And like Orlando Consort and the others their manner of creating tones is not folksy and fish-wifey, nor exotic and oriental. Neither is it like a 19th century lieder singer. As with Anonymous 4 I find the similarity of the timbres of the voices very attractive, like an piece of organ music played with full organ. But the comparison with Anonymous 4 doesn't really carry into other areas: they're punchier, less soothing and less sweet.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 12:05:55 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 12:16:21 PM »
They have another Codex Huelgas CD:



According to the entry for this disc at medieval.org (http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/cds/sny60844.htm) other volumes are planned for this series, though I can't find any more. As both volumes were recorded in 1998 further releases would seem unlikely, more's the pity.

I think this is particularly beautiful, thanks for pointing it out. They even use something which sounds like a didgeridoo, what couldn't be cooler than that?
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 12:30:15 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 03:22:15 PM »
I think this is particularly beautiful, thanks for pointing it out. They even use something which sounds like a didgeridoo, what couldn't be cooler than that?

Glad you like it! I haven't got round to playing it yet, it's sitting somewhere in my pile - or, more accurately, mountain - of unplayed discs. The "didgeridoo" sounds interesting!

I've just found another CD by the Grupo de Musica Alfonso X el Sabio:



I had no idea this even existed until I stumbled across it. Just ordered it, should be an interesting disc. 

Online Mandryka

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2017, 05:12:14 AM »
The "didgeridoo" sounds interesting!



It's a tromba marina

« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 05:14:41 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 06:45:47 AM »




Quote from: val (are you still with us?) in 2008 on this closed thread
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg250728.html#msg250728
ALFONSO EL SABIO:   Cantigas de Santa Maria        / Esther Lamandier      (ASTREE)


Lamandier has a strange but impressive voice. She sings and plays the harp and portative organ. I don't think that this works were intended to be presented this way, but the main problem is Lamandier's diction. The songs are written in Galician-Portuguese language but they could be in Chinese: it is impossible to understand a single word.

I think Val's comment about the voice is right, in fact I'd say Esther Lamandier has one of the great early music voices. I find what she does charismatic and listenable. I don't see any reason to think there's anything problematic about using harp or organ to accompany. And my Galician and Portuguese is so non existant I can't comment on diction, apart to say that my ignorance means I don't care.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 06:50:46 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Biffo

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2017, 07:52:10 AM »
Codex Calixtinus has also been recorded by Ensemble Venance Fortunat directed by Anne-Marie Deschamps. I am sorry I don't have an album cover to post as I bought it as a lossless download and the jpg image is so small as to be useless. I bought it from Qobuz (nearly certain!) and they are generally good in this repertoire. I have the sleeve notes and can post more details if anyone is interested though it won't be until tomorrow.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 12:51:22 AM by Biffo »

Offline Mr. Minnow

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2017, 08:21:06 AM »
Codex Calixtinus has also been recorded by Ensemble Venance Fortunat directed by Anne-Marie Deschamps. I am sorry I don't have an album cover to post as I bought it as a lossless download and the mpg image is so small as to be useless. I bought it from Qorbuz (nearly certain!) and they are generally good in this repertoire. I have the sleeve notes and can post more details if anyone is interested though it won't be until tomorrow.

It would seem they released two CDs of music from the Codex Calixtinus. I have this one:




There's also this, which I don't have:


Online Mandryka

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2017, 09:15:57 AM »
Yes I've discovered Ensemble Venance Fortunat, both the Camino CDs, through Qobuz. I like what they do very much indeed, I meant to make a note on this thread in fact, but clearly forgot. There are some really memorable things there.

They've recorded a lot, and I've dipped into what they've done elsewhere too. What I've heard sounds very different from their style for Codex Calixtinus.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 09:28:38 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Biffo

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Re: Codex Calixtinus, Codex Huelgas and other very early Spanish music.
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2017, 01:59:29 AM »
Thanks to Mr Minnow and Mandryka for their information. I already had the Codex Calixtinus album with the green cover and this morning I have downloaded the other album. It was reissued in 2015 and now has a different cover; unfortunately it has no texts so I will have to do some research.

'Ondas'  is another album from the same period that I have enjoyed.

http://www.qobuz.com/gb-en/album/ondas-martin-codax-cantigas-de-amigo-vivabiancaluna-biffi-pierre-hamon/3760195733905?qref=dac_7

It contains secular songs in Galician-Portuguese from the mid 13th century attributed to Martin Codax. The songs are interspersed with reflections and preludes improvised or composed by the artists.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 02:12:01 AM by Biffo »

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