Spanish Organ Fantasy. Montserrat Torrent organist

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De Cabezon, Carreira, Correa De Arauxo, Coelho, Cabanille
Montserrat Torrent Serra
Luigi Concone e Figli (1838)
Torino, Italia

And nobody could be so mad not to pay his fantasies to the genius of Antonio de Cabezón. He was understood in this way not only in Spain, but also in Flanders and Italy, places where he lived, serving and following the catholic king Don Felipe our Sir, by whom he was deeply loved and highly considered than any other man of such quality could be by any other king.” 

Maybe those are the words, pulled out from Proemio to Obras de música (Madrid, 1578), that define better the distant position of Antonio de Cabezón as keyboard musician of his time. Actually, he took possession of the higher place as a musician in the court of Felipe II, the most powerful European king of the second half of the XVI century, by whom he was highly considered and for this reason he received one of the higher pay in all the royal court. As a member of the king’s retinue he travelled as an ambassador in all Spain, but also in Italy, Austria, Germany, Holland and England. Cabezón spent about four years of his career abroad, with long stay in Bruxelles, Augsburg, Winchester and London, however it was enough time to establish a contact with other artists of his time. Unfortunately, the mutual influences among other musicians and him are difficult to prove. Despite this, if we pertain to the music kept in the European outline of the XVI century, it is easy to notice in which way his works can be representative of that genius. Being such strict in his religious compositions, his intabulations are a unique link in the European outline of his time; his variations, full of fantasy, are maybe the most ancient kept for keyboard. He develops his tientos in a way that, leaving back the models of ricercar, they go into fantasia and toccata, showing in all of them models that can be seen in Gabrielli, Sweelinck or in the English virginalistes. Antonio de Cabezón’s music reaches a great spread thanks to his son Hernando, promoter of the abridged edition of his father’s works. In this release there are also two pieces of his uncle Juan and five of his own. So little works, but enough to place Hernando among the most interesting keyboard composer in Europe at the end of the XVI century. His notes tell many elements, both compositional and emotional of the Italian toccata of the beginning of the XVII century. It seems that the manuscripts, that he quotes in his will, were ready to be printed, but unfortunately can be considered lost. During the time in which Antonio and Hernando de Cabezón were keyboard musicians in the Spanish royal court, the composer Antonio Carreira develops his activity in Portugal. His own works were kept in the manuscripts M242 of the University of Coimbra. In many of them (among them Cançao a quatro) the authorship is only underlined through the initials AC that also the same manuscript uses some times to refer to Antonio de Cabezón, whose music is equally represented in the same source. We can credit to Manoel Rodrigues Coelho the composition and publishing of the first great corpus of keyboard music in Portugal. His Flores de música, that were print in Lisbon in 1620, during the maturity of the composer, are a complete manufactured works collection (24 tientos, verses and 4 intabulations on Susanne un jour by Orlando di Lasso) that date different moments of his career as an organ player. Coelho, born in Elvas, came to the cathedral of Badajoz, before going as a former organ player to the Capilla Real of Lisbon, where he lived until his death. Rodrigues Coelho’s works seems to have influenced the production of Francisco Correa. Born in Sevilla and raised in the shadow of famous musicians of his cathedral (as Francisco Guerrero or Francisco Peraza), his Facultad orgánica (Alcalá, 1626) can be considered one of the most important monument of the European music production of the early XVII century, not only for its quality, but also for its power, inspiration and emotion. The collection contains tientos on the twelve modes: these not only have component structures, but also are models of character and affection, according to the purest classic tradition in Spain. One of Correa’s main contributions to this release is the spread of a new type of tiento, called de medio registro. This kind of music, that will be one of the Spanish style archetypes, explores the organ possibilities by divided stops, which model is spread in Spain through the works by Flemish organbuilders from the last quarter of the XVI century. However, Juan Cabanilles represents the follower of the classic Spanish production for organ, in a moment in which Italian models of sonata and cantata definitively storm in Spain. Organ player in Valencia, open city to the Mediterranean, his disciples brought us a huge handwritten production of the master. In his works we can see foreign important influences, especially of the “Italian” music by Froberger and Kerll, with some French colors mixed with his Spanish style. (Andrés Cea Galán)


Additional info about this CD
Recorded in San Filippo Neri Oratorio, Torino in march, 2016.
16 pages full colour booklet (Ita and Eng)
Musicology comment,
Artist biography
Full organ specs card included




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