Villancicos y Danzas Criollas

Villancicos y Danzas Criollas

by Jordi Savall


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For the uninitiated, the music on Jordi Savall's new Villancicos y danzas criollas disc is a revelation, gleefully crossing lines between sacred and secular, artistic and popular, and, most strikingly, European, African, and Amerindian. The selections included originated between the early 1500s and the early 1700s, and, unlike those on the Harp Consort's similar Missa Mexicana disc, come from Spain as well as the New World. Indeed, the two recordings together offer a perfect introduction to this fascinating, unfailingly enjoyable and often comic repertory. Where the Harp Consort's Andrew Lawrence-King focused on a single Mexican composition and its musical surroundings, Savall offers a wide-ranging survey, traveling from Montserrat to Mexico to the Peruvian Andes, including pieces in Quechua and Nahuatl, and also making clear that the African influence in this repertory had Old World origins. The percussion section of Savall's group is larger than the Harp Consort's, and Savall turns his percussionsts loose with cross rhythms that vividly evoke the various traditions involved. One piece, the colorful Mexican Christmas villancico "A siolo flasquiyo," is included on both discs; sample the pair for an idea of their differences. Beyond that, Savall has assembled a fascinating program. The liner notes rightly indicate that the European composers approached African and Amerindian music from a purely imperialistic viewpoint; several pieces here are comic Christmas vignettes with Afro-Latin characters, and they have almost the flavor of minstrel comedy delivered in Renaissance musical style. But the confrontation of musical languages often resulted in a true musical "mestissage," as Savall calls it; when snatches of African language burst forth from Mateo Flecha's "San Sabeya gugurumbé," Savall almost succeeds in giving you the ears of a European composer encountering African music for the first time. This disc is joyous, luxurious, and often riotous, an artistic triumph.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/09/2004
Label: Alia Vox Spain
UPC: 7619986098340
catalogNumber: 9834
Rank: 74847


  1. Un Sarao de la Chacona
  2. Danza del Hacha, improvisation on Antonio Martín y Coll theme Huerto Ameno de Varias Flores
  3. Di, perra mora (Instrumental)
  4. San Sabeya gugurumbé, negrilla a 4
  5. Hanacpachap cussicuinin (God, Joy of the Universe), hymn
  6. Jota, improvistaion on a theme from Códice Saldivar
  7. Ay que me rio de amor
  8. Tleycantimo Choquiliya
  9. Antonya Flaciquia Gasipà, negro de Navidad a 5
  10. Cachua, improvisation on a melody recogida by Baltasar Martínez Compañón, Obispo de la diócesis de Trujillo
  11. Desvelado Dueño Mio
  12. A siolo flasiquiyo
  13. Un juguetico de fuego
  14. Convidando está la noche, guaracha
  15. Ay que me abraso, guaracha
  16. Marizápalos a Io divino ("Serafin que con dulce harmonía")

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