Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alia musica: self-titled (Music Collection/Jurg Grand, 1979)

Medioeval, sacred, Spanish music. What's "traditional" about it, and most of all, why does it get posted on this blog?

Let's take a look at Alia musica's line-up. Among the thirteen musicians involved, nine at least are Italian, and one is Mauro Pagani, who plays rebec and vieille and produced the album.
The band revived old Galician cantigas with traditional instruments. The main figures accredited for the compositions are Alfonso le Sabio (King of Castille and León, 1221-1284) and Martim Codax (c. 1230).

The songs are among the few ones of their era whose music survived in some form of "sheet notation", even if very approximative (no duration, no rhythm, just the main melodic line). Alia musica's mission was to "reinvent" the music in a philological way, instead of playing it with the usual "Christian" approach.

The instruments used don't seem to belong properly to the Spanish-medioeval repertoire, but they should probably be some sort of "modern counterparts" of analogous ancient instruments.

The lp came along with a detailed booklet, but I couldn't manage to get it (or a scan of it), so I have no more detailed information about the project or the recording. To know more about the compositions and their history, you can consult Wikipedia [1] [2] or medieval.org [1] [2].

I can add just that the music is deeply fascinating and I strongly suggest that you listen to it.

  1. Cantiga 1: Des oge mais quer' eu trobar (Alfonso le Sabio)
  2. Cantiga 245: O que en coita de morte mui grand' ou en prijon for (Alfonso le Sabio)
  3. Cantiga 137: Sempr' acha Santa Maria razon verdadeira (Alfonso le Sabio)
  4. Cantiga 6: Quantas sabedes amar (Martim Codax)
  5. Conductus: Cedit frigus (anonymous manuscrit from the Monastery of Ripoli)
  6. Cantiga 20: Virga de Jesse (Alfonso le Sabio)
  7. Cantiga 424: Pois que dos Reys Nostro Sennor (Alfonso le Sabio)
  8. Cantiga 4: Ay Deus (Martim Codax)
  9. Cantiga 77: Da que Deus mamou o leite do seu peito (Alfonso le Sabio)
  10. Cantiga 35: O que a Santa Maria der algo ou prometer (Alfonso le Sabio)
  11. Cantiga 100: Santa Maria, Strela do Dia (Alfonso le Sabio)
  • Brigitte Lesne: voice, tambourine
  • Gérard Lesne: voice, chains
  • Piergiorgio Lazzaretto: voice, bendir
  • Riccardo Grazioli: hurdy-gurdy, vielle, cittern
  • Silvio Malgarini: symphonia, hurdy-gurdy, saz, cittern, voice
  • Robert Batto: 'ud
  • Francis Biggi: 'ud, bell, cymbals
  • Alexandre Regis: zarb, nakers, bendir
  • Febo Guizzi: tambourine, cymbals, chains, rattles, voice
  • Giuliano Prada: bagpipe, recorders, horn, handbell, voice
  • Mauro Palmas: launeddas
  • Mauro Pagani: rebec, vielle
  • Fabio Soragna: santur, pandeiro, darbukka, voice
Note: The album was recorded live in open air, at Carimate Castle, Como. It came out as a limited edition in very few copies, but in an interview, Mauro Pagani mentions a Philips edition of the album; and medieval.org even lists the lp as a "Dischi Ricordi" publication. Maybe they are reprints, but I don't know.

Download (vinyl rip, 224 kbps, from prognotfrog)

Similar music on the blog:
Zeit: Un giorno in una piazza del Mediterraneo (Materiali sonori, 1979)
La lionetta: Il gioco del diavolo (Shirak, 1981)

1  :

Anonymous said...

(MP3 CBR 224K)
PASSWD: aliamusica1979