I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Follies since 1490

Screen Shot 2012 11 09 at 8 50 44 PM Inspired by a Savall YouTube video featuring French music with the Concert des Nations, I thought I needed some more Savall in my digital library. And so, I acquired yet another recording based on variations known as La Folia. The only thing I miss besides the better resolution of digital music is the loss of the booklet. So I literally know nothing about the earlier composers on this recording, until we get to Corelli and Marais. The recording starts with an anonymous piece (or is it?) from a collection from Villancico. The pieces don't sound like what we typically may recognize as "La Folia" until we get further along; by the time we get to the penultimate track, it's like an old friend, now old, but somehow fully mature, except Savall takes the violin part for himself on the viola da gamba. It has the same range as the recording of Corelli's op. 5 Folia as the one by violist Richard Yongjae O'Neill. There's one part that Savall can't simply play as fast (or elegantly) as a violinist (or O'Neill, for that matter, on viola), but aside from that, the Corelli is well-done. It's perhaps more "rustic" on Savall's own instrument. The CD includes continuo (and color) support from the likes of Lislevand, Behringer, Cocset, Estevan, and Savall (his daughter). If you forgot that this piece came from Spain, the opening of the CD uses percussion guitar to reinforce its origin. The Ortiz piece Recercada Ottava sobre la Folia from 1553 has our tune in the bass, and is an excellent track to demonstrate the space captured in the recording. The mixture of instruments are widely-enough separated, with good reverb, to give the sense of a religious space, over one resembling a "stage." I didn't care for the one labeled Hoy Comamos y Bebamos from 1520. Different musicians on the record take the lead in a series of variations; one of my favorites is the more traditional (and late) example on track 6, featuring Savall in the solo role with percussion and harp. The Corelli is followed by Marais, perhaps finding Savall in his strongest position. I'd wager that this recording is necessary stock for a fan of Folias like myself. It joins versions I have for keyboard, the oft-recorded Vivaldi one for trio sonata, and second copies of the ones famously transmitted by Marin Marais, and Arcangelo Corelli.

Schmelzer Sonate et Balletti

The Unknown Handel