Argentinean group Vox Dei started playing by the end of the 1960s. After signing up to independent label Mandioca, the band released "Azucar Amarga" and "Presente" in 1969; a year later, they issued the album Caliente. Vox Dei's conceptual album La Biblia, released in 1971, consolidated the band as one of the major local rock numbers. When Juan Carlos Godoy decided to leave the act, Ignacio Smilari joined in. Soon after Jeremias, Pies De Plomo came out, Vox Dei participated in a movie called Rock Hasta Que Se Ponga El Sol. In 1974, guitarist Carlos Michelini replaced Ricardo Soulé. The group disbanded after a live performance at Buenos Aires' Obras Sanitarias in 1981, returning in 1988 to make a new record called Tengo Razones Para Seguir…
Each year the magical setting of the gardens of the Castle of Versailles (one of the most visited sites in France and, indeed, Europe) are the setting for a fairy-tale fountain display. Devised during the reign of Louis XIV, this impressive spectacle set to music reflected the power and the majesty of the King himself. This year, the musical programme has been entrusted to Jordi Savall, who has selected some of the finest treasures from the Alia Vox catalogue. This is a landmark album, a unique selection performed by the leading specialists in the repertoire, those same artists who popularised this music and contributed to the success that it enjoys today.
This release is titled as Elizebathan Consort Music, Vol II and we have already savoured the flavours of that previously immensely successful release which reads like a roll-call from the 'greats' of English 16th century music. This time Jordi Savall and his splendid Hesperion XXI have devoted a whole CD to the talents of Anthony Holborne, a rather obscure figure but one who evidently was held in great esteem in those days.
Although the first full consort of viols did not arrive in England until 1540, there were actually several intriguing examples of what are now called "consort" music from before that time. Of course, the homogenous viol consort became supreme, and the present program (also featuring some 2-lute arrangements) focuses on the first part of that repertory. This developed at Elizabeth's court in the 1570s & 1580s, among professional musicians, but based on relatively restrictive models. Some pieces in the present program are composed freely, heralding the next step in consort development which, along with the small output of Byrd, allowed the English consort idiom to fully flower. Of course that was followed closely by the even larger and more famous repertory of consort music by composers such as Gibbons which was eventually geared more toward amateur players.