The best thing about this CD of keyboard works from Spain and Central and South America is the warm, close sound, not what is normally heard from a harpsichord recording. It is as warm as the instrument's red and gold paintwork. The worst thing about the recording is the impression that there is little variation in tempo from work to work. The mix of pieces covers a wide period of time, stretching from the late Renaissance to the early Classical period. And the works are actually a mixture of tempo markings. What gives the impression of little difference, however, is Mario Videla's relatively strict, sometimes plodding, playing. There isn't enough of a difference between his Allegros and his Largos, and he seems to use ritards only at the very end of pieces, rarely using any kind of rubato to create interest within phrases.
This box set comprises eight discs recorded by the remarkable Jordi Savall with his wife Montserrat Figueras and the wonderful Hespèrion XX. They span a period of ten or so years from 1976 were originally issued on LP by Virgin Classics. Since those days Savall’s performances have matured and grown in confidence but one can still easily recognize the brains behind the outfit and the sound-world he wanted to create. Later he moved to Auvidis Astrée and in more recent times has set up his own label - Alia Vox - where he really has been set loose. He has produced discs with superb documentation which have investigated many forgotten corners of medieval and Renaissance music which quite often we never even knew existed.
The feats of King Arthur and his Knights have inspired artistic creation in many art forms. In this disc we hear how troubadours spread their stories and we journey through twelfth-, thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Europe to encounter the Arthurian musical traditions of Germany, Spain, France and England. Full of allusions to legend, and also to contemporary events, the songs are masterpieces of their time. The composers include Alonso X el Sabio of Spain and Richard the Lionheart, whose Je nulls homs priz is one of the most beautiful of all medieval songs.
Arte de probar es la biografía intelectual de los vitandines, filósofos irónicos de la India, expertos en lógica que se dedicaban pacientemente a la desarticulación de los principios mismos de la lógica. Entre ellos hubo materialistas,budistas e hinduistas. Acudían a los torneos dialécticos con el único propósito de refutar las tesis de sus oponentes, siendo su única pasión no la victoria o el poder, sino descubrir el truco de magia, la tramoya que sostiene la ilusión colectiva del pensamiento. …