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    (Spanish poetry and music in the 16th century)

    At the root of the lyric, extant in all languages, is the voice of a woman, a woman in love, who hopes, who questions, who regrets…

    We can find in the songs echoes of “Cantares de amigo” (literally, songs about a male friend) which speak out to us of timeless love, of love without rule; of furtive lovers hidden in the night, lost in dark mountains. The abandon- ment and the indifference of those “malma- ridadas” (unhappily married ones) dragging their sad fate from century to century. Anony- mous voices, popular of a very long tradition.

    Thus, collected and set in music in Spanish Renaissance songbooks (Uppsala, Palacio, Medinacelli…) and also tabbed by the vihuela composers often developed in a cultured way, primitive voices of medieval lyric/poetry re- turn, following the risky roads of love, telling of silenced sadness, whispering uneasiness… with hope placed in the light of dawn.

    Al alba venid (Anónimo, Cancionero Musical de Palacio)
    Por unos puertos arriba (Anónimo, C.M de P)
    Que me queréis caballero (Anónimo, C. M de P)
    Si la noche haze escura D. Pisador (ca.1510 – ca.1557)
    Para que’s dama tanto quereros D. Pisador
    Falai miña amor L. Milà (ca. 1500 – ca. 1560 )
    Fantasía para desenvolver las manos A. Mudarra (ca. 1510 – 1580)
    Paseábase el rey moro L. Narváez
    Duélete de mí, señora E. Daça (ca. 1537 – ca. 1596)
    Soleta so jo ací (Cancionero de Uppsala)
Mille regretz L. Narváez
    Nunca más verán mis ojos E. Daça (ca.1537 – ca. 1596)
    Dezilde al cavallero D. Pisador
    Diferencias sobre
    Guárdame las vacas L. Narváez


    (Italian music and poetry in the 17th century)

    Here then is a sample of some of the musical jewels of Italian Seicento, a critical time in the history of Western music (and illustrating the very beginnings of opera).

    The title used, “Dolce Tormento”, besides being a specific reference to one of the parts of the program (the emblematic If dolce è il tormento of C. Monteverdi), is an allusion to a spiritual, philosophical and poetical impulse that enve- lops the personality and works of the compo- sers of the early 17th century.

    Thus, in these works one finds contradictory feelings of a lover who prefers to die rather than to reveal her love for the beloved; or enjoyment brought by suffering, sighs, her sobbing … at the cruelty of her beloved, etc., all represented by the oxymoron “sweet torment” in a musical practice (seconda prattica) whose objective is to raise the music at the same expressive text level, following the advice of Giulio Caccini: “in favellare harmony” (to talk of musical har- mony). The consequence of which is: heavenly sound for the listener.

    Folle è ben che si crede T. Merula (ca.1595 – 1665)
    Amor dormiglione B. Strozzi (1619-1677)
    Novello Cupido B. Marini (1594-1663)
    L’Eraclito amoroso B. Strozzi
    Canarios G. Kapsberger (1580-1651)
    Amor io parto G. Caccini (1550-1618)
    Chè si può fare B. Strozzi
    L’amante segreto B. Strozzi
    Si dolce è il tormento C. Monteverdi (1567-1643)


    (Eros, love songs)

    Recent musicological studies of the “Tonos humanos” found in Spanish baroque music ( Dr. Rubén López Cano) , serve as a pillar for the development of a program dedicated to Love. As a concept it revolves around Desire.  We find it embodied in a winged boy, blindfolded, and armed with bow and arrow. Love manifested in different states: through selected seventeenth century songs from Italy and Spain, divided into three, at the discretion of the relationship between music and text.

    The first part, entitled “The Arrows of Cupid”, confronts us with the seemingly innocent golden-haired boy, who has often been reflected in figurative art . But what is the true essence of this child? At times whimsical, sometimes sleeping, (Amor, non dormiu piú ! Svegliati ormai [Love sleep no more ! Awake! ] ) whose attention we must sometimes draw, ( Amor, ch’attendi che fai amor ? [ Amor, to do you expect ? Amor, what are you doing? ] ) and at times even playfully disobedient, ( Novello Cupid fanciul you cred’io [ Young Cupid , you’re a natural ] though always deserving forgiveness. ( Folle è ben che si crede ( … ) [ it’s crazy to believe that ( … ) I’ve left my idol ] ) .

    It was expected that Love brings with it its antithesis : Heartbreak – countless repertoire dedicated to the lament of love in Spanish and Italian Baroque Opera. Barbara Strozzi ‘s lament Chè si può fare [ Things to do ] exemplifies this sense of deep pain that produces the perfidious love, and also the Spanish “Tono HumanoOjos pues desdeñáis” (J. Marín ).

    A third section is devoted to Sweet Torment, in which “desire rigor”  is shown in a true manifestation of pain.

    The Arrows of Cupid

    Novello Cupido B. Marini (1594-1663)
    Amor dormiglione B. Strozzi (1619-1677)
    Folle è ben T. Merula (ca.1595 – 1665)


    Che si puo fare B. Strozzi
Amor io parto
    G. Caccini
Grabe S. de Murzia (1673-1739)
    Ojos, pues me desdeñáis J. Marín (1619-1699)
    Si quieres dar marica en lo cierto J. Marín
    Capricho arpeado por la cruz G. Sanz (1640-1710) No piense Menguilla ya J. Marín

    Sweet torment

    Sé que me muero de amor J. B. Lully (1632-1687)
    Amante segreto B. Strozzi
    Si dolce e il tormento C. Monteverdi (1567-1643)

    Paula Brieba, guitarra barroca y tiorba
    Julieta Viñas, soprano
    Ana Victoria Pérez, actriz