16th century music for solo vihuela de mano by Mudarra, Milán, Fuenllana, Narváez, Daza and Francesco da Milano
Released: July 2004
Vihuela by: Joel van Lennep, 1989
01 Fantasía 13 Luys Milán 1:52
02 Fantasía 10 Milán 2:05
03 Fantasía 3 Milán 1:58
04 Fantasía in F Milán 3:33
05 Fantasía 9 Milán 2:38
06 Fantasía 8 Milán 2:27
07 Duo de Morales Miguel de Fuenllana 1:25
08 Fantasía Primero Tono Luys de Narváez 2:09
09 Fantasía Segundo Tono Narváez 2:50
10 Fantasía Tercero Tono Narváez 2:21
11 O Gloriosa Domina Narváez 5:29
12 Duo de Josquin Fuenllana 1:17
13 Fantasía 33 Francesco da Milano 2:39
14 Riceercar 69 Francesco 2:20
15 Ricercar 11 Francesco 1:46
16 Fantasía 34 Francesco 2:40
17 Duo de Fuenllana 1:47
18 Conde Claros Alonso de Mudarra 1:35
19 Tiento & Fantasía Mudarra 2:11
20 Cum sancto spiritu de Josquin Mudarra 2:03
21 Fantasía 10 Mudarra 1:53
22 Fantasía Mudarra 1:24
23 Fantasía Mudarra 1:19
24 Fantasía Mudarra 1:23
25 Duo de Guerrero Fuenllana 1:18
26 Fantasía Fuenllana 2:18
27 Fantasía 1 Esteban Daza 1:14
28 Fantasía 2 Daza 1:56
29 Fantasía 3 Daza 1:18
30 Fantasía 4 Daza 1:41
31 Fantasía 5 Daza 1:44
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While the Spanish vihuela de mano has been somewhat of an enigma in the historical instrument movement of the past few decades, its music for the most part is very straightforward. Many performers have felt they have too few historical references on which to base a stylistic performance. What exactly is dedillo? How were ornaments used? What was the vihuela‘s place in society? What exactly is the difference between a vihuela and a guitar? These questions have never held much interest for me. The music speaks for itself. It is largely vocally based and its models were clearly Josquin and his successors. While scholars have pointed to the importance of the diferencia as the major contribution of the vihuelistas, I don’t think they themselves must have seen it that way. Fuenllana speaks with disdain of the popular styles and clearly believes the high art of the vihuela is achieved by imitating the polyphony of the masters.
I have included two examples of the diferencia on this CD. One, the popular Conde Claros of Mudarra, is a simple set of variations on a three chord progression not unlike a blues progression of today – a sort of beginner’s way of learning to jam – and the opposite style, the purely polyphonic O Gloriosa Domina of Narvaez.
Aside from the Ludovico fantasy of Mudarra, all the rest of the pieces here are polyphonic in nature. The skill of the vihuelista was most certainly judged on his ability to control the expression of multi-voiced textures. To this end, I believe the acoustic of the performance hall greatly enhances the sustaining quality of light plucked instruments and is essential to the character of the music.
Copyright ©2002 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.
Per Kjetil Farstad, Professor, Ph.D, Norway
I have listened to the CD “Delphín” numerous of times and I have to say it is astonishing, both technically and musically. Frank Wallace is a mature musician and his interpretation of the vihuela music is really splendid! The sound on this recording is warm and bright and the instrument sounds beautiful. A must for music lovers!
If you are an aficionado of the vihuela, this is a must-have recording. Not only is one of the most virtuosic recordings in my library, it provides significant representation of the vihuela fantasia: a portion of the literature from which most recordings pick and choose a few of the better known examples.
And, no wonder these are often overlooked: they are neither easy to play, nor easy to make sense of. Frank Wallace’s abundant technical resources and obvious feel for the almost vocal-like improvisitory riffs lets the listener experience the kind of creative abandon that one would expect from a fantasia, defined in one dictionary as ‘A free composition structured according to the composer’s fancy. ‘ On this recording they make perfect sense, and sound like they were being extemporized on the spot.
It is gratifying to have a recording that explores such important, yet rarely heard repertoire.
Ivo Magherini, luthier
Your solo vihuela CD confirms the feeling i had when i first heard you (ages ago, come to think of it), that you probably are the most sensitive vihuelist i know, maybe because you can also sing that stuff, I don’t know, while technically you sound second to none.