Cantar de Amor: Juan Hidalgo and 17th-century Spain

Juan Sancho T, Accademia del Piacere, Fahmi Alqhai
56:42
Glossa GCD P33204
Music by Falconieri, Guerau, Hidalgo, Marín, Romero & Sanz

Another fine recital culled from the riches of 17th-century Spanish sung drama, enjoyably interspersed with elaborately – and stylishly – realised instrumental fantasias. The lion’s share of the vocal items are by the great Juan Hidalgo and range from the teasingly delightful ‘Trompicavalas Amor’ and the mocking ‘Ay, que me rio de amor’ to the lovelorn intensity of ‘Esperar, sentir, morir’; I haven’t been able to get the plangent refrain of the latter out of my head since!

Juan Sancho sings with much dramatic intensity – try the Romero ‘Ay, que me muero de zelos’ with its anguished exclamations, or the Recitativo a lo humano ‘Rompa el aire en suspiros.’ Fahmi Alqhai and his fellow instrumentalists provide spirited accompaniments and shine particularly in their dazzling improvisations. The opening Passacalle a tre is a good taster.

The exemplary sleeve notes, as one has come to expect from Glossa, provide scholarly background and commentary, along with the (essential) texts. One hopes that more of this repertoire might be forthcoming; it would be fascinating to explore further the dramatic contexts of the vocal items.

Alastair Harper

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