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Songs and Dances alla spagnola
La Boz Galana
Ramée RAM 1909

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Why you might ask is this delightful collection of 17th-century music alla spagnoletta largely Italian in language and origin? The solution is the lively printed music tradition in Italy at the time, which preserved the music inspired by Spain, sometimes composed and played by Spanish musicians and even the art of strumming accompaniments on the guitar, whereas in Spain itself these details went unrecorded. La Boz Galana (Sebastián León,  baritone, Louis Capeille, baroque harp, and Edwin Garcia, baroque guitar) provide beautifully engaging accounts of a selection of this repertoire by Landi and Kapsberger as well as less well-known composers such as Juan de Arañés, Giovanni Stefani, Carlo Milanuzzi and Antonio Cabonchi. Several of the pieces are anonymous, reflecting their almost pop-song status, and La Boz Galana capture perfectly this repertoire’s lightly innocent lyricism. Sebastián León has an effortlessly tuneful voice, which draws the listener in to this delightful material, while his instrumentalists accompany sympathetically while also injecting a distinctive alla spagnola flavour to their playing. The instrumental interpolations are not just padding but a genuine enhancement of this charming CD.

D. James Ross

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