So they listened, so we listen

The last month, in may, the research group “La Obra Musical Renacentista. Fundamentos, Repertorios y Prácticas”, cordinated by the profesor Aguirre-Rincón (part fo the Research Center Victoria) and supported by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, has done a very particular and pioneer experiment on renaissance music reaearch field.

As a starting point the study and edition of some musics very carefully chosen from the renaissance repertoire and, in collaboration with a very large group of players and singers, they have recorded in specific spaces where possibly, they could sound five hundred years ago, trying to understand and find new perspective we never front before.

The Works:

The works have been choosen by their popularity and the large diffusionn they had at their time. Are the following: Nunca fue pena mayor, and Pange Lingua, by Johannes de Urrede, flemish reference on the Catholic Kings court context; the motet Aspice Domine by Jacquet de Mantua; several versions of Los braços trigo cansados and the Kyrie from Missa Pro Victoria by Tomás Luis de Victoria. A diverse selection in genres and cronologies.

The spaces:

After the study and reedition of those works, the goal was to find spaces wich had been keeping their main caracteristics about the acoustic. The final selection was: in Peñaranda de Duero the Palacio de los Condes de Miranda, built in the first s.XVI by D. Francisco de Zúñiga y Avellaneda,  an incredible example of the spanish “plateresco” where was posible to hear Enríquez Valderrábano´s vihuela, for sure; en Valladolid were chosen two places, the first, Cervantes House, where he lived the first years of XVII century; and the second, the Colegio de San Gregorio chapel, finished at the end of the XV century, without any doubt, was a center around many of the greatest musicians at Catholic Kings court where passing by, playing their pieces.  Again, a large selction in cronologies and uses. 

The team:

In addition to professor Aguirre-Rincón, there are other participants in the project as David Hernando Rico, Bratislava Symphonic Orquestra conductor and Edwin Pfanzagl-Carrdone, acustic and sound department´s chief from the Slazburg Festival. As colaborators, Carlos Gutiérrez and Manuel del Sol, and Ana López and Pablo Ballesteros as helpers.

The performers

A refined selection of performers had made posible the real sound of the selected works: Verónica Rioja (part fo the Research Ceenter Victoria) as a choire conductor, the choire was composed by Leire Sánchez, Carolina Morales, Mª José Sánchez, Pablo Román, Gregorio Casado, Luis Sánchez and Víctor Esteban; Manuela del Caño (mezosoprano), José Hernández Pastor (contratenor), Javier Centeno (tenor), Pablo Román (tenor) and Antonio Santos (barítono). On the instruments, Juan Miguel Nieto Cruz with the vihuela, the Ensemble Danserye, directed by Fernando Pérez Valera, Juan Alberto Pérez Valera and Luis Alfonso Pérez Valera as ministriles; Herder Sousa with the organ, Leonardo Luckert with the viola da gamba, Ana López Suero on the flute and Tiziana Palmiero on the harp. Also the technic team, for the recording, with David Hernando, orchestra conductor aand producer, and Iker Olabe and Iván Martín as a sound ingeneers.

All this ingredients have been distilled on different recording journeys, and many more of previous studies, with clair objectives comeing from the research group where the project is ascribed. As a main idea: getting a deep meaning about the music work concept during the Renaissance, trying to understand how was the reception and the conception of music in that times, and wich aspects or caracteristic where more relvants and more susceptible to take in count. Just with this new perspective, we could establish parameters to really incresse the knowledge about the renaissance music.

The brilliant tried is one more way to open our gaze to see lost material, because it´s impossible to recover hundred percent on his full comprehension and reception, but is also a material wich is traveling five hundred years on time and renameing and resignifying itself. Appears again, detaching new meanings and perspectives, and also, of course, keeping some of the many old meanings it had before, and will keep having. The music is telling us recognizable things, immortal, and universal, but what am I listening when I listen? What were they listening while they listened five centuries ago? That's the question. We keep learning how to play and how to listen to the music from the greatests.