Vidala - Argentina and Roots of European Baroque
VIVALDI / Picinini / Folk Music
Rubén Dubrovsky / Bach Consort Wien


Releasedate: 21.09.2015

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€ 17.90

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Vidala - Argentina and Roots of European Baroque

The new album of the Bach Consort Vienna, Vidala, focuses on Latin America during the years of colonization, where in the 16th century three different cultures start intermingling: Natives, Spanish conquistadors and African slaves. From Mexico to Argentina there is an explosion of new dances with exciting names like Sarabanda, Zamacueca, Pasacalle and Folia. The recording features instrumental arrangements of traditional melodies and songs from Latin America, performed by Argentinian tenor Francisco Brito, as well as works by Italian composers such as Alessandro Piccinini, Tarquinio Merula, Biagio Marini and Antonio Vivaldi. The Bach Consort Vienna with musical director Rubén Dubrovsky, since its formation in 1999 widely renowned for their authentic performance practice, takes on a journey through time to the roots of European Baroque. Founded in 1999, the Bach Consort Vienna under the baton of Rubén Dubrovsky soon grew into one of the most important Baroque Ensembles of Austria. Next to several performances at the Vienna Musikverein, the ensemble is ever-present on different European concert stages. Internationally renowned artists, such as Bernarda Fink and Christophe Coin, are closely connected to the Bach Consort Vienna as guest soloists. The ensemble has always remained faithful to its original conceptual idea of chamber music. The basic members of the Bach Consort Vienna, together with co-founder Agnes Stradner, can be heard in different kinds of chamber music casts and captivate their audience either in a small but also larger group or cast by their transparency of sound and a personal way of expression. The number of the cast is constantly chosen under the motto «as small as it still makes sense», therefore even in pieces with a somewhat larger cast, one can still experience the musicianship of every individual member of the ensemble. With an intense involvement of the oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach, the ensemble found its very own artistic language. Rubén Dubrovsky's academic research about traditional South American music and its shared roots with European Baroque music also influenced the rhythmic quality of the ensemble. An important aspect of the ensemble's performances has also been the rediscovery of oeuvres of renowned Baroque composers. In 2010, in the composer's anniversary year, the Bach Consort Vienna revived an oratorio by Johann Joseph Fux, called Cristo nell'orto as part of the OsterKlang Festival Vienna and Psalm Graz, as well as Easter music of the Vienna court composer Francesco Bartolomeo Conti, with countertenor Franco Fagioli as soloist. Widely acclaimed was the 2011 premiere performance of Pergolesi's La Maddalena al sepolcro at the Ancona Cathedral which was recorded by Unitel Classica as part of the complete Pergolesi oeuvre recordings on DVD. In 2013, Rubén Dubrovsky's first edition of Porpora's masterpiece Polifemo was presented at the Theater an der Wien with great success.

CD Track Titel Dauer Komponist PLAY
1 1 Antonio Vivaldi - La Folia 10:13   2.39€
2 Alessandro Piccinini - Ciaconna in partite var… 2:48   0.99€
3 Traditional - La Bolivianita 2:31   0.99€
4 Traditional - Te i de olvidar, Vidala 2:27   0.99€
5 Hermanos Simón - Chacarera de un triste 2:35   0.99€
6 Andrés Chazarreta - Cuando nada te debia, Bail… 2:54   0.99€
7 Biagio Marini - Passacaglia a 4, op. 22 5:08   1.59€
8 Andrés Chazarreta - La Telesita, Chacarera 2:55   0.99€
9 Hermanos Ríos - De puro gusto, Gato 1:43   0.99€
10 Atahualpa Yupanqui - Piedra y camino, Zamba 3:58   0.99€
11 Tarquinio Merula - Ciaconna op. 12 Nr. 20 2:49   0.99€
12 Hermanos Díaz - La Vieja, Chacarera trunca 3:04   0.99€
13 Gustavo Leguizamón - Zamba de Lozano, Zamba 3:50   0.99€
14 Abel Mónico Saravia - Chacarera de Gualiama 2:15   0.99€
15 Traditional - Pobre mi negra, Vidala 3:33   0.99€
16 Torres y Ferreyra - El Siestero, Escondido 2:42   0.99€
17 Alessandro Piccinini - Aria de Saravanda in va… 2:55   0.99€

Vidala - Argentina and Roots of European Baroque
Bach Consort Wien (Rubén Dubrovsky (cello, charango, direction), Agnes Stradner (violin), Farran James (violin), Daniele Caminiti (lute), Mirko Arnone (double bass), Martin Bruhn (percussion), Dominik Richter (percussion), Francisco Brito (tenor))
rec. 29 June-3 July 2012, Lutherische Stadkirche, Vienna
GRAMOLA 99064 [58:30]

This intriguing CD aims to set up a kind of two-way cultural traffic between European Baroque music and Argentinean traditional songs. The title 'Vidala' refers to a type of vocal music found in both Argentina and Bolivia; Rubén Dubrovsky is the driving force behind this recording, and plays cello and various folk instruments. In the booklet notes, he explains how, although Spanish Baroque music undoubtedly travelled to South America, dance-forms such as the Sarabande went the other way, and in their turn exerted an important influence on the music of Europe.

These cross-currents are immediately made explicit on track 1, with Vivaldi's wonderful variations on La Folia, an ancient melody that has been used by countless composers from Corelli to Rachmaninov. To the basic ensemble of two violins, cello and continuo Dubrovsky himself adds charango - an Argentinean guitar-like instrument - and percussion, in the form of frame-drums as well as a davul, a Turkish instrument that found its way to Spain. The mournful, stately dance is gradually transformed into something mesmerisingly earthy, with an increasingly feral rhythmic drive.

That productive interaction is preserved throughout in a variety of numbers. There are more composed numbers by people such as Piccini and Marini, alongside either traditional melodies such as La Bolivianita on track 3, or pieces in traditional style by various popular musicians . whose dates aren't given, and I have been unable to trace. La Bolivianita is a good example of the essence of Vidala, with its lively rhythm and its minor key melody played mainly in thirds by the two violins. As with Spanish folk music, there is a prevailing mood of sweet melancholy, enlivened by the hypnotic dance styles.

That mood of melancholy is heightened in the vocal numbers, of which there are several, by the plaintive tones of Argentinean tenor Francisco Brito. He is a real stylist, clearly understands this music instinctively, and has exactly the right kind of voice for it. The instrumental contributions of the Bach Consort Wien are similarly of a very high standard, and there is a sense of huge enjoyment in the challenges presented by the music.

This is a fascinating and rather special issue, which manages to shine new light on both genres of music - popular styles of Argentina and Baroque chamber music - that make up its contents; I found it engaging and delightful.

Gwyn Parry-Jones


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