First record by Anima e Corpo, Raquel Andueza’s recording label. And also, first record of her group, La Galanía. In this cd she counts on her basso continuo team (Jesús Fernández Baena, theorbo, and Pierre Pitzl, baroque guitar).
This album is not just a “showroom” of the most popular melodies which were written in the baroque Spain, but an example of how the Spanish music had influenced other countries. In this cd there are songs found in French, Italian and English collections. Some of these scores are very well known, but it is the first recording in existence of some of the others.
CRITICS AND AWARDS
“Admirably accompanied by Jesús Fernández Baena’s theorbo, which on its own filled the church, Raquel led us from the most violent drama to the most moving gesture of tenderness, from sweetness to desperation, from pain to pleasure as only the greatest talents are able to do.”
On love, torment and other kinds of madness
“We live in a society dominated by stress, rushing around and a frantic pace of life. As could not be otherwise, the music of our time echoes the realities of the world we live in and is comprised of nervous, excitable and ever more accelerated rhythms. Other eras when tranquillity and calmness reigned seem so far away where only anxiety and fatigue hold sway.
Many performers cast their sights on the repertoires of past eras, when quietude and calmness were materialised in musical compositions, searching for that non-existent peace that is almost impossible to express in the music of our time. The Italian Seicento is an ideal period to find such tranquillity, along with insurmountable sweetness and the primacy of the text over poetry, with a vocal music in which pure recitative backed by the recently created basso continuo accompaniment and the most creative melodies blend perfectly to express the deepest sentiments of heightened passions. The soprano Raquel Andueza and the theorbist Jesús Fernández Baena must have thought the same when they set about arranging their first record as a group, D’amore e tormenti. Although they cast their sights on the past, they decided to base their work on a topic, unrequited love, which echoes to this day. They focus on love stories with a painful end, the end or the lack of love, situations as common today as they have always been in the different stages of human evolution.
The pieces included in this record have been carefully selected to comprise a collection of monodies for soprano performed by Raquel’s voice, which is wonderfully suited to this kind of repertoire. Her voice is accompanied by the sweet whisper of the theorbo, an instrument created to accompany the canto, which intermingles perfectly with the soprano’s voice in each of the arias. Two solo pieces for the theorbo have also been included as a complement: a very danceable chaconne by Piccinini in just the right tempo and Kapsberger’s Tocata VII, a technically demanding piece of refined sonority.
Both musicians must have been very satisfied with the outcome of their first album due to the recording’s more than acceptable quality and their outstanding performances. Without thinking about it twice, they decided to plunge headlong into the difficult world of record production by jointly creating their own record label dedicated to disseminating and encouraging a love for ancient music. Thus, the Anima e Corpo record label was born out of great enthusiasm and high expectations. It is not exclusively dedicated to producing their own work. Rather, as lovers of ancient music, among other tasks they hope to produce the work of other performers, represent and manage the careers of other musicians, recover and publish facsimiles of scores prior to the 18th century and encourage new talents on the basis of their knowledge and experience.
Taking their recently created record label as a launch pad and using it to control what, how and with whom they record in total freedom, they decided to repeat the preceding experience of recording an album, this time producing a record with human tones in Spanish. This new record is entitled Yo soy la locura (I Am Madness) and is full of precise brushstrokes and personal touches, as well as rhetorical detours that imbue the entire collection with the “madness” mentioned in the album’s title.
The quality of the recording exceeds that of their previous work and an evolution in the voice can be noted in new nuances and a balanced palette of colours at specific moments. As in the previous record and in keeping with the CDs topic, the theorbo takes centre stage in two instrumental pieces by Spanish Baroque composers, Gaspar Sanz’s Folías and Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz’s Españoletas. This time the theorbo is suitably accompanied by the Baroque guitar – an instrument frequently used in the Spanish Baroque – played by Pierre Pitzl with just the right arrangements to give the repertoire chosen an added extra that goes beyond a popular aroma.
I can think of no better way than this promising beginning to set off on a new path. I would like to wish them good luck and offer my congratulations from these pages.
“I am holding a gem in my hands which I cannot but share with all of you. It is the latest recording released by that marvellous soprano from Navarre Raquel Andueza and her group La Galanía, the first to be released by their record label Anima e Corpo. It constitutes a major musical event due to several reasons I will set out below.
First, driven forward by the her unbreakable entrepreneurial spirit, her limitless enthusiasm and her love for music, Raquel Andueza has set off on a new musical stage by presenting a new record label, Anima e Corpo, to the public at a moment marked by the crisis and a lack of perspectives. Nothing, however, is great enough to impede Raquel from gifting us with her delicate manner of singing and her exquisite musical taste, which she feels she should share with all of us.
It should not be forgotten that her record label is named Anima e Corpo (Soul and Body), a highly enlightening indication of what this woman feels about music and its dissemination. It reflects the soul with which she performs her repertoire, the soul with which we listen to her sing, as she finds peace and solace in it, vibrating with emotion. The soul is her and our companion and makes it possible for her to sing and us to feel her at our side.
La Galanía is another novelty Raquel presents in this record. It is a group whose members, Jesús Fernandez Baena and Pierre Pitzl, empathise unconditionally with Raquel’s wonderful notion of music, allowing the three of them to fuse together three souls and three bodies; Anima e Corpo once more.
And what can be said about the repertoire included in this musical gift? It is the outcome of the meticulous, conscientious and constant musicological research carried out by Raquel Andueza and La Galanía aimed at presenting us with some musical pieces of the Spanish 17th-century Baroque, which are interspersed with marvellous English, Italian and French scores that perfumed a period when musical interrelationships and influences in Europe knew of no boundaries.
A fruit of this research work and La Galanía’s enthusiasm, the record includes unpublished works which have never been recorded before. This is yet another gift from Raquel Andueza and her group.
To end this record recommendation on Yo soy la locura, allow me to let Raquel discuss this wonderful work herself. In the carefully crafted book which comes with the record and contains trilingual translations of all the pieces in Spanish, French and English, Raquel states:
“We decided to only use plucked string instruments for the instrumentation: the Baroque guitar, as an essential instrument of the period, and the theorbo, which also featured heavily in 17th century Europe, as the basis for the basso continuo.
Both the preparation and the recording work were a real pleasure, as the variety of registers of the album’s fifteen tracks allowed us to enjoy each piece in a very different way.
I remember, for instance, how we had the feeling that we had been injected with energy to work for hours on end after having recorded Yo soy la locura. However, after recording Sé que me muero de amor, we just couldn’t carry on recording because we felt completely drained despite the fact that we were scheduled to work for another couple of hours.
There is no doubt that it is a real pleasure for us that these sensations and memories have been recorded for posterity in this box measuring 12 by 12 cm.”
The only thing I have to add, Raquel, is that the pleasure is ours being able to listen to you and share your enthusiasm and those memories. Many thanks and we wish you great success for this new record label, Anima e Corpo, which will undoubtedly become a point of reference for “music with feeling”.