Jordi Savall/La Folia: 1490-1701 SACD

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In this sumptuously presented collection, the Catalan polymath, Jordi Savall, charts the origins of the famous tune 'La Folia' from the late 15th century to the early 18th. The music is fascinating especially the anonymous Folia Rodriguez Martinez and the sublime improvisations of Juan del Enzina, a true study in the art of variations. The percussion playing of Pedro Estevan also makes a distinctive appearance in these medieval works. Antonio Martin Y Coll's 'Differencias Sobres Las Folias' is also full of succinct fantasy and at almost eleven minutes matches Corelli's work for complexity and sheer inventive harmony.

The Italian composer's variations are well known and they receive a sterling reading here, one that is full of celebratory panache and mysticism in equal measure. The final work is by Marin Marais and here the theme of 'La Folia' turns full circle. In exploring the fundamental glories of baroque art matched with a fiery aptitude for skilful virtuosity, Marais' variations are not unlike the Bach Chaconne from the 2nd Partita.

Jordi Savall and his group of highly talented players play with considerable élan and precision, they are also superbly recorded in a spacious and elegant acoustic. Aliavox's presentation is commendable with the three-fold sleeve neatly containing booklet, CD and listings, this is the way CDs should be done. Unhesitatingly recommended to lovers of this wonderfully mystic music.

Musicians: Cancionero de Palacio; Diego Ortiz; Antonio de Cabezon; Juan del Encina;
Arcangelo Corelli; Marin Marais; Michael Behringer, harpsichord, organ, claviorganum; Pedro Estevan, percussion; Adela Gonzalez-Campa, castanettes; Rolf Lislevand, vihuela, guitar, theorbo.

I. Folias Antiguas
1. Folia: Rodrigo Martinez
2. Recercada Quarta Sobre La Folia
3. Folia: Para Quien Crie Cabellos
4. Recercada Ottava Sobre La Folia
5. Folia: Hoy Comamos Y Bebamos
6. II. Diferencias Sobre Las Folias
7. III. Follias
8. IV. Couplets De Folies

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