Christopher Wilson - Vihuela Music Of The Spanish Renaissance

Saturday 1st June 1991
Christopher Wilson - Vihuela Music Of The Spanish Renaissance

STYLE: Classical
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Virgin 911362

Reviewed by Dave Massey

The Vihuela is a close relative of both the guitar and the lute and was popular across the whole of Europe in the middle ages. The kind of music on this disc is the sort of thing that Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors might have listened to as a bit of light relaxation after a hard day's massacre. Angels were often portrayed playing the vihuela - and the cover on this album shows one such picture from Barcelona Cathedral. The music is by a cross section of composers from Luis Milan (a Spanish nobleman) to the tongue twisting Enriquez de Valderrabeno - a very famous musician of his day. Christopher Wilson plays with an obvious understanding of the music, bringing out different voice movements with clarity and precision, and with good phrasing. My one criticism is that a lot of noise from Mr Wilson's clothes brushing against the instrument comes across on the recording - a result of Digital mastering (you can't hide anything!), but I feel that it could have been lessened. There is a good selection of material including some old standards like "O Guardame Las Vacas" and the "Fantasia..En La Manera de Luduvico" by Alonso Mudarra, although it is all so similar that I found it impossible to listen to it all in one sitting.

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