Review by Jonalogic November 5, 2011 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
|Yet another exceptional release in the ongoing series of musical and historical voyages of discovery by Savall and his trusty bands. But you knew that already. Didnít you?
If you already love Savallís journeys through space and time, then my review wonít matter one whit. But there are a number of reasons why Iím bothering. Itís because:
1) Strangely enough, this recording hasnít been reviewed or discussed here before
2) It may be seen as an antidote or sequel to the sad, sad Christopher Columbus 2-disc set I reviewed recently.
3) Even by the exalted sonic standards reached by the most recent Alia Vox recordings, this is something special.
The previous Columbus set was shot through by lament for ĎLost Paradisesí, reflecting the tragedies of 1492: the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, forced Moorish conversion, the start of cultural genocide in South and Central America Ė all in the twin pursuit of gold and fundamentalist Christianity.
Well, this disc shows what happened next, and the result is musically surprising. The Native, Creole and Mestizo cultures recognised, assimilated and transformed the music of their conquerors. And the result is joyous- a series of instrumental and vocal pieces centred - of course- around the themes of love, death and religion. And it is easy to demonstrate the influence of Negro slave, native South American and even Spanish sub-cultures in the resulting melange.
And then we come to the sound. Alia Vox seems to have been able to produce a series of consistently exalted recordings. They tick all the standard audiophile boxes, of course: soundstage and dimensionality- check; reproduction of space and air, tonal and timbral accuracy, focus and transparency to back stage. And so on. Boring.
But the bottom line is that this recording, despite having been compiled in a number of sessions through 2009/10 and a range of church/stone acoustic venues, is exceptionally truthful and natural. Basically, it sounds an awful lot like the real thing- an eclectic host of musicians and vocalists making music, and clearly having some fun at the same time.
I would give it six stars if I could.
Thatís all you need to know.
Was this review helpful to you?