Imaginario: De un Libro de Música de Vihuela

Imaginario: De un Libro de Música de Vihuela
Armonía Concertada
María Cristina Kiehr, Ariel Abramovich

with Jacob Heringman & John Potter
Outhere/Arcana A460. 61’37

album cover

This recording is based on an imaginarly Vihuela songbook as might have been published in Valladolid or Seville sometime around 1575. That premise is based on and inspired by seven surviving earlier vihuela songbooks, dating from between 1536 and 1576. Versions of pieces from those earlier songbooks have been arranged by lutenists Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman in Spanish style. The result is an attractive and musically sensible reinterpretation of some delightful music, brilliantly performed by María Cristina Kiehr and Ariel Abramovich, with occasional contributions from Jacob Heringman and a single offering from John Potter.

The music is based on pieces by Juan Vasquez, Julius de Modena, Adrian Willaert, Jacques Arcadelt, Josquin Des Prez, Cipriano de Rore, Cristóbal de Morales and Anonymous. 

María Cristina Kiehr is usually associated with a later Baroque repertoire, but excels in this world of the Iberian Renaissance. Her clearly focussed, straightforward and unaffected voice brings the text and melodic line to life. John Potter has just one spot, with Josquin’s Inviolata, integra et casta es Maria.

Ariel Abramovich and Jacob Heringman’s vihuela-playing is outstanding, carefully balancing with each other in the five duets pieces and with the vocalists throughout. The recording initially appears a little distant, but that is soon overcome. 

The CD booklet, with John Griffifths notes and texts in English and French, can be read here.