World Music  Mittelalter
Eduardo Paniagua El Corazón de Alfonso X El Sabio - Cantigas de Murcia PN1560 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberPN1560
Release date21/06/2017

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      Description hide

      King Alfonso X had been fond of the city of Murcia since his youth, holding it in high regard, and this is reflected in the poetry of the Cantigas on this recording. It is not widely known that his heart is buried in the Chevet of the Cathedral. Murcia was the first city that he conquered and was, together with Badajoz and Seville, one of the few that remained loyal to him. Alfonso X wanted to be buried in the Holy Land, but that, in the end, was not to be. His heart and entrails were buried in Murcia and his body in Seville, where he died in 1284.

      "The Heart of Alfonso X" is a selection of cantigas telling stories which unfold in Murcia, such as one that takes place in the church at Arrixaca or another about the oath to Santa Maria de Murcia. Other cantigas are about the king’s feelings (his heart), in his thoughts and prayers to the Virgin Mary. Cantigas set at the time of the conquest of Murcia and the Mudejar uprising in the Wars of Granada, complete the programme. The Cantigas de Murcia form part of Pneuma's project to record a retrospective of the entire collection of the Cantigas de Alfonso X.

      The Cantigas de Santa María, contained in four 13th century parchment codices, is considered to be medieval Spain’s most important lyrical work. Written in Galician- Portuguese, there are four hundred and twenty-seven poems that have been handed down to us with their corresponding musical notation and extraordinary embellishments and miniatures. They combine tales of miracles popular in the Middle Ages with praises to the Virgin Mary and are a testament to the Marian devotion that developed in parallel to the construction of the Gothic cathedrals.

      The Cantigas are considered to be Alfonso X’s most personal work and although they came from different sources and diverse collaborators a structured order is evident. Since the songbook was first written in about 1260, the presentation has always reflected the original personal verse and coherent symbolic design. A late troubadour, Alfonso chooses the tradition of “courtly love” as a way of giving his Lady the parchment codices with the songs dedicated to her.

      The miniatures of the Cantigas de Santa María constitute a beautiful document in themselves, not only because of the perfection of the drawing and colour, but also because of the information that they give about daily life in the medieval Spain of the Three Cultures – Christian, Arab and Jewish. They are also of great iconographic value as they include many drawings of musical instruments. Scenes of chant and dance appear in some of the narrative and today constitute the principal source for the reconstruction of the instruments used in the performance and the recreation of the musical atmosphere.

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • 2.CSM 297 VIRTUD DE LA IMAGEN07:18
      • 3.CSM 169 LA ARRIXACA DE MURCIA11:47
      • 6.CSM 89 LA JUDIA DE PARTO07:53
      • 7.CSM 295 VISIÓN DE UN REY06:21
      • 8.CSM 99 PUEBLO DE MOROS07:10
      • 9.CSM 239 EL JURAMENTO05:50
      • Total:01:01:44