World Music  Mittelalter
Eduardo Paniagua Cantigas From Overseas - Constantinople, Syria & Christian Orient. Alfonso X The Wise PN1530 2 CD
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Format2 Audio CD
Ordering NumberPN1530
Release date09/02/2017

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      Description hide

      The CANTIGAS FROM OVERSEAS form part of Pneuma's project to record a retrospective of the entire collection of the Cantigas de Alfonso X and continue to explore the theme of miracles in the Eastern Mediterranean, completing CDs PN- 880 Cantigas of Byzantium, PN-1490 Cantigas of Rome, PN-1510 Cantigas of Alexandria and the future CD Cantigas of Jerusalem.

      Stories unfolding in Constantinople and Christian Syria, Rome and the Byzantine Empire (wise hermits and the Sufis from the East), give the impression of a travel novel packed with mystic teaching.

      The valuable and unique repertoire of cantigas that were composed in the court of Alfonso X the Wise is now kept in the original 13th century codices in the library of the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and in the Spanish National Library, both located in Madrid and therefore in the custody of the Madrid Regional Government. This previously unreleased musical heritage bridges the gap between the Christian East and the Iberian Peninsula.

      Alfonso X had very important European ancestors. He was the great-grandson of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Irene of Byzantium - sister of the Emperor Alexios IV of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire and key throughout the epic of the Crusades. The codices of the cantigas were written in Galician- Portuguese verse in the court of Alfonso X the Wise, 1253-1284. They were one of the greatest literary products of the time and constitute the most important collection of melodies of 13th century Europe.

      All the cantigas in Pneuma's comprehensive anthology are sung with the full text, which in itself is a challenge, since some are very long with simple and repetitive melodies. Without knowing how they were performed in the court of the Wise King, we used resources that enabled us to give each song its unique flavour. The singing is backed up by the chorus, sometimes enhancing it with 13th-century style polyphony: canon where the words are repeated in succession at different intervals and the melody is mirrored on the main note of the scale or mode; recited narrative or dialogue, very common in poems; and the tones and textures of instruments profusely illustrated in the miniatures that appear in the codices of the cantigas.

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • 1.CSM 405 El paño de Blancherna de Constantinopla05:12
      • 2.CSM 342 Icono en la piedra (Instrumental)04:09
      • 3.CSM 231 Marmoles de Romania para el templo de Constantino06:08
      • 4.CSM 25 El judio de Bizancio (Instrumental)04:57
      • 5.CSM 138 San Juan Crisostomo (Instrumental)03:40
      • 6.CSM 196 Sacedote pagano de Bizancio15:31
      • 7.CSM 131 EL Emperador y el Patriarca (Instrumental)04:28
      • 8.CSM 67 Demonio por criado, en tiempos de Neron16:24
      • 9.CSM 28 El cerco de Constantinopla03:43
      • Total:01:04:12
      CD 2
      • 1.CSM15 Emperador Juliano, Milagro de san Basilio19:42
      • 2.CSM 46 El moro de Ultramar y la Virgen de la Leche04:39
      • 3.CSM 165 (395) Tortosa de Ultramar15:01
      • 4.CSM 115 El muchacho y el ermitaño de la Montaña Negra24:00
      • Total:01:03:22