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Bertil van Boer
Fanfare, September 2017

The accompaniment is provided mainly by harpist Manuel Vilas, who varies his technique to give an active rhythmic and melodic support. His playing nicely complements the clear and penetrating soprano of Mercedes Hernández and the light, airy tenor of Francisco Fernández-Rueda. They are joined…by soprano Yetzabel Arias Fernández, whose voice has considerable depth. Other members of the group Ars Atlántica are discreetly in the background, leaving the bulk of the accompaniment to the dexterous harp of Vilas. The performances are, in short, very fine and one cannot go wrong here with this volume if one wishes a broad ranging anthology of what was popular among the upper classes in Baroque Spain. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Charles Brewer
American Record Guide, May 2017

New to this release are soprano Mercedes Hernandez and tenor Francisco Fernández-Rueda; allow for effective contrasts between the songs. Soprano Yetzabel Arias Fernandez, who sang on Volume 3, contributes two solo songs accompanied by the three musicians of Ars Atlantica.

As in all previous volumes, I continue to be impressed by how inventive Manuel Vilas is in his harp accompaniments. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2017

The penultimate disc in the complete songs collected together by Jose Miguel de Guerra y Villegas, and represented one of the finest volumes of 17th century songs. It is unclear who charged him to make this extensive volume of music that was in general circulation in Madrid at the time, but we do know he was of noble birth and worked as scribe in Madrid’s Royal Chapel. Whether that project became part of his occupation, or whether he chose to do it himself, we will never know, but it was to form a beautifully annotated book. Therein was works by well-known composers of the time, though the majority were of unknown origin and begs the question as to who originally notated them, or was he of such a scholarly musical background that he could take them down from the singers who performed them. Our lack of any knowledge as to whether he studied music, is the final missing piece in this jigsaw. Further than that we can only remain in his debt. The performances come from three solo singers based in Spain, the greater part given to the silvery voiced soprano, Mercedes Hernandez, and the lightweight tenor of Francisco Fernandez-Rueda. We have not the slightest idea how singers performed in those years, but you have a feel of authenticity with the accompaniment of Manuel Vilas’s baroque harp. The performances seemingly come from concert performances in 2010 and 2011 and have a very pleasing sound. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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