Iribarren: Sacred Music in Malaga Cathedral

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Composer: Juan Francés de Iribarren
Artists: Ensemble Esitos; Federico del Sordo

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First recordings of sacred motets and villancicos by a forgotten figure of the Spanish Baroque.

Juan Francés de Iribarren Echevarría (1699–1767) received his musical education at the Royal Chapel in Madrid. He was taught there by the composer José de Torres who, in 1717, recommended that Iribarren be appointed organist at Salamanca Cathedral. Sixteen years later Iribarren moved on to become maestro de capilla at the Cathedral of Málaga, the city in which he spent the rest of his life. On his death there he left a huge library of his own music – with the proviso that it not be copied and only performed at services in the cathedral. Such constraints have until recently prevented this marvellously vivid music from receiving the attention it deserves. The present album presents a tasting menu of Iribarren’s work in various genres and from different periods of his career, Italian vocal styles over native, more vernacular idioms. There are four pieces written to mark the Immaculate Conception, composed over a 22-year period from 1743 to 1764, all unique in form, all devotional but quite different in material and expression.

Irribarren’s technique encompassed transparent polyphony as well as solo-vocal motets of a homely, often bucolic character. Several pieces here were composed to accompany the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and these are more intimate in tone. The selection focuses on pieces written for one or two solo voices with a small accompanying ensemble, but during his time in charge of the music at Málaga Iribarren assembled a team of 30 singers and instrumentalists including a plainchant choir, cantors, wind and string players, organists and boy choristers.
The composer, organist, harpsichordist and conductor Federico del Sordo has a diverse discography on Brilliant Classics encompassing the full range of his musical talents and reviving several little-known Baroque composers such as Fasolo (95512), Bonelli (95816) and Salvatore (95146).

Iribaren left an enormous oeuvre of (mostly) sacred works, used for liturgical services in the Malaga Cathedral. This new recording offers an anthology of Motets, sacred arias, A Lamentation, a Cantata and a selection of Villancicos (a Christmas song, sung in Spanish).
Sung by Cristina Bayon, a renowned Spanish soprano specialized in Early Music, and countertenor Jorge Enrique Garcia Ortega. The instrumental part is performed by the Ensemble Esitös: Valerio Losito and Paolo Perrone (violins), Ulrike Pranter (cello), Antonio Tomás del Pino Romero (organ and theorbo), Aníbal Soriano (Spanish guitar), directed from the harpsichord by Federico Del Sordo.

Track list:
00:00:00 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Jardinera serpiente
00:04:44 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Hoy se concibe pura
00:09:30 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Pretiosa in conspectu
00:13:07 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Hola Jau
00:22:43 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Puer qui natus est nobis
00:24:07 Juan Francés de Iribarren: La cierva herida
00:30:26 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Conceptio tua
00:33:09 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Hortelanito hermoso
00:36:26 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Admite dueño amado
00:43:32 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Deseando cantar juntos
00:48:54 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Aplaudan de las ondas
00:56:33 Juan Francés de Iribarren: Es el poder del hombre limitado

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