Los doce musicos de Iriarte (The Twelve Musicians of Iriarte) | Lindoro NL3031

Los doce musicos de Iriarte (The Twelve Musicians of Iriarte)

Label: Lindoro

Cat No: NL3031

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 24th June 2016



In order to understand the taste of Tomás de Iriarte, it is possible to start with his admiration of Anton Raphael Mengs’ work. Maybe the most representative painting of this artist is Jupiter and Ganymede, the fake that made history, pretending to be an antique painting and convincing the art theorist Winckelmann that the technique of fresco painting was perfected during the Classical Era. What is interesting about this painting is that it does not depict the exact moment of the kiss between the god and his beloved, but the intention of the kiss. Classical Art was based on suggesting, in persuading, and to subtly invite to reflect (‘engage’, Iriarte would say), through insinuation, unlike Baroque Art and its need to show in the raw every scene. This was the key to Classical aesthetics and the taste of the 18th century for the antique. For Iriarte, Mengs was to painting as Horace was to literature and Haydn to music. These names sum up the ideal of the Enlightenment taste in the didactic poem The Music finished in 1779 and published a year later.

The twelve protagonists – the Spanish composers on this record – are mentioned in the Canto III of the poem, the central one, the keystone, called ‘dignity and the use of music and specially the one at the temple’. The first two Cantos (besides the inexcusable prologue with the justification of the poem) are meant, respectively, to a be didactic explanation of the elements of musical language and the musical expression of the affections, while the fourth and fifth Cantos are centred on theatrical music and instrumental music practised in society. And so, the third Canto is centred on sacred music, the genre most identified with the technical fundamentals: polyphony and counterpoint. The twelve musicians were probably chosen by Iriarte for standing out in their command over those ‘elements of the music art’ explained in the first Canto and which, in painting, are perspective, design and colour.

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