Archivo de Guatemala: Music from the Guatemala City Cathedral Archive | Naxos 8574295

Archivo de Guatemala: Music from the Guatemala City Cathedral Archive

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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8574295

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 23rd April 2021



Spanish colonies in Central and South America emerged as wellsprings of cultural activity throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The meeting of indigenous populations with Latin American cathedrals and courtly life resulted in styles bearing the imprint of folk music, even in sacred compositions. The sophisticated musical culture of Guatemala City Cathedral is represented in an archive of hundreds of works, several of which are recorded here. The guitars, harp, voices and percussion of acclaimed ensemble El Mundo bring to life the vibrant and at times hypnotic dance rhythms of Spain, Africa and the New World, creating a sound unique to this region, and one that still flourishes to this day.

We are proud to present the Naxos debut of ensemble El Mundo in a distinctive programme that brings to light the remarkably fine music held in the archive of Guatemala City Cathedral. While these recordings are founded on detailed research, El Mundo’s strong affinity with the stylistic features of this largely unknown repertoire ensures that their performances step well beyond any academic constraints to connect with the still living spirit of its original creators and audiences.

Directed by world-renowned guitarist and lutenist Richard Savino, ensemble El Mundo takes listeners on musical journeys from Castilian courts and cathedrals to Spanish-influenced Italian cities like Naples and on to the viceroyalties of Peru, Mexico and Guatemala, where classical tradition blended with indigenous dances to create a unique and vibrant Hispanic style that still exists today. Their recordings include the GRAMMY-nominated album What Artemisia Heard, described as ‘outstanding on every level’ by the Lute Society of America Quarterly.

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