Move on, Ennio Morricone. While the Italian master composer provided a moving and memorable score to Roland JoffÃ©’s 1986 film The mission, the story of Spain’s imperial and religious ambitions in the heart of South America has its own authentic soundtrack.
Whether in the Bolivian rainforest or in the big cities of the New World, the music of the old world exerted a considerable influence, especially in the religious realm. Take, for example, Guatemala, where the city’s cathedral has a musical archive containing hundreds of compositions by Spanish and local composers.
Among the indigenous composers were Manuel JosÃ© Quiroz and Rafael Antonio Castellanos, both of whom were capella maestro of the cathedral in the 18th century. These composers were inspired by the xÃ¡cara dance form with its own catchy rhythms and harmonies. The results are joyful and charming devotional pieces, some dedicated to the baby Jesus, sung with evident affection by members of El Mundo.
Among the Spanish compositions, Joseph de Torres Cantada al SantÃsimo (Cantata au Saint-Sacrement) impresses with its flowery violin solo, while the contagious rhythms of SebastiÃ¡n DurÃ³n Vaya pues rompiendo el have (Let it go, ripping the air) will make the listener want to stand up and dance.
Reflecting the interest and expertise of band director Richard Savino, the continuo band focuses on plucked string instruments such as guitar, theorbo and harp. Savino himself contributes some beautiful guitar solos, the quality of which is matched by the rest of the instrumental work on this wonderfully engaging program.
Works: Various works
Interpreters: El Mundo, Richard Savino
Label: Naxos 8574295