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Continuing with the relatively obscure, we have Cantar de Amor, a disc of canciones by Juan Hidalgo, the leading Spanish composer of his day (1614-85), and his contemporaries. Combining the complex rhythms of Spanish dance, the works are arranged by conductor Fahmi Alqhai for viola de gamba, guitar/archlute, harpsichord, and percussion. He leads the Accademia del Piacere in a spirited performance. Tenor Juan Sancho sings with clean and attractive tone. The accompanying booklet describes it as ‘vernacular … fascinating … perhaps a little incomprehensible for the foreigner’. I won’t argue with that – at times I felt as though it was a curious mashup of Purcell and the Gipsy Kings. Beautifully recorded in Seville earlier this year, and in one way fascinating, this is not a disc that will be plucked from my shelves very often.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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