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‘Salir d’Amor del Mundo’ (‘Love Leaves the World’) is a zarzuela by Spanish Baroque composer Sebastián Durón (1660– 1716). For those uninitiated, the zarzuela is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre with a long, confusing and complex history. The Baroque zarzuela was essentially an operatic form that possessed interpolated spoken scenes, in common with the later German singspiel. The birth of the zarzuela is traditionally hailed as 1657 with Polanco’s El Laurel de Apolo at the court of King Philip IV.

El Mundo’s recording of has deliberately omitted all speech and a few ‘incidental pieces’, substituting these omissions instead with tonos humanos by Hidlago and Marín, a funky Seguidillas by Nebra, and a hodgepodge Fandango by Murcia and Soler to conclude the disc.

The performances are beautiful and well-produced, and the liner notes, though informative, are a little too jocular for my taste. Translations of the libretto are excellent, and the overall presentation of the package is attractive. The reviewer would like to highlight not only the excellent singing and ensemble, but also the gloriously large continuo section featuring up to four baroque guitars at any one time, in addition to two percussion and additional bowed bass instruments. Durón’s zarzuela is wonderful, the opening ciacona ‘Muera Cupido!’ and Cupid’s ‘Soseguen descansen’ being particular highlights. The writing is flamboyant and unmistakably Spanish, as is the style of performance.

Rhian Morgan Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2017 - ©Rhinegold Publishing