Naxos’ Vol. 2 of Guerra Manuscript Transcriptions

Guerra Manuscript Volume 2

Juan Sancho, tenor;

Ars Atlantica, Manuel Vilas, Director

Naxos CD 8.572876

On this, Ars Atlantica’s second volume of songs from the Guerra Manuscript, one hears a cornucopia of early baroque signatures refracted through the prism of Iberian culture and legendary tales. The document, named after the scribe José Miguel Guerra, who is credited with transcribing it, contains a number of songs composed during the second half of the Seventeenth century; some anonymous, others attributed to Juan Hidalgo (1614-1685), harpist for the Spanish Royal Chapel and theatre composer.

The particular song genre preserved in the Guerra Manuscript is known as tonos humanos, a Spanish response to Italian solo madrigals and English consort songs that prizes syllabic text setting and propulsive rhythmic articulations. Juan Sancho’s warm robust tenor is ably countered by the nimble delivery of Ars Atlantica under the direction of Manuel Vilas. Once those who think there’s little buried treasure left to discover amid early music manuscripts hear this, they will likely change their tune.

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