Erato CD
Reissued by Warner Classics as Apex CD 2564 62408-2

"Interest constantly renewed, perpetual musical pleasure"


Anne Azéma, soprano
Dana Hanchard, soprano
Derek Lee Ragin, countertenor
Richard Duguay, tenor
Daniel McCabe, baritone

Cheryl Ann Fulton, harp
Eloy Cruz, baroque guitar
Olav Chris Henriksen, baroque guitar
Frances Conover Fitch, organ, percussion
Patricia Neely, violone
Joel Cohen, percussion

Assisted by:


Frederick Jodry, director

Dorchester, Massachusetts
Pierre-Louis Zephir, minister

Coming Soon...

Program Order

Nueva España

  • 1- Cum audisset Joannes / Alonso Lobo (Spain, 1555-1617) cornet, dulcian, and sackbuts
  • 2- Hanacpachap cussicuinin/ Juan Pérez Bocanegra (Peru, 1631) /Camerata and Schola Cantorum
  • 3. Deus in adjutorium /Domine ad adjuvandum / Gregorian/ Ragin and Les Amis de la Sagesse
  • 4. Deus in adjutorium--Domine ad adjuvandum / Pedro Bermudez (Mexico ca.1650)/ Camerata and Schola Cantorum with shawms, sackbuts, and continuo
  • 5. A este sol peregrino /Tomas de Torrejón y Velasco (b.Spain 1644-d.Peru 1728)/ Hanchard, Azéma, Ragin, and McCabe with continuo and tambourine
  • 6. La Reina de los pangelinguas / Sebastián Aguilera de Heredia (Spain, 1561-1627) /organ
  • 7. Lamentatio/ Don Juan de Lienas (Mexico ca. 1650) /male voices of Camerata and Schola Cantorum with cornet, sackbuts, and continuo
  • 8. Pabanas/ Lucas Ruis de Ribayaz (Spain, 1667) /harp
  • 9. Que se ausenta/ frei Fransisco de Santiago (b.Portugal 1578-d.Spain 1644) /Duguay, McCabe, and harp
  • 10. Xicochi xicochi conetzintle/ Gaspar Fernandez (b. Portugal 1570-d. Mexico 1629) /Dietrich, Thompson, recorders, and organ
  • 11. Ay Ay galeguiños / Fabián Ximeno (Mexico, ca. 1650) /Ragin with Camerata, Schola Cantorum, and continuo
  • 12. Exultate, iusti, in domino/ Juan Guitterez de Padilla (b. Spain ca. 1595-d. Mexico 1664) /Camerata, Schola, shawms and sackbuts, guitars, harp, gamba, violone, organ
  • 13. Tiento/ Pablo Bruna (Spain, ca. 1640) /organ
  • 14. Dame albriçia, 'mano Anton / Gaspar Fernandez/ Hanchard, Ragin, Azéma, and McCabe
  • 15. Gallego : Si al nacer o minimo / Juan Guitterrez de Padilla/ Duguay with Azéma, Ragin, treble viol, guitars, and harp
  • 16. Tarara, tarara / Antonio de Salazar (b.Spain ca. 1650-d.Mexico 1715) /Azéma, Hanchard, continuo, and percussion
  • 17. Hanacpachap cussicuinin (reprise)/ Juan Pérez Bocanegra /high voices of Camerata, Schola Cantorum, and Les Amis de la Sagesse with shawms, sackbuts, and violone
  • 18. Los coflades de la estleya / Juan de Araujo (b. Spain 1646-d.Bolivia, 1712) /Hanchard, Ragin, Camerata, Schola Cantorum, continuo, and percussion
  • 19. Cumba/ Sebastián de Murcia (Mexico, ca. 1700) /guitars and harp
  • 20. Agnus Dei/ Gregorian /high voices of Camerata, Schola Cantorum, and Les Amis de la Sagesse
  • 21. Agnus Dei/ Tomás Luis de Victoria (from the Missa Ave Regina) (Spain, 1548-1611) /Azéma, Hanchard, Camerata, Schola Cantorum with cornet, dulcian, sackbuts, organ, gamba, and violone
  • 22. Guaracha: Convidando esta la noche/ Juan Garcia de Zéspiedes (Mexico,ca.1650) /Hanchard with Les Amis de la Sagesse, Azéma, Ragin, Duguay, McCabe, Schola Cantorum with organ, guitars, harp, gamba, violone, shawms and sackbuts, and percussion


Program Notes

The Age of Exploration! In our school days, we were told it was a time of heroes, and of high adventure. Later, we came to understand what terrible suffering and injustice the Spaniards had wrought in their drive for fame, glory, and riches. Nowadays, our renewed awareness of the Conquest's dark side has eliminated forever the too-simple, clichéd images of the old school books.

This recording, nonetheless, has a different case to make: it pleads for attention to the meeting places of light and beauty that did indeed exist in those terrible, hard centuries. The Indians (and, shortly thereafter, the African immigrants) were at once drawn to the music they heard from the Spaniards. And the Europeans were fascinated, and often influenced, by the astonishing, new sounds of other cultures.

So enthusiastic was the Indians' response to European polyphony, and to the playing of guitars, harps, flutes, shawms, and sackbuts, that the newly built churches were soon full to overflowing with skilled, enthusiastic native musicians, singing praises to the Christian Lord with every means at hand. The choirmaster/composers generally came from and were trained in Spain (Seville was an especially important center of musical diffusion towards Nueva España.) But most of the performers (and some composers), were born and bred in the New World. They were, in the main, people with brown and black skins. Time and again, visitors from Europe would note, with wonder and admiration, the skill and dedication of the New World's musicians.

Virtually all the surviving repertoire from the colonial period (with the exception of a few guitar tablatures) is sacred religious music. Music of European origin was often performed in the New World -- several such examples are included in our program. Most often, though, when polyphonic music was wanted, the choirmasters of the new cathedrals composed music afresh. There were, generally speaking, two kinds of stylistic models for the new pieces: the contrapuntal, neo-"renaissance" idiom you will hear in the Latin motets, and a more "baroque," vernacular style employed in the villancicos. Both kinds of writing had their roots in Spanish music; both were admitted into church services.

And both styles -- one restrained and conservative, the other youthful and even insolent -- can astonish us! Renaissance-type polyphony was composed and sung in Spain (a European region in a time warp) through the eighteenth century, and also in the Spanish colonies (a time warp within the time warp). The beautiful Lamentations of Lienas sound to our ears like they were written in the 1550's; their actual date of composition was probably about a century later.

The villancicos incorporate dance-like rhythms, catchy refrains, and reminiscences of Iberic folklore. Most fascinating of all, they search out and assimilate dimensions of popular life and indigenous music-making in the New World. Texts can be in Castillian, or in one of the many languages current in Nueva España: Quecha, Nahuatl, Galician, Portugese, Afro- Spanish.

The presence of a vigorous black musical culture this early in the New World's history may come as a surprise. In fact, there has been an African element in Spanish music since the Middle Ages. What gives the listener an immediate rush of pleasure -- the enormous rhythmic energy of the New World villancicos -- creates a substantial headache for the music historian. Did these characteristic rhythms come from a medieval, arabo-andalou substratum, or from the New World's contact with black Africa, or (most likely) from some combination of both?

Although the music of Nueva España existed in its own, protected sphere, it is by no means "primitive" and technically awkward like the New England anthems of Billings or Read. These composers were solidly trained, skilled, and open minded. The best of them deserve to be ranked with their leading contemporaries in Europe; a neglected master like Araujo could compose circles around any number of Old Country second-stringers.

The music of Nueva España, emerging now after centuries of dormancy and neglect, is a source of pride and joy for Americans North and South, a precious extension of the European and African musical heritage, and a witness to human possibility on our small, turbulent planet.

These notes are © by Joel Cohen

Sunny and joyous!, April 9, 2000 Reviewer: moshe-mantega (see more about me) from California
We all know about the horrors of the Age of Exploration in the New World. However, Joel Cohen's goal with this recording is to call attention to "the meeting places of light and beauty that did indeed exist in those terrible, hard centuries." He shows us the fruitful intercultural exchange that transpired between the indigenous American cultures, the Spanish, and the Africans. And indeed, this is beautiful music. It is lively and driven at times by the sunny strumming of the baroque guitar and the maracas, tambourine, and claves, and at other times stately with the contemplative musings of Iberian harp or the majestic organs in Mexican cathedrals. The lovely, baroque/Latin voices (most of the time a quartet of two sopranos, a counter-tenor, and a tenor) soar throughout, sometimes sobbing, sometimes creating the impression of frantic dancing. But the real revelation is the inclusion of the black women's choir "Les Amis de la Sagesse," who add their Afro-Caribben stylizations (sometimes ambiguously Indian) to hymns and chants, culminating in an exuberant and majestic religious guaracha with the entire ensemble. A true gem.

Musica en el nuevo mundo, September 29, 1999 Reviewer: A music fan from Fort Hood,Texas
This is a great recording by the Boston Camerata. Music from the new world perfomed on period instruments.This recording includes music by Spanish and native composers.This was inspired and influenced by the different cultures of the new world from a vailete to a cumba,from music of Spain to a chant in honor of the virgin Mary in Quechua(The language of the Incas)This is a great recording of the music of colonial Latin-America. from Le Monde de la Musique (Paris, France), December 1993

rating: Choc (highest possible)

Using the subtle and richly evocative anthology approach of which he is a master, Joel Cohen has created the sound equivalent of a dialectical exposé, in which the theme of the recital is examined from different points of view. The compositions he brings together are like the different pieces of a big jigsaw puzzle, allowing us to contemplate the mixture of styles and traditions. This is holds true as much for choice of works, juxtaposing polyphony by Victoria, hymns in Quechua and Nahuatl, songs of Galicia, dances imported from Africa, as for the ensemble of performers, mixing the now well-known voices of the Boston Camerata with the exotic tone-colors, astonishingly effective, of the black womens' choir Les Amis de la Sagesse. Interest constantly renewed, perpetual musical pleasure: few recitals have evoked, as this one does, the extraordinary youthful energy that can grow from unexpected musical encounters... Joel Cohen's recital includes the sort of enlighting documentation that is missing [from the other recording]. Marc Desmet