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<<  -- 2 --  Patric Standford    COLOURFUL SPIRIT

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The second part, The Dawn Approaching, includes songs from 12th and 13th century France and Tuscany; and opening the third section, Star of the Day, is one of the many cantigas or musical stories, compiled by Alfonso el Sabio, a 13th century Spanish king, telling of the miraculous works of the Mother of God [listen -- track 6, 0:25-1:46]. There is the spoken word too, as in another story telling of a corrupt judge purified by the Virgin [listen -- track 8, 0:00-1:17].

Members of Boston Camerata (standing) and of the Sharq Ensemble (kneeling). Photo courtesy of Joel Cohen
Members of Boston Camerata (standing) and of the Sharq Ensemble (kneeling). Photo courtesy of Joel Cohen

The fourth more extended section deals with The Birth of Jesus, songs and instrumental pieces from the 12th, 13th and 17th centuries, and a 19th century Istrian wassailing carol from the Italian-speaking Dalmatian coast [listen -- track 12, 0:00-1:01]. The section ends with a lovely Andalusian folk carol En Belén tocan a fuego (In Bethlehem a fire begins) with echoes of its Arabic roots, sung by Equidad Barès [listen -- track 16, 0:00-1:25].

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Copyright © 26 November 2005 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK

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Cadenza Programme Note Library - Programme Notes by Mike Wheeler