Carlos Mena, countertenor
Iñaki Alberdi, accordion
Accordionists and countertenors are thus a very specific type of musicians. They need to build up their repertoire in the present day, while investigating their respective instrument’s possibilities and potential relevance for interpreting repertoire from the past. And what better testimony of that vocation and that endeavor could one have than this current CD release? Alberdi and Mena started investigating their collaborative potential in a programme that paired the music of Tomás Luis de Victoria with Johann Sebastian Bach (and which still finds its echo in this disc’s culmination, an extraordinary version of Bach’s Chaconne). In a second phase, the two musicians aimed to extend the timespan of their repertoire by confronting the music of Josquin Desprez – the great Franco-Flemish composer who bridged the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance – with music by four Spanish composers of our time. They asked Jesús Torres, José María Sánchez-Verdú, Joan Magrané and Gabriel Erkoreka to write four pieces inspired by Desprez’ motets and chansons: the concept was for such different styles and approaches to reciprocally throw light upon one another across the divide of half a millennium. Desprez was not chosen by chance: a figure shrouded in enigma and a legend in his own time, he has been described as a rebellious musician who worked for Pope Alexander VI, the Dukes of Ferrara, and the Sforza clan in Milan. Such a biography imbues his musical output with a sheen of mystery, and his music’s primitive perfection continues to fascinate the composers of our day.
Josquin Desprez: Inviolata, integra et casta es Maria