El Clave del Emperador

Dahe qu & Youzi yin


The selection of works included in this recording provides a small sample of the extraordinary cultural diversity that existed at the Chinese Court over almost two centuries as a result of the stimulus of Diego de Pantoja and his introduction of European music into the Forbidden City. Divided into four large sections that portray and recreate different moments of this unique historical episode, the pieces are linked without interruption, respecting the programmatic form conceived for the concerts: the journey begins with the music of Pantoja’s time, uncovering his musical legacy through the accounts that have come down to us thanks to the missionaries who lived at the Court until the end of the eighteenth century. This program is a tribute to the Spanish Jesuit Diego de Pantoja (1571-1618) on the 450th anniversary of his birth. Pantoja was the first European who, together with the Italian Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), entered the service of the Chinese Court at the beginning of the seventeenth century. This marked the beginning of a unique episode in history in terms of the length and breadth of cultural, scientific and artistic relations between two very different worlds.


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Todos los Tonos y Ayres

Todos los Tonos y Ayres is the first Spanish early music ensemble specialising in the research of early Chinese music. After training in China, Abigail R. Horro and Rubén García Benito founded this project which aims to raise awareness of the historical and musical relations that existed in the past between Europe and Asia, as well as the presence of Iberian music beyond its own borders, always with the utmost respect and historically informed rigour towards the musical manifestations of all the cultural contexts they work in. Todos los Tonos y Ayres is based on the conviction that the inclusion of early Chinese music in historical music circuits can be a pioneering and enriching initiative due to the beauty and abundance of its musical works, the existence of innumerable collections that compile them, or the systematization of theoretical treatises by the Imperial Department of Music over two thousand years, which allows a rigorous reconstruction of the sound life of the Celestial Empire and the historical context in which it developed. Todos los Tonos y Ayres has carried out several artistic and research projects in collaboration with entities such as the Confucius Institute, the City of Arts and Sciences or the Cervantes Institute, and they have performed, among others, in the FEX – International Music and Dance Festival of Granada, the Early Music Festival of Gijón or the Early Music Festival of Úbeda and Baeza (FeMAAV – FeMAUB). Its proposals have led them to develop major projects on the interculturality of universal early music, in which they invite prestigious collaborators to participate, such as Medieval Travelers, an intercultural and multidisciplinary programme on the great commercial and exploration routes of the Middle Ages, premiered at the closing concert of the 2nd Early Music Festival of Granada. Its projects on historical interculturality have aroused the interest of various creators and national and international media, such as the Chinese national television CCTV or the award-winning filmmaker José Luis López Linares for his documentary film España, la primera globalización. In 2018 Todos los Tonos y Ayres made its international debut with a tour of China together with Íliber Ensemble with the programme El Clave del Emperador (The Emperor’s Harpsichord), participating, among others, in the international festival Meet in Beijing. This work in homage to the Spanish Jesuit Diego de Pantoja is its first album for the IBS Classical label.

Íliber Ensemble

Íliber Ensemble is a chamber music group devoted to the research and performance of early music with historically informed criteria and using period instruments. It was founded in May 2013 in Granada and integrated by young musicians from different parts of Spain. Since its creation, its Principal Conductor has been the harpsichordist Darío Tamayo, and its artistic and research activity has focused on recovering and disseminating all those repertoires that, despite its great quality and interest, have been consigned to oblivion, with special attention to the Spanish Baroque musical heritage. Since the beginning, they have performed concerts in important musical seasons, such as the Meet In Beijing Arts Festival, Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, Sociedad Filarmónica de Valencia, or MusaE, a project organized by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, as well as in early music festivals in Granada (MAG), Córdoba, Úbeda & Baeza (FeMAUB), and Vélez Blanco. This activity has brought them to prestigious music halls, like the Manuel de Falla Auditorium (Granada), Palau de la Música (Valencia) or Daning Theatre (Shanghai), and to emblematic spaces, such as the Ateneo de Madrid, the Constitutional Court of Spain or the Granada and Baeza cathedrals, receiving a great welcome from the specialized critics. Likewise, the ensemble has been awarded with HEBE Prize 2016 in the Music category, and has been finalist as the Best Young Ensemble in the GEMA Awards 2019, granted by the Spanish Association of Early Music Ensembles, of which it has been a member from 2017 onwards. Throughout its track record, it has collaborated with ensembles like the Granada Baroque Orchestra, Tomás Luis de Victoria Choir, Granada Opera Choir, or Todos los Tonos y Ayres, as well as with renowned voice soloists, such as Raquel Andueza, Marta Infante, Eva Juárez, Olalla Alemán, Soledad Cardoso, or Aurora Peña, among others. Moreover, it has completed several artistic and research projects together with entities like the Instituto Cervantes, the Confucius Institute, or the Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía. In 2017, it carried out its first staged production with the performance of the opera La guerra de los gigantes by Sebastián Durón, together with the Granada Baroque Orchestra and in collaboration with Asociación Ars Hispana. This work has been included in its first album, published in 2019 in the IBS Classical label with financing from the Community of Madrid. In 2019, it has undertaken its second staged project, with the performance of Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, together with the Granada Opera Choir. Moreover, in 2018 it made its international debut with a tour throughout China together with the group Todos los Tonos y Ayres, organized by the Instituto Cervantes and the Spanish Embassy in the Asian country, with the project The Emperor’s Harpsichord; recently, this production has been registered in its second album, published again with IBS Classical label.

CD Lyrics

El Clave del Emperador: CD Lyrics