Sacred music occupied an important role in 16th-century Spain, but there is much evidence that secular vocal polyphony held a place in society too. Such music is to be found in the little-known Juan Vázquez’s Recopilación which dates from around 1560; as well as canciones and sonetomadrigals, the collection includes various villancicos – the main focus of this recording – then a popular style of song and which Vázquez clearly overhauled through replacing endless repetition with melodic and rhythmic variety. That Vázquez’s contribution to the genre was both popular and significant (he wrote over 90 in total, most of which were set to texts by leading Spanish poets of the day) is demonstrated by the many later arrangements of his villancicos for vocal soloists with vihuela accompaniment.
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi invites you to listen to the album Vidi Speciosam - A Lady Mass from the 16th Century - containing pf works dedicated to Mary from Spanish composers performed at the end of the 16th century. The performers are: Capella de la Torre - winner of the ECHO 2016 award in the "band of the year" category, and the vocal group of Tiburtina - a female vocal ensemble founded in 2008 in Prague, specializing in the interpretation of Gregorian chant, medieval polyphony and contemporary music.