Nuria Rial / José Miguel Moreno CLAROS Y FRESCOS RÍOS

Spanish soprano Núria Rial has a voice ideally suited for early music. Her tone is marvelously pure and strong, but unforced. Her delivery is natural, and the easy agility she brings to even the most florid passages has the unmannered directness of folk song. Especially distinctive and attractive are the warmth and lively intelligence of the personality she puts across in her singing; she's equally at ease in playful whimsy and in heartfelt laments. These Spanish songs and villancicos from the Renaissance, many of which have the spontaneity, simplicity, and memorable lyricism of folk song, are an ideal showcase for displaying Rial's gifts. The vihuela, a close relative of the guitar, was the most popular instrument for accompanying songs in Renaissance Spain, and José Miguel Moreno plays various vihuelas and Renaissance guitars here, performing with fluidity and finesse. He also has several solo tracks. The composers, including Alonso de Mudarra, Diego Pisador, Miguel de Fuenllana, Esteban Daça, and Enríquez de Valderrábano, who are likely to be known primarily to fans of the Spanish Renaissance, wrote these songs and dances during the 16th century. The gentle charm of the music and lovely, graceful performances make this a recording that should be of strong interest to early music fans. Glossa's sound is clean, clear, and warmly present. (Stephen Eddins)

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