Throughout the 1600’s and 1700’s and beyond, the Spanish colonies in the New World emerged as centers of musical activity. Cathedrals demanded music to be played and sung as part of religious services and festivities, and the common people, mostly untrained musicians participated enthusiastically in music-making for worship as well as for many other mostly practical uses.
The music they created was folk music that utilized guitars, harp, percussion and singing. It was music with roots in the Spanish, African, and in the native Mayan, Aztec and Inca cultures.
These humble musicians created songs and dances unique to their region of the Americas. Some of the music is naïve and earnest, some surprisingly sophisticated, all of it is pure delight.
In ARCHIVO DE GUATEMALA, an enchanting NAXOS album of music originating in the Cathedral of Guatemala City, music by composers whose names have long languished in obscurity has been lovingly brought back to life by the enterprising ensemble El Mundo, led by Richard Salvino. Throughout a dozen tracks that feature danceable tunes by Juan García de Zéspedes, Sebastián Durón, José de Torres y Martínez Bravo, and others the EL Mundo musicians play with vibrancy and great gusto music more than three centuries old in a treasure of an album.
Rafael de Acha ALL ABOUT THE ARTS