Lágrimas Corriendo


DS - 0131
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Lágrimas Corriendo

Carlos Mena, Contratenor y Juan Carlos Rivera, Vihuela



Canciones de Alonso Mudarra y Miguel de Fuenllana



1. ¡0 más dura que mármol! (Fuenllana) 7'59"


2. Si por amar, el hombre ser amado (Mudarra) 2'52"


3. La carta de Boscán (Fuenllana) 2'53"


4. 0 Geloía d'amanti (Mudarra) 2'21"


5. Isabel, perdiste la tu faxa (Mudarra) 1'38"


6. ¿Qué llantos son aquestos? (Mudarra) 9'09"


7. Quiero dormir (Fuenllana) 1'57"


8. Las Endechas (Fuenllana) 6'23"


9. No sé qué me bulle (Fuenllana) 1'01"


10. Covarde caballero (Fuenllana) 1'38"


11. De los álamos vengo (Fuenllana) 2'20"


12. La vita fugge (Mudarra) 3'51"


13. Claros y frescos ríos [Mudarra) 5'47"


14. Triste estava el Rey David (Mudarra) 4'00"


15. Passeavase el rey moro (Fuenllana) 7'19"


16. Recuerde el alma domida (Mudarra) 6'01"


17. Durmiendo yva el Señor (Mudarra) 3'59"



Duración total: 71'25"



Carlos Mena, contratenor


Juan Carlos Rivera, vihuela




We find ourselves with what could be termed CD of encounters, of the popular or pseudo-popular and the cultured; Spanish and Italian poetry, Mudarra, Fuenllana, Pedro Guererro and Juan Vázquez. These meetings had Seville as their centre point and numerous cultural reunions united writers, musicians, the learned and all those who excelled in their particular profession. In this atmosphere such musical repertoires were heard and developed.


The Venetian ambassador Andrea Navagero attended the wedding of Charles V and Isabel of Portugal in Seville. He left us some interesting observations about the city. In his opinion, of all the cities in Spain that he had visited, Seville was the most similar to those of Italy. Germans, Flemish, French and Italians lived in cosmopolitan Seville. This city that had more than 100,000 inhabitants also boasted some of the most influential Spanish lines of titled nobility, such as the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the Duke of Arcos and the Duke of Medinaceli. Such people rubbed shoulders with other nobles and the great merchants and bankers of the city, with some on a quest for fortune and others in search of a title. The atmosphere in Seville was full of life, and so it flowered culturally in line with an equally fertile mercantile activity. Thus the humanist wave found a rich source of inspiration.


In 1534 the book by Baldassare de Castiglione II cortigiano (1528) was translated into Spanish by Juan Boscán for Garcilaso de la Vega. The papal ambassador of the court of Carlos V helped increase the popularity in Castille of the vihuela and the great vihuela players Luis de Guzmán, Luis de Narváez and Alonso de Mudarra. In the text translated by Boscán we are able to read the words of Juan Luis Alborg, which form one of the best examples of prose from the time of the Emperor: "To me, music made skilfully by the book is very tuneful but I think it is even better to sing with a vihuela. Nearly all the sweetness is in that which is sung alone, and one sees and understands this good style and its air by paying much attention and not distracting one’s hearing with more than one voice as is often the case”.

The first laws applicable to the violero were enacted in 1502 (published in 1527), highlighting the importance of this profession in the city from the beginnings of the 16th century onwards. These laws stated that the aspiring violero instructor must know how to construct vihuelas of various sizes as well as other instruments. Mid-way through the 16th century the vihuela co-existed with the lute and the guitar. With the former it shared tuning, number of chords, playing technique and repertoire. Meanwhile the guitar may be considered as the younger brother of the two instruments. It was smaller with fewer strings (those with four chords had seven strings: the first string being single while the remaining six formed three double chords) and shaped in a figure of eight. Its ability to be strummed was one of its identifiable features. As the art of the violería enjoyed good health in Seville, so did that of typography. The printing profession of Seville had a certain tradition of publishing works of music. Juan de León, who had printed in Osuna in 1551 Villancicos y canciones de tres y cuatro by Juan Vázquez would be responsible for the publication of Tres libros de música en cifras para vihuela by Alonso de Mudarra.


It appears that the printer Martín de Montesdoca would be the person to take up the work begun by Juan de León, carrying the art of the musical press to a point of singular perfection. Thus in 1554, he was responsible for printing the book of music for the vihuela titled Orphénica lyra, "agora nuevamente a compuesto y fecho el músico Miguel de Fuenllana”, according to its contract. Given the wide social sphere in which the vihuela developed, appreciated as much by the nobility as by the bourgeois, and played not only by a minority of professionals but by amateur musicians also, its repertoire had commercial possibilities. This was highlighted by the significant number of copies published in each edition. In the case of Orphénica lyra a fraudulent edition that appeared only a few months later, possibly by the very same printer Montesdoca, added more copies to the thousand already printed. Clearly this increased the success of said publication.


We know little about the biography of Alonso de Mudarra in the years that preceded the publication of his book on the vihuela (1546), a date that coincided with his entry into the cathedral of Seville as a canon. Originally from the diocese of Palencia, he grew up in the house of the Duques del Infantado and under their auspices it appears that he travelled accompanying the Emperor in 1529 to Spanish territories in Italy. This fragmented profile is sufficient in order to understand the humanist spirit that is impregnated in the work of Mudarra. He may be considered as the quintessential writer of songs amongst all players of the vihuela. All compositions by Mudarra, included in this recording, are taken from the Libro Tercero de Música, scored for the organ to be played and sung with the vihuela; and in which there are Motetes, Psalms, Songs, Sonnets, Verses in Latin and Villancicos.


We discover Italian and Italianate poetry through the sonnets of Petrarch, La vita fugge, Sannazaro O gelosía d'amanti and the second verse by the poet Boscán Claros y frescos ríos where we see imitation of Petrarch and words reminiscent of Castiglione. Alongside this, Spanish tradition was to be represented by the ballads Durmiendo iba el señor and the melancholy Triste estaba el rey David or the picaresque villancico, Isabel per diste la tu faxa, a true example of contrapuntal artifice. We can also hear the lament written specifically for the premature death of the princess Doña María of Portugal, the first wife of Phillip II, in the sonnet with the form of a dialogue ¿Qué llantos son aquéstos?. This has an alternating double and triple beat, as does the latín planto Regina qui mesto, with its intense and dramatic emotions. Death equally is present in the double musical and textual homage Recuerde el alma dormida, coplas by Jorge Manrique who inspired his contemporaries Juan Navarro, Pere Alberch Vila and Melchor Robledo amongst others in the same way as Mudarra did. From the madrigals that inspire La vita fugge and Claros y frescos ríos to the more sober style of the ballads, we are able to appreciate the lyricism that Mudarra injects to all his songs and the perfect fusion of text and music that he achieves in his compositions.


Miguel de Fuenllana pertains to the category of professional vihuela players. It is possible that his connection to Seville was based in his time in service of the Marquis of Tarifa, as is related to us by Brother Juan Bermudo. Anyway, around the time of the publication of his book in Seville, he was resident there and was married to Graciana Salazar. From 1560 he was to be found in the service of Isabel de Valois, the third wife of Phillip II. In this courtly atmosphere songs for both the voice and vihuela took up a privileged position. Fuenllana's predilection for the type of repertoire that was characteristic of the 16th century, is clearly visible in the following fines taken from the prologue of his Orphénica lyra: "Turning now to consider the music that has been composed, I say that in all works, be they for three, four or six, all which are contained in this book (with the exception of duets), it was my intention to put words to them. It seems to me that the lyric is the soul of any composition and although a work that has been composed may be very good, without lyrics it truly appears to lack its spirit"