El Delfín de Música


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El Delfín de Música
Obras de Luys de Narváez

Juan Carlos Rivera, Vihuela
Marta Almajano, Soprano


Obras de Luys de Narváez


1. Paseavase el rey moro 4'05"

2. Veintidos diferencias sobre Conde Claros 3'20"

3. Baxa de contrapunto 1'05"

4. Ya se asienta el rey Ramiro " 4'45"

5. Je veulx layser melancolie, de Richafort 2'00"

6. Fantasia XIV 1'10"

7. Cum Sancto Spiritu de la missa de la fuga de Josquin 2'00"

8. Con que la lavare 2'40"

9. Fantasia XIII 2'10"

10. Tres diferencias sobre Guardame las vacas 1'35"

11. La bella mal maridada 2'20"

12. Fantasia XII 1'30"

13. Cancion del primer tono de Gombert 2'05"

14. Sanctus de la missa de Ercules dux ferarie de Josquin 1'25"

15. Osanna de la misma missa 1'45"

16 - 18. Tres diferencias sobre el villancico "Si tantos halcones" 6'20"

19. Fantasia XI 2'15"

20 - 25. Seis diferencias sobre el himno "O gloriosa Domina" 8'10"

26. Arded, coraçon arded 1'45"

27. Fantasia X 2'00"

28. Fantasia IX 1'25"

29. Osanna de la missa de Faysan regretz de Josquin 1'10"

30. Seis diferencias sobre el villancico "Y la mi cinta dorada" "' 3'40"

31. Fantasia I 2'25"


Tiempo Total 63'05"


Marta Almajano, Soprano

Pedro Ormazabal, Tenor

Juan Carlos Rivera, Vihuela

Vihuela alto construida por Francisco Hervás, Granada 1991. Vihuela tenor Construida por Lourdes Uncilla, San Lorenzo de El Escorial 1988.




Luys de Narváez

"Los seis libros del Delphin"


The six books of the Dolphin of music in ciphers for playing the Vihuela. By Luys de Narbaez. Dedicated to the most Illustrious Lord, Don Francisco de los Cobos, Comendador Mayor of León, Adelantado of his Imperial Majesty, and this first book deals with the eight modes for playing on diverse parts of the Vihuela. MDXXXVIII. With Imperial Privilege for Castile & Aragon & Valencia & Catalonia for ten years.


Under this title the Granadine vihuelist Luis de Narváez published his book of vihuela music in Valladolid on 30 October 1538, a volume destined to survive as one of the great monuments of Spanish music, and of renaissance instrumental music. In this book, Narváez introduced numerous novelties into the style of vihuela music, and established a model whose echo resounds in the instrument's later repertory until its extinction at the end of the sixteenth century. One significant feature of the music of the Delphin is that it corresponds to a change in Spanish musical taste and a gravitation towards the central currents of European music. This was, in part, a natural repercussion of the arrival in Spain of Charles V in 1516, his preference for the music that he had known since childhood in the Low Countries, and the establishment of a Flemish Chapel to accompany the celebration of the liturgy at court. Narváez is the first Spanish composer to provide instrumental versions of music of Franco Flemish musicians, the first to compose new original fantasias modelled on the same aesthetic principles adapted to instrumental requirements, and the first to cement into notated form the improvised variations that appear to have been part of an earlier, undocumented phase of instrumental practice. All of this he achieved with great artistry, with exceptional flair and mastery.

If any of these assertions appears somewhat speculative, it is only due to our incomplete knowledge of instrumental music in Spain prior to Narváez's book. The strongest point of comparison is with Luis Milán's book El Maestro published in Valencia two years earlier in 1536. Milán's music is strongly tied to an improvisatory tradition, and his fantasias demonstrate a style that belongs more to the world of spontaneous improvisation than to that of cultured instrumental polyphony. Despite its beauty and immediacy, it appears to be more the culmination of an earlier practice than the herald of an avant-garde movement. Earlier suggestions of what Spanish instrumental music may have been like around the turn of the sixteenth century are found in the form of Mudarra's Fantasia que contrahaze la harpa which, although published in 1546, is a homage to the harpist Ludovico who served Ferdinand II of Aragon, and which is composed as variations on the pavanafolia formula. In addition, a few pieces of Spanish origin are preserved in the Italian lutebook of Joan Ambrosio Dalza (Venice, 1508), a fragment of primitive vihuela music survives in the British Library in London, and scant imprecise prose references allude to the use of vihuelas in the accompaniments to romances improvised by minstrels and oracioneros. These fragments point to a musical style that included improvised dance music, improvisations on popular chord sequences, simple contrapuntal elaborations of cantus firmus melodies, and spontaneously improvised discursive fantasias based largely on instrumental resources. It was music created by instrumentalists unskilled in the ways of sophisticated polyphony and who probably had no knowledge of written music, irrespective of the level of their improvisatory skill.

It is into this musical world that Narváez was born in Granada in the early sixteenth century, possibly between 1503 and 1505, as proposed by Emilio Pujol. He attained great renown within Spain where he served the imperial household, and he is the only vihuelist to have achieved international fame during his lifetime. In addition to his instrumental works, two motets by Narváez survive in collections published outside Spain.