Muy hermosa es María

Musica Temprana

(4 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: DSD 256
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Muy Hermosa es María 

The loose papers discovered in the Archive of the Diocesan Administration of Ibarra by Jorge Isaac Cazorla in the north of Ecuador containing villancicos from the late 17century are the tip of the iceberg of an output which clearly must have been great. Everything within the historic centre of Quito, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, with its 40 churches & 16 monasteries and more than 5000 heritage buildings points to a rich musical heritage. Sadly many of the musical archives have been pillaged or lost due to natural disasters, moves, carelessness and other factors. 

The Ibarra works are religious vocal music with instrumental accompaniment. Except for the Latin prayer for seven voices Sacro Sanctæ, the other compositions are villancicos in Spanish in the 17century Spanish tradition, with an unmistakable element of popular music. The religious metaphors used stereotyped characters speaking slang, making it easier for listeners at the time to understand and identify them. In the period when these works were sung (around 1700), the number of voices, complexity and length of villancicos began to increase and they continued to draw on popular genres, just as they had since the beginning of the Renaissance. 

Little is known about the work of women during the colonial period as the patriarchal society has always focused on male composers. The Ibarra manuscripts support the idea of a rich musical life in the convents. The prolific literary activity in Quito makes it very plausible to say that many of the texts preserved were sung ánd written by nuns as the parts found at Ibarra speak constantly of women. It is a key element for Música Temprana that through this album the anonymous women of the convents receive the recognition they deserve. 


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
La chacona me piden
Vamos al lugar amor
Ese viril con pan
Fuentes si naceis
Celebre la tierra
Oigan que da
De uno en uno vayan entrando
Paseos 6o tono
Muy hermosa es Maria
Sacro Sanctae
Seguilda marineros
Vamos todos a ver
Tonada de ordenyo

Total time: 00:57:42

Additional information





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Acoustic Revive

Digital Converters

Hapi, Merging Technologies

Editing Software

Pyramix, Merging Technologies


Brüel & Kjaer 4003, Neumann

Mixing Board

Rens Heijnis



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Original Recording Format


Tom Peeters

Recording Engineer

Tom Peeters at Mediatrack

Recording location

Koepelkerk, Renswoude (The Netherlands) December 19-22, 2017

Recording Type & Bit Rate



KEF 105/3

Thanks To

Adeline van de Kasteele, Arjan Hamburger, Elvira Willems, Fons van Esch, Gabriel Aguilera Valdebenito, Lida Zuidberg, Mario Godoy Aguirre, and Ruud Lambregts for their wonderful support. We want to express our special thanks to Anna Ornstein, A.L. Gerritsen-van der Plaats, Daniel Torres Tear, Instituto Cervantes Utrecht, Klop historical instruments, Wealtheon and all ‘Voordekunst’ crowdfunding contributors. Without their generous contributions the production of this CD would not have been possible.

Release DateNovember 16, 2018

Press reviews febr 2019 5 out of 5

“Gesungen wird schwungvoll, ohne viel Vibrato, man hört gern zu und möchte mehr über die Texte und die Entstehung der Lieder erfahren – die meisten im Wechsel zwischen Strophen und Refrain, einige im strengen vierstimmigen Satz und eher an Madrigalen orientiert, andere im tänzerischen schnellen Dreivierteltakt. Und da wird der Hörer doch sehr allein gelassen. Er erfährt nicht, dass die Villancicos in Spanien ursprünglich Lieder des Volkes waren (‚villano‘), mit Texten in teilweise recht drastischem Dialekt. Diese Art des Singens wurde im Barock schließlich auch für kirchliche Lieder übernommen und da ganz besonders für Lieder der Weihnachtszeit, die ja mehr als andere kirchliche Feiertage dem Volk nahesteht.”

Music Frames, dec 2018

Opmerkelijk zijn de vocale kwaliteiten van Música Temprana. De vocalisten, die variëren van sopraan tot bas, zijn van grote klasse. Het subtiele gebruik van vibrato, de fraaie gekleurde samenklank en muzikale souplesse zijn adembenemend mooi. De begeleiding varieert in bezetting van Barok-harp, Barok-gitaar, viool, orgel en dulcián (soort fagot). Deze uitstekende musici maken van ‘Muy Hermosa es Maria’ (Maria is mooi) een religieus feest waar een schoonheid en rust vanuit gaat waar je stil van wordt in deze hectische wereld..The vocalists, who vary from soprano to bass, are of great singers. The subtle use of vibrato, the beautiful colored resonance and musical flexibility are breathtaking, beautiful and very professional. The accompaniment varies in line with Baroque harp, Baroque guitar, violin, organ and dulcián (kind of bassoon). Great and competent musicians turn ‘Muy Hermosa es Maria’ (Maria is beautiful) into a religious festivity that makes you silent in this hectic world.

Musica dei donum, dec 2018

For this Adrián Rodríguez van der Spoel has brought together an exquisite ensemble of singers, whose voices are perfectly suited to this repertoire. They show great flexibility with regard to rhythm, and sensitivity towards the texts and the overall content of the pieces selected for this recording. As in most pieces two or more voices sing together, a perfect blending is of great importance, and in that respect this recording leaves nothing to be desired. Although this disc has more to offer than music for the Christmas period, I decided to review it for this time of the year, as Christmas villancicos play a major role in the programme. I greatly enjoyed the live performances last year and this disc gave me the opportunity to relive that experience. It will certainly give you much pleasure during the last weeks of the year, and beyond.

Opus Klassiek, dec 2018

It is not only a matter of extracting and propagating precious music, but also of inspiring music making and related technical mastery. Música Temprana can also count theirselves among the world’s best and in this new album again generously shares their testimony. The baroque sounds from Ecuador from around 1700 also thrive in the vocal and instrumental refinement of this vocal and instrumental ensemble. The sung texts are included in the neatly arranged booklet with lots of background information both in the original and in English. The caring hand of recording technician Tom Peeters is unmistakable, with an ‘obra maestra’ as a result. In short, go on a voyage of discovery and be rewarded!
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Een conduitestaat dus om de vingers bij af te likken. Maar dat is niet alleen een kwestie van het ontginnen en propageren van kostelijke muziek, maar ook van zeer inspirerend musiceren en daarmee verbonden het technisch meesterschap. Música Temprana mag zich danook tot de wereldtop rekenen en legt in dit nieuwe album daarvan wederom ruimhartig getuigenis af. Ook de barokklanken uit het Ecuador van rond 1700 gedijen uitstekend bij het vocale en instrumentale raffinement van dit vocale en instrumentale ensemble. De gezongen teksten zijn zowel in de oorspronkelijke als in het Engels in het keurig verzorgde boekje met veel achtergrondinformatie opgenomen. De zorgzame hand van opnametechnicus Tom Peeters is weer onmiskenbaar, met een ‘obra maestra’ als resultaat. Kortom, ga op ontdekkingsreis en zult worden beloond!


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