Ars Nova Copenhagen / Paul Hillier

Pablo Ortiz: Gallos y Huesos; Notker

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AllMusic Review by

It may be a little difficult to tell from the graphics exactly what is here, especially given the early music specialization of conductor Paul Hillier and the presence of the phrase "ars nova" in the ensemble name Ars Nova Copenhagen. The music in the second composition included is not by the medieval monk Notker the Stammerer, although it does set his poetry. Instead, all the music here is by a contemporary composer, Pablo Ortiz, born in Argentina and for some years resident at the University of California at Davis. It's quite appealing for listeners of any background, with vivid reflections of the two very different sets of texts involved here. Ortiz is influenced by medieval polyphony, deployed in different ways for the genuine medieval texts of Notker and the contemporary Argentine political poetry of Sergio Chejfec (Gallos y huesos, or Roosters and Bones, which has something monklike in its depiction of the thoughts and repetitions of a solitary figure). Ortiz has also pointed to the influence of Carlo Gesualdo in his music, seen in the intensification of texts through growing chromatic clashes in thick polyphony, and to that of tango music, which is hard to detect on the surface, but does seem to impart rhythmic inevitability to the music. Hillier and his Ars Nova Copenhagen seem ideal performers for this highly interior yet sensuous music, and really the only complaint is the sound from a pair of churches in Copenhagen: it doesn't match the pristine definition important to Hillier's performances.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Gallos y Huesos
1 05:56 Amazon
2 01:55 Amazon
3 02:26 Amazon
4 01:43 Amazon
5 02:15 Amazon
6 02:13 Amazon
7 02:14 Amazon
8 02:12 Amazon
9 01:46 Amazon
10 02:15 Amazon
11 02:31 Amazon
12 02:22 Amazon
13 02:19 Amazon
14 02:04 Amazon
15 02:20 Amazon
16 02:01 Amazon
17 02:53 Amazon
18 02:08 Amazon
19 02:35 Amazon
20 02:43 Amazon
21 02:37 Amazon
Notker
22 00:54 Amazon
23 00:44 Amazon
24 02:04 Amazon
25 00:43 Amazon
26 01:33 Amazon
27 01:25 Amazon
28 00:41 Amazon
29 00:59 Amazon
30 01:53 Amazon
31 01:30 Amazon
32 00:32 Amazon
33 01:06 Amazon
34 00:46 Amazon
35 02:57 Amazon
36 02:01 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick