In Spain, consort players were known as ‘curiosos minestriles’, which literally translates to ‘able minstrels’. These consorts, ensembles of instruments from the same family, could include wind instruments (recorders, cornettos, etc.) or stringed instruments (lutes, violas da gamba, harps, etc.)
In former times these minstrels would adopt music initially meant as vocal music or for a polyphonic instrument such as an organ, for consort playing. Especially recorders were very suitable for this purpose. Celebrated for their approximation to the human voice they were already used in the 15th century for doubling choral parts and the various registers of the Spanish historical organ, registros de partidos, the ‘split keyboard’ ranging from very high tiples to the extremely low registro bajo, get full justice on the recorder consort whose instruments range from the very high soprano flute to the especially low sub contrabass recorder of almost 3 meters long.
Presented here is a collection of original and arranged Spanish music in a suitable triptych. This is divided into music from the famous 15th century manuscript Cancionero Musical de Palacio, music originated around the mystic Teresa de Ávila from the 16th century and around the versatile composer Juan Cabanilles from the 17th century. The manuscript comprising more than 500 works El Cancionero Musical de Palacio was created in the late 15th and early 16th century. The bulk consists of secular vocal music and the themes are varied: from romantic, satirical and even burlesque songs to works with political and historical topics; all accompanied by music of all styles, from popular folk tunes to complex compositions.