Title: Cantica (Musica Efimera / Musica Eterna)
Artist: La Reverie
Release Date: 2015 Feb 08
License: CC BY-NC-SA
La Reverie is a group of musicians from Granda, Spain that have well established musical careers. On Cantica (Musica Efimera / Musica Eterna) they fuse together music from the Renaissance with more modern Spanish folk styles. What can they hope to achieve with this idea? Well, listening to the music on La Reverie: Cantica (Musica Efimera / Musica Eterna) might just reveal a few things
La Reverie: Cantica (Musica Efimera / Musica Eterna)
The idea behind this recording is to :…comment on the pieces from the present time, holding a conversation with that old music.” Which, when one considers the state of some modern music, like a lot of Downtempo electronic music, is a fairly common idea. However, in this approach we have a different feeling for what is being done.
This is music that spans centuries instead of decades. In writing their own songs, the members of La Reverie have approached the concept on a more pure and direct level. This isn’t a matter of trying to take music that is a few decades old, and twist and manipulate it into a new form. Rather La Reverie has invented a hybrid genre for their work, mixing the strongest elements from two styles into a form that is neither Renaissance or folk.
What is the secret to the success in creating this hybrid style. I think it has to do with choosing the styles carefully. We’ve all heard attempts to make classical music from pop tunes, and generally the results are atrocious at best. Here the group have considered whether it is better to fuse folk instrumentation with Renaissance style vocals, or vice versa. They’ve taken the time to examine the structures of each style and work out where there are natural and intuitive connections between them. The result is a style of composition that seems to flow effortlessly from these recordings.
However, this could have still been a disaster if the performers themselves weren’t some incredibly gifted performers. Each member has an incredible feel for their instruments, from Esteban Canyar’s guitar work, to Yolanda Campos’s versatile vocals (she frequently switches between styles flawlessly within the space of a few bars), and the contributions of Inmaculada Gómez Díaz, Juan Manuel Rubio, and Ángel Martín Bandera all fuse together to make this a first rate recording and performance.
This may seem somewhat odd to say, but I really feel that La Reverie is a “supergroup” of the classical music genre. Each member is an outstanding performer in their own right. However, when they combine to work on a common concept, the results transcend the input and contributions of each performer to take on a higher level of excellence. Want an example? Note how in a few places (inclduing the opening piece: Las Tres Hermanicas) there is a little bit of a playful lilt / swing. In La Reverie’s hands that little bit of a swing becomes Jazz like: first in Inmaculada’s flute, but then it’s picked up in Yolanda’s vocals. It’s these subtle interactions that really make this a standout recording.