The Palacio Songbook — Early Spanish Music Re-examined

As the liner notes indicate, this is a collection of collections. The goal is to present a fuller picture of early Renaissance Spanish music. 

The basis of the album is the Cancionero de Palacio. This collection was started in 1505 and completed around 1520. It provides a detailed account of music at the Spanish court. But not a complete one.

This release features some of the same music as found in the Cancionero de Segovia. It was compiled around the same time as the Cancionero de Palacio. 

This collection, though, also features works by Netherlandish School composers. It also illustrates how these foreign styles influenced Spanish music. 

This release includes selections as presented in publications by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice. The album also has a segment featuring the religious music of Queen Isabella I.

All this is illuminating, especially with careful listening and side-by-side comparisons. But this isn’t just a musicological exercise. Da Tempera Velha delivers warm, heartfelt performances that engage even the casual listener.

The scholarship is first-rate. And so is the musicianship. Da Tempera Velha brings out the stylistic differences between the collections, albeit subtly. 

This is a quiet, contemplative album, and one to be savored.  

The Palacio Songbook
Music for three voices and lute
Da Tempera Velha; Ariel Abramovich, lute

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