In 1614, Alonso de Bonilla y Garzón (ca. 1570-1635), a poet from Baeza (Jaén), published his first great literary anthology, Peregrinos pensamientos de misterios divinos en varios versos y glosas dificultosas (Peregrine Thoughts of Divine Mysteries in Varied Verses and Difficult Glosses), printed by Pedro de la Cuesta. This thick book, which includes 688 poems, constitutes one of the earliest and more complete examples of the literary style known as conceptismo (concept poetry). This is reflected in its title, in which peregrino is synonymous with the weird and strange, with the veiled and ingenious, and with that which can be interpreted in a variety of ways or has inexact meaning. Despite a lack of knowledge about him today, Bonilla was one of the forefathers of conceptismo, a literary movement that established a witty association between words and ideas known as “concept” or agudeza. His mastery was already praised in his own time by Lope de Vega. However, even Bonilla himself might not have expected that in the same year of the edition of his book, the creole composer Gaspar Fernández (1563/71-1629) would write music to some of his poems to be sung at Puebla Cathedral (Mexico), where he worked as the chapel master, on Christmas Eve 1614. This monographic recording offers for the first time the texts written by Bonilla that were set to music by Fernández for performance at Puebla Cathedral, in a variety of vocal and instrumental combinations according to the practice of that period.
<strong>Capella Prolationum</strong>:<strong> </strong>Verónica Plata (VP), Rocío de Frutos (RF), tiples / Andrés Miravete (AM), Israel Moreno (IM), contraltos / Francisco Díaz (FD), Emiliano Cano (EC), tenores / Francisco Javier Cuevas (FJ), Nancho Álvarez (NA), bajos <strong>Ensemble La Danserye</strong>: Fernando Pérez Valera (FP), corneta, sacabuche, flautas y orlo / Juan Alberto Pérez Valera (JP), chirimía tiple, corneta, bajoncillo, bajón, flautas y orlo / Luis Alfonso Pérez Valera (LP), sacabuche, flautas y orlo / Eduardo Pérez Valera (EP), bajón, chirimía contralto, bajoncillo tiple, flautas y orlo / Manuel Quesada (MQ), sacabuche / Aníbal Soriano (AS), guitarra / Manuel Vilas (MV), arpa de dos órdenes. con la colaboración de: Daniel Bernaza (DB), corneta / Eduardo Martínez, (EM) bajoncillo contralto / Juan González (JG), sacabuche, José Gabriel Martínez (JM), percusión
The selection of villancicos included in this recording forms a specific collection in the Cancionero. Alonso de Bonilla’s texts are distinguished by a deep and sophisticated religious message; this provides unity to these musical pieces in the context of the composer’s catalog. This selection of pieces offers a good opportunity to partially discover a new Gaspar Fernandez, especially in comparison to that already performed and recorded. The particular structure of the pieces, when the original poem is fully set to music, includes a solo or duet introduction (without instrumental accompaniment), followed by a refrain written for all the voices, and by some verses (coplas) scored for one, two or three voices. This structure allows us to alternate between voices a cappella (introduction and verses) and the full ensemble (voices and instruments) at the refrains. The participation of the full music chapel (singers and wind-players) at the solemnities on Christmas, Epiphany and Corpus Christi is a general practice well documented in ecclesiastical institutions in Spain and the New World, such as Puebla Cathedral.