Thursday, May 3, 2012

CD Review: Universalia in Re's 'Grandes Visioes'

Universalia in Re
Grandes Visioes
Sketis Music

The sounds of Medieval music are proudly displayed on old court songs in praise of the Viring Mary. The songs, or cantigas, are written in Galician--the language of the courts for Alfonso X. The eight tracks follow an operatic theme with cascading and theatrical female vocals. The 12th century songs follow the structure of virelais, which is an Arabic musical form that rose to popularity in Europe in the 14th century. The Medieval songs would not be complete without the addition of traditional instruments. Thankfully, Universalia in Re showcase the psaltery, citole, vielle, rebec, guitarra morisca, and double pipe. The combination of instruments and vocals make Grandes Visioes a fun album. The title of the album is taken from "Pera toller gran perfia," which describes the Virgin Mary showing the visions of Heaven and Hell to a man, who changes his ways and becomes a Christian. Overall, Grandes Visioes is an excellent addition to the Medieval music collector and anyone looking for something unique. Extensive liner notes are included. ~ Matthew Forss

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