Complete catalogue // The Mirror Collection

C 9711/12 DEVOTIO (2 CD) [13,99 Euros]


It is always an immense pleasure to welcome new artists who begin their collaboration with Cantus. In this case, we are introducing you to Ensemble Martin Códax, from Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Northern Spain), directed by Miguel Ángel López Fariña and Fernando Olbés. This group has reached an overwhelming technical stature in the last few years. They are gift with an instrumental accomplishment that place them among the best specialized worldwide ensembles in medieval music, and a deep vocal knowledge, fruit of many years experimenting with their natural repertoire, that of cantigas and the first polyphonies of Codex Calixtinus and Codex Huelgas.

In this double disc that marks its international début under Cantus, the members of the Ensemble Martin Códax explore the most important musical devotions in honor of the Virgin and St James throughout the centuries. We shall discover the songs of pilgrims and palmers, some of most beautiful cantigas of Alphonse X the Wise, the “cantigas de amigo” of the Vigo poet Martin Códax and the satiric cantigas of " escarnio and badly dizer", and of three of the most important medieval Spanish collections, besides the Cantigas of Santa Maria: the Codex Calixtinus, the Codex Huelgas and the Llibre Vermell of Montserrat.

The quality of this Spanish ensemble will be great a surprise for many. They offer performances full of clarity and instrumental transparency, of an authenticity until now never reached in this type of repertoires. Their natural territory is that of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, true specialty of the set, and of which in our double disc there is a memorable selection of 13 pieces. The members of Ensemble Martin Códax emerge as the best acquainted performers with this repertoire until now. From the vocal point of view, they communicate with fresh and simple voices the dramatic and narrative immediacy of the texts (the singers are Galician and put to evidence to many groups which obviously have not understood the original texts nor the sense of the miracles told in each cantiga). Besides, they excel in their rythmical precision, thir understaning of the tone and color of each instrument and the melodic sense of every piece.

Their performing proposal avoids the excess of both pseudo-Arabic readings of the Cantigas of Santa Maria, or those that appear too rigid and monolithic, with a totally a new concept in terms of instrumental textures and colors, and of course giving a new sense to texts thanks to a revealing articulation of the Gallego language (the language of cantigas). In simple words, the group probably offers the best versions available of the cantigas repertoire.

Impressed by the talent of these instrumentalist and singers, Cantus releases their international record début with a double album that will available in two versions: a local one, with a 90-pages boolet in Spanish, with innumerable illustrations, all the texts sung translated and extensive articles on the repertoires recorded, in charge of Jose Carlos Cabello, and another international, bilingual one, in English and French, for the international market.

It is a pleasure to record thanks to those whose indispensable contribution has facilitated the publication of Devotio. Thus, Radio Galega, whose mobile studio, in the hands of Pablo Barreiro, has wonderfully engineered and taped the recording sessions that happened in a number of different historical churches in Galicia, producing a stunning, natural sound. And of course Bodegas Martín Códax S.A., a winary founded in 1986 by a group of winegrovers that produces Galician most marvelous and prestiged Albariño white wine, and that have sponsored and supported the Ensemble Martín Códax for many years.



Ensemble Martín Códax

  • Dir.: Miguel Á. López Fariña/Fernando Olbés
  • A. Sánchez, P. Corujo, F. Olbés, A. Fernández, M.B. Bermejo, A. García, V. Fernández: voices
  • R. Sala: recorders, flutes and percussion
  • A. Díaz: recorders and flutes
  • R. Santamarina, X-L. Varela, fiddles
  • M.A.L. Fariña: fiddles, hurdy-gurdy, organistrum
  • M. Vilas: harps
  • Ph. Copin: hurdy-gurdy, voice
  • F.J. González-Abraldes: baldosa (medieval square lute)
  • C. Castro: percussion
  • with A. Gago (reader) & Coro Ultreia


Collection The mirror collection - 2 CDs x 1

Total time: 73:25 (CD 1) + 68:00 (CD 2)

Two booklets of 48 and 52 pages ONLY IN SPANISH  with articles by José Carlos Cabello

(English version only available in a pdf file)

Recorded at the ancient churches of Santa María of the Monastery of Acibeiro (Forcarei, Pontevedra), San Pedro de Vilanova (Dozón, Ourense), Santa Mariña de Fragas (Campo Lameiro, Pontevedra) and San Félix de Estacas (Cuntis, Pontevedra)

Recording and editing, Pablo Barreiro (Estudio Móbil da Radio Galega).

Sound assistance, Xavier López Quián

Produced by, Ensemble Martín Códax & José Carlos Cabello

Design and booklet coordination, José Carlos Cabello

Photos, Tino Martínez

Cover, St James praying to the Virgin, 17th c., Capilla del Pilar, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.


    ✋ Please adjust first the VOLUME control on the SPEAKER ⇓ before playing ▶

    Ondas domar de uigo (Martin Codax)
    Pero que seja a gente (cantiga 181)
    Annua Gaudia (Codex Calixtinus)
    Ad honorem (Codex Calixtinus)
    O que mui tarde (cantiga 321)

C 9711/12 DEVOTIO

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