About Us

Cantus is a dream. Or, to describe it better, the continuation of a dream that started during a summer night in Madrid, when José Carlos Cabello and José Miguel Moreno decided to create their own label, Glossa. It was extended in 1996 when, with the money received after leaving Glossa, José Carlos embarked in this new project to keep the same principles alive: to create a label under a very small production team, in which the quality of music and the excellence of performance would walk in parallel to an external presentation as beautiful and complete as possible, in order to create, with every new release, a true objet d'art, beautiful to hold and to listen to.

  As it happens in every dream, our history as a label has had better and worse moments, but the fact is that, with some sleepless nights, with some interruptions, we are still here. We do not intend to publish dozens of CDs every year, we only do what we can artistically and financially afford. Almost the entire process goes through our hands directly: we personally decide the repertoire to be recorded with artists, we engineer it or are present at the recording sessions as producers, we write ourselves the extensive and informative booklet notes, choose the illustrations and design the lay-out.


  Obviously, releasing a new CD is a long process that can take months of work, especially in the case of some famous Cantus booklets that are close to 100 pages, such as the C 9705/6 Dictionary of Medieval and Renaissance Instruments 2 CD set, in which each language occupies 98 pages (we have printed two versions, one entirely in Spanish and one entirely in English, being one of our best selling releases so far), or C 9626 Guillaume de Machaut: Le Jugement du Roi de Navarre, first published in five languages with 106 pages, described by American Record Guide as "the modern equivalent of medieval Books of Hours, with wonderful illustrations and delicious texts: a treat for the eye and ear" . It was chosen 'album of the year' by www.medieval.org, USA.

  But we are happy to devote the necessary time to each of our albums, which are only sent to press when we are sure that we have given the best of ourselves and when our artists are also fully satisfied. That's why every Cantus album is so special, and why our CDs are among the best sellers in the world of early music. In some cases, such as the C 9601 Bestiarium, we have printed six editions. Others have been reprinted five times, as the above mentioned C 9626 Le Jugement du Roi de Navarre, and in other cases a few albums have reached to four editions, for example C 9607 Vous ou la mort, which from the second edition incorporated in its booklet a few sensational musicological discoveries on Josquin's real birth dates that had been revealed since the original edition was printed. This is how we try to pay our buyers: with beautiful products, in which we put all our heart.

That's why, perhaps, absolutely all Cantus CDs discs have received at least one international award. Cantus has released several albums that have been world premiere recordings. For example, C 9610 Michele Mascitti: 6 violin sonatas op. II, the album including the violin sonatas of Michele Mascitti, one of our best sellers in Asia or the one devoted to the music for fortepiano written by Fernando Sor (C 9618), a real bestseller in Japan, or the keyboard music of Felipe Rodriguez (C 9622). We have also published the only CD devoted to the Renaissance guitar so far (C 9632 Tabulatures of Guiterne) and we also published the first recording of the Primo Libro de' Madrigali by Barbara Strozzi (C 9612, recently remastered, and available now in its full glorious, vivid sound), which was in turn the first madrigal CD recorded by the famous ensemble La Venexiana. We have recently added to our catalogue other first recordings, such as the first world recording of C 9401 Walter Porter: Madrigales and Ayres, 1632, and also the first world recording of the Quinto Libro di Madrigali by Cipriano de Rore (C 9402 Cipriano de Rore), both by one of the most famous groups in the world: The Consort of Musicke, from whom we are going to release a whole series of record treasures made between the 80s and 90s, when they were at their best; many of those records never saw the light, and now we are going to publish them in a special collection called The Consort of Musicke Heritage Collection, quite an event! CONSORT 007-1 Many today world famous soloists and groups made their first steps in Cantus. The wonderful Catalan soprano Núria Rial, for example, debuted in the early music field with our CD C 9619 Guerrero: Motecta as part of the ensemble Musica Ficta, in their first recording on Cantus. The first CD of the fantastic recording career of La Reverdie is none other than our C 9601 Bestiarium, another of our biggest sales successes. We are honoured that the album dedicated to Strozzi (C 9612) was the first madrigal recording of La Venexiana (a group formed in turn with members from Concerto Italiano, led by Rinaldo Alessandrini). We shall also find in that CD the harpsichordist Fabio Bonizzoni (participating in addition in the C 9620 G.F. Handel: duetti album), director of La Risonanza. Surely our last great discovery is the countertenor Flavio Ferri-Benedetti, perhaps one of the greatest young countertenors , whose debut solo album was released by Cantus (C 9636 in Passo di pena in pena).

Nuria Rial   Other major, established names have chosen Cantus in the most important moment of their careers to release some of their most beautiful albums: thus was born our series of recordings featuring the Ensemble Gilles Binchois and Dominique Vellard, who have in their lineup great artists such as Brigitte Lesne, director of Discantus and Alla Francesca; recorder and flutes player Pierre Hamon, the Swedish mezzo-soprano Susanne Norin or French baritone Emmanuel Bonnardot, director of Obsidienne. Another of our great artists is Juan Carlos Rivera, recognized as one of the best vihuela players today, and whose CD C 9631 Tañer de Gala was a reference in its genre. We cannot forget other groups or soloists like Currende and Erik Van Nevel, or more recently the musicologist and Italian director Paolo Da Col, whose group Odhecaton has contributed with a ravishing recording (C 9637 De Passione).

  ODHECATON   During the last few years other big world-wide stars of the early music movement have joined Cantus. One of them is the Dutch fortepiano player Bart van Oort, who taped in April 2015 the first volume in a series devoted to the Art of Nocturne in 19th c. Europe. The CD (C 9634 French Nocturnes) was produced and engineered by Peter Arts, who has already collaborated with Bart van Oort in dozens of recordings. This CD has been a tremendous success worldwide, but notably in France, being one of the most broadcasted albums since 2016 to this date.

Bart van Oort sessions.jpg Among our greatest soloists, unanimously recognized around the world, is Xavier Díaz-Latorre, a wonderful specialist in early plucked strings who has already made four recordings for us. Two of them are already available and have shown to be great sales successes of our label: C 9630 Gaspar Sanz: Sones de palacio y danças de rasgueado and C 9623 La Guitarra dels Lleons (both of them including the legendary percussionist Pedro Estevan). During the summer of 2020 a sublime recording will be released, devoted to the Italian lute master Francesco da Milano (C 9648 Francesco da Milano: Libro della Fortuna, Napoli, 1536) played with three different instruments, two viole da mano (the Italian word for the Spanish vihuela) and a Renaissance lute, all strung in pure gut. Moreover, in a few months the new international edition of another beautiful album will be released, devoted to the Madrid guitar player and teacher Santiago de Murcia, in which Xavier Díaz-Latorre leads his own group Laberintos Ingeniosos, which includes some world superstars of the early music sphere like the British harpist Andrew Lawrence-King and the Valencian percussionist Pedro Estevan, as well as Josep Maria Martí, Carles Blanch and Tanja Skok. A real luxury! (C 9650 Santiago de Murcia: Danzas y Bayles Selectos).

IMG-20191011-WA0001 And to names such as Xavier Diaz-Latorre, Bart van Oort, Gianmaria Bonino, La Venexiana, La Reverdie, Odhecaton or Ensemble Gilles Binchois another amazing artist can be added, because Italian violin player and conductor Stefano Montanari has released his first Cantus 2 CD: C 9644/45 Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, already considered as the absolute reference of this timeless music.

  But we must not forget two young Spanish artists who have published their first CDs for Cantus: two harpsichord players devoted to different repertoires, and that have already achieved a number of excellent reviews worldwide with their recordings: Madrid-born Ignacio Prego, who is causing a sensation with his 2 CD set C 9642/43 Johann Sebastian Bach: the French Suites, and Sevillian Javier Nuñez, debuting in Cantus with a recording produced by another great name, the viola da gamba player Fahmi Alqhai (C 9615 A modo Italiano) with guests as Alqhai himself, the great Pedro Estevan and harpist Sara Águeda.

  In sum, this is the dream we have at Cantus, to continue reinvesting our earnings in beautiful new productions that early music lovers will want to treasure. Besides, we enjoy an excellent worldwide distribution by [PIAS] - Harmonia Mundi (physical CDs) and IDOL (digital downloads) from 2020. Let's enjoy the most beautiful music!