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 libretto all sensational musicological discoveries 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.      

1997: soprano Núria Rial taped her first professional CD with Cantus. Her beautiful voice and angel-like presence already revealed that she would be today a great early music name

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, the album including the violin sonatas of Michele Mascitti (C 9610), one of our best selling CDs in Asia (a second volume will be recorded in 2015 by Fabrizio Cipriani and Antonio Fantinuoli!) 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. In the coming months other first world recordings are planned, with the reissue (with improved sound) of an album devoted to the duetti for two cellos by Kummer (we did a first edition for a private client, several years ago), featuring the two cellists of the orchestra Europa Galante, the late Maurizio Naddeo and Antonio Fantinuoli. 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 disc 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 personel from Concerto Italiano, led by Rinaldo Alessandrini), we shall also find in that CD the harpsichordist Fabio Bonizzoni (participating in addition in the Handel duetti album, C 9620), director of La Risonanza. Surely our last great discovery is the countertenor Flavio Ferri-Benedetti, perhaps one of the greatest young countertenors , whose debut album was released by Cantus (C 9636 in Passo di pena in pena).   O ther 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; flautist 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 is 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.  

Odhecaton and Paolo Da Col have joined Cantus with a CD of extraordinary beauty

  During the last few months 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 has just taped in April 2015 the first volume in a series of four devoted to the Art of Nocturne in 19th c. Europe. The session (The Nocturne in France) was produced and engineered by Peter Arts, who has already collaborated with Bart van Oort in dozens of recordings. By the way, the second volume of the series will be devoted to Russian nocturnes! Xavier Diaz-Latorre is situated among the greatest soloists unanimously recognized by every music lover, because he is a great specialist in the early plucked instruments. He has already contributed with three recordings: C 9630 Gaspar Sanz: Sones de palacio y danças de rasgueado and C 9623 La Guitarra dels Lleons (both featuring the legendary percussion player Pedro Estevan), and what will be his upcoming album for Cantus, 9641 Robert C Visée: Les Danses du Roy Soleil (theorbo and baroque guitar), which will be a first class musical event! 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 will release his first Cantus 2 CD album soon: no less than the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, which surely will be 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.

So, 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 will enjoy an excellent worldwide distribution by Outhere (physical disks) and IDOL (digital downloads) from May / June 2015. Let’s enjoy the most beautiful music!