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Tonos y Tonadas


Tonos y Tonadas
* this is a 96 kHz hi-sampling recording  

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emerald audiophile series disc

Ensemble La Chimera - "Tonos y Tonadas" 

A journey thru the musical worlds, both early and beyond, of Spain and Latin America.
La Chimera, the ensemble that brought you "Buenos Aires Madrigal" (M063A), once again takes the listener on an extended musical journey, this time back and forth between Spain and Latin America.  While much of the music is "early music", the album also includes influences of the indigenous Indo cultures of South America, Africa and the folk music of those who emigrated from Spain to Latin America.  In addition, there are a number of contemporary pieces, some by members of the ensemble, others by locally known 20th century composers.  As on the first La Chimera recording ("Buenos Aires Madrigal"), practically all of the music is performed on early music instruments, such as Violas da Gamba, Baroque guitars, Theorbos, and Lutes.  At the same time, the addition of two sopranos, contemporary guitars and Indian flutes add a special dimension to the music.


Barbara Kusa: voice


Isabel Monar: voice


Luis Rigou: voice &
southamerican flutes


Ensemble La Chimera

Luis Rigou - southamerican flutes

Sabina Colonna Preti - viola da gamba, lirone

Sergio Alvares - viola da gamba

Martin Zeller - violoncello, viola da gamba

Andrea de Carlo - doublebass, viola da gamba, armonica

Polo Martí - guitar

Quito Gato - lute, guitars & musical direction

Eduardo Egüez - lute, guitars, musical & general direction

Adrian Besné - recitation


Tonos y Tonadas

A little over 500 years ago, humanity met up with itself again in one of history's frequent coincidences. Europe met with Terra Ignota Australis , which later became known as America, again as a result of those frequent peculiarities of history. One of the most important cultural exchanges in history started to come about after a conquest carried out for purely economic and military motives; a conquest, with both benefits and detriments, which was generally considered to be European, not solely Spanish.


   Sabina Colonna Preti -
  viola da gamba, lirone
After this initial period, a cultural osmosis took place from the conqueror to the conquered. However, in the Spanish case-which can be categorized as unique- unlike the other European conquests, this osmosis operated in both directions. This work focuses on this aspect, examining a specific geographic region, namely the Virreynatos (Viceroyalties of Spain), located along the Andes mountain chain,
     Sergio Alvares - viola da gamba

and a specific point in the historical, philosophical, economic, religious and even sociological context: the last thirty years of the 17th Century, the generation which came immediately after the "Golden Age" (Spain's literary renaissance) during the reign and era of Charles II " El Hechizado " (The Bewitched), the last of the Habsburgs.


Martin Zeller -
violoncello, viola da gamba 
This was a point in history in which Spain was exhausted and diminished, its monarchy waning, its economic resources spent, its population decreasing and, worse, its creative capacity, so influential a mere thirty years before, in decline. This decline inevitably extended to the arts in general, and to music and for works of the theatre.
Andrea de Carlo - doublebass,
viola da gamba, armonica

The name of this record, "TONOS y TONADAS" (Tones and Ballads), reflects this phenomenon: unlike the rest of Europe, Spain was not producing Baroque instrumental music and both highbrow and lowbrow literature existed side by side. Musicians used the latter style, almost always tonos humanos created by ordinary folk, as the basis for their work.

Polo Martí - guitar
Thus, was born a ballad style which was not completely in contrast to the religious music of the time, but merely different in form and content, lacking its intellectual depth and purity, but possessing a freshness and natural character. It also differed from other European music from the same period; the TONADAS, music and ballads coming from Latin America and, specifically, from the Virreynatos (Viceroyalties), were directly influenced by the literary and musical popular forms described above.
Quito Gato - lute, guitars
& musical direction

This, then, is the content of this recording, which aims to capture a series of themes common to both cultures, the defining elements of this type of music: COPLAS (popular folk songs), about things dearest to the heart, typically sung during the FIESTAS  (popular festivals), and perhaps the best example of the osmosis so often described; MISTERIO (mystery), that go with almost all expressions of deep feeling, particularly the religious, SOMBRAS (shadows), representing fear or recreating the unknown,

Eduardo Egüez - lute, guitars,
musical & general direction

the OJOS (eyes), representing contact between the "I" and the "YOU", ARRAIGO (attachment) to particular people or things, spaces or moments and, finally, DESENGAÑO (regret), felt for that which was lost, and that which was desired but never achieved. All these are shared elements, constituting a bi-directional contribution to the intellectual enrichment of two cultures meeting each other.

We are confident that those who listen with intent to this record and read these sleeve notes, will connect immediately with the basic elements expressed; seeking and finding them depends on ones sensitivity to music and literature. We have sought to assemble a collection of the common cultural elements previously described, which provides a journey, or even a leisurely stroll, whose path makes us feel the excitement of a discovery,   whose truth creates a vast and attractive future for literature in particular.

Adrian Besné


An MA one point, 96 kHz digital recording.
September, 2005, l`eglise de Franc-Waret, Namur (Belgique)
Microphones: MA Recordings` original DC powered line level
with Bruel & Kjaer mm0042 capsules, designed by Junichi Yonetani
Analog and Digital cables by Crystal Cable
Recorder: DC powered Fostex FR-2 Compact Flash Recorder
AD Converter: dCS 904
Monitored on Stax Lambda Signature Pro Earspeakers with balanced drive unit
Cover photo by Franco Pupulin
Artist portraits by John de Lisle
Edited and Mastered by Atsuo Fujita on the SADiE mastering platform
Engineered, Designed and Produced by Todd Garfinkle
Special thanks to Gabi Van der Kley of Crystal Cable -
Extra special thanks to Dominique and Olivier de Spoelberch



In our efforts to make for a more colorful sonic and musical experience, MA Recordings introduces the "Emerald Audiophile Series". It is well known among concerned audiophiles that light refractions of the optical laser thru the polycarbonate universally used in compact discs can make for a less than accurate reading of the digital musical content.

MA's "Emerald Audiophile Series" discs are actually made with a dark green polycarbonate, to help alleviate the potential problems associated with internal light refraction and enable a more accurate reading of the digital data from the optical disc, delivering the music with more finesse, and ultimately the original intention of the performer(s) and producer.

For an enhanced musical experience, MA invites you to audition our "Emerald Audiophile Series"

The following titles are immediately (and exclusively) available in this new format:

M072A: "Tonos y Tonadas" by La Chimera

M053A: "The Lute Music of J. S. Bach - volume one" performed by Eduardo Egüez

M054A: "The Lute Music of J. S. Bach - volume two" performed by Eduardo Egüez

M014A: "Songs From Within" by Sheila Jordan & Harvie Swartz

* Until further notice, as we gradually switch to this new color format, titles available in our "Emerald Audiophile Series" will no longer be available in clear polycarbonate. To reflect additional costs in producing these discs, an increase of $1.00 per disc on the MA site goes into effect immediately.

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