Despite only his book of ‘Magnificats’ and these 18 compositions for organ having come down to us today, Sebastiaìn Aguilera de Heredia (1561–1627) is noted in the history of Spanish music as one of the great figures in the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, comparable to his Dutch contemporary Sweelinck. His style reflects the polyphonic tradition of the Spanish Renaissance along with the elements of an incipient Baroque, bridging that of Cabezoìn (Renaissance) and Correa (Baroque).
Unlike Italian composers (Frescobaldi in particular) whose music broke substantially with the aesthetics of the Renaissance, paving the way for the composers of Central and Northern Europe, the transition of Spanish organists to the new style was a gradual one. They continued to base compositions on the Renaissance tradition of four-voice vocal polyphony and counterpoint, yet began to elevate one soloistic voice above others serving as something akin to Baroque basso continuo.
Aguilera’s compositions display a style uniting the counterpoint, elegance and seriousness of vocal polyphony, a genre in which he was an accomplished master, with music that is more aligned with popular tastes and with dance, achieving an astounding result: works full of life, capable of conveying passions and affects, yet clearer and more comprehensible to the ears and tastes of all.
Recorded at the only extant Spanish organ dating from the time of Aguilera de Heredia (16th century)
The booklet contains liner notes by the artist about the composer and works, a biography of the artist, and information about the organ including a stop list
Sebastián Aguilera de Heredia has gone down in history of Spanish music as one of the most important figures of the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, comparable to the Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621), who was his contemporary. His style reflects the polyphonic tradition of the Spanish Renaissance combined with elements of the early Baroque, thus forming the bridge between Antonio de Cabezón (1510-1566) and Francisco Correa de Araujo (1584-1654), the most important exponents of the organ school in Spain in the Renaissance and the Baroque respectively.
Aguilera adopts a style in which the serious counterpoint of vocal polyphony, of which he was an accomplished master, is infused with elements from popular music and dance forms and rhythms.
Played by Miguel del Barco Díaz, a specialist in early Spanish organ music, on the only surviving historic organ from the time of De Heredia, the Renaissance organ of Santa María de Garrovillas de Alconétar, Cáceres, Spain, the technical specifications of which are included in the booklet.