Cabezón: Keyboard Music

Cabezón: Complete Tientos and Variations
Glen Wilson
Naxos 8.572475-76 (2 CDs)

This music continues to be impressive, and this program shows Cabezón's most significant keyboard pieces systematically. These works have a magical combination of grace & strength, with aspects of the learned counterpoint of Willaert together with the un-selfconsciousness of the next generation of Italians. The combination of solidity & subtlety makes them perhaps most comparable to the output of Byrd in overall effect.

I am essentially prejudiced toward the harpsichord, so a recital featuring it is definitely a positive. Beyond that, the present performance is well-researched and consistently articulated, capturing many aspects of these works to fine effect. This recording immediately establishes itself as a significant issue, even if the trio arrangements have a continuing appeal. Some other issues feature comparable performances, but this is the most appealing program, and the most idiomatic with its use of the Flemish harpsichord.

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Todd M. McComb