Literes | Sacred cantatas for alto

Antonio Literes (1673-1747) | Sacred cantatas for alto
Carlos Mena, countertenor
Concerto 1700
Daniel Pinteño, violin & director

Ricard Casañ, truptet
Jacobo Díaz, oboe
Pablo Prieto, violin
Ester Domingo, violoncello
Ismael Campanero, violone
Pablo Zapico, theorbo
Ignacio prego, harpsichord & organ

Booklet in Spanish, English, French & German.

Total timing: 55:26
1700 Classics, 170003 (2021)

14,88 €

«Don Antonio Literes, a most exquisite composer, and perhaps the only one who has managed to combine all the majesty and sweetness of old music with the bustle of the modern.» Benito Jerónimo Feijoo, Teatro crítico universal (1726)

These were the words used by Friar Feijoo to refer to one of the most important Spanish composers of the 18th-century: Antonio Literes y Carrión. Born in 1673 in Artá (Majorca, Spain), Literes moved to Madrid in 1686 and entered the Real Colegio de Niños Cantores, where he was an interim music teacher from 1692 to 1694. In 1693, he became «músico de violón» (cellist) of the Real Capilla (the Royal Chapel), a position he held until his death in 1747. From 1709 on, Antonio Literes and José de Torres were entrusted with the composition of music for the Real Capilla, a task that Literes kept carrying out after Torres’s promotion to professor of that institution in 1720.

The sacred works of Antonio Literes, less known but of a quality comparable to that of his theater music, can be mainly found in Madrid, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Toledo, and Guatemala. The four cantatas for alto to the Blessed Sacrament recorded in the present album belong to the Historical Archive of the Archdiocese of Guatemala, which holds the cathedral’s music collections. Likely, these works were originally meant to be performed at the “forty hours” devotion that was held in the Real Capilla.


[1 - 6] Ya por el horizonte. Cantada al Santísimo con violines, oboe y clarín (1728) 

[7 - 10] Si el viento. Cantada al Santísimo con violines y oboe (ca. 1725) 

[11 - 14] Cuando a pique, Señor. Cantada al Santísimo con violines (1733) 

[15 - 18] De aquel fatal bocado. Cantada al Santísimo con violines y oboe (1730) 

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