Dutch keyboard player Ton Koopman, also renowned for his recordings of baroque music by Bach and Buxtehude, plays rarely performed organ music from the late 17th century by composers from Spain and Portugal. Several of the pieces included use the sound of the organ to represent the clamour of “Batalha” (the Spanish word for battles).
Ton Koopman is one of the world’s foremost early music keyboard specialists and directors. He is particularly renowned for his work around the music of J. S. Bach, and was awarded the 2006 Bach Medal by the city of Leipzig at the annual Leipzig Bach Festival. He has recently finished an internationally acclaimed series of releases on Challenge Classics of Bach’s Cantatas, and is currently involved in recording the complete works of Dieterich Buxtehude for the same label. The organ in the Church of Saint-Lambert in Woluwé-Saint-Lambert (a suburb of Brussels) was built in the Spanish style by Patrick Collon in 1985. Its design was largely inspired by Spanish instruments of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries.
From the second half of the 17th century, organists in Spain and Portugal delighted in recreating the sounds of the battlefield on their instruments. Many of the pieces written at this time have survived, though unfortunately they are often anonymous. This CD presents three of these “batalhas”, one anonymous, one by Pedro de Araujo, and one by Antonio Correa Braga. The other pieces form a selection of works by representative Iberian 16th century composers.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.