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Jose Miguel Moreno

17th March at 19,00, Museum of Riga History and Navigation, Hall of Columns

Jose Miguel Moreno

JOSÉ MIGUEL MORENO - vihuela, lutes, theorbo, angelic, baroque and classico-romantic guitar

José Miguel Moreno was born in Madrid and started studying music at the age of 4.  During his period of formation, he won, among others, the First Prize of the Incontri Chitarristici di Garnano (Italy 1977). He specializes in historical interpretation, although his repertoire ranges from XVIth  to XXth century.  He plays on original instruments, vihuela, Renaissance and baroque guitars, Renaissance and baroque lute, theorbo, romantic guitars, all of them either original instruments or faithful copies.  In this field, José Miguel Moreno is recognized worldwide as one of the major specialists nowadays.  He has also developped his teaching activities, being invited by the most prestigious universities and Conservatoires in the world.  Together with Lourdes Uncilla he researches the historical construction of the instruments of the lute and guitar family.

He has performed in the main festivals and musical halls of Europe, Australia, North and South America and Asia, such as Wiener Musik Verein, Wiener Konzerthaus, Granada International Music Festival, Flanders Festival, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Teatro Real of Madrid, Auditorio Nacional Madrid, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istambul, Brisbane Biennal, Wigmore Hall of London, Puchkin Hall in Moscow, Metropolitan Museum of New York, La Habana (Cuba), Tokyo (Hokutopia Festival), Bruges Festival in Belgium, Barcelona, Utrecht, Insbrück, Escorial, Paris, Bruxelles, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Prague, etc... etc.... For several years, José Miguel Moreno collaborated with Teresa Berganza and recorded for Philipps with the renowned mezzo. He has also undertaken tours and recordings with HESPERION XX and Jordi Savall. Among those:  Lachrimaes of John Dowland for lute and viola.

In 1990 he founded the ensemble LA ROMANESCA, dedicated to the interpretation of Spanish and European baroque music and in 1998 he founds ORPHÉNICA LYRA.  Their first CD of this ensemble released in June 1999 is a tribute to Fuenllana, the blind Spanish Renaissance composer and his master work: Orphénica Lyra.  The second one was released in December 2000 dedicated a to the Spanish baroque composer:  Gaspar Sanz. José Miguel has dedicated a CD to John Dowland, with Eligio Quinteiro in duets. (Dowland Semper) and one dedicated to Luis de Millan.  The following was  dedicated to Don Quixote.  The next cd to be launched will be dedicated to J.S.Bach.

José Miguel Moreno has interpreted, recently in Belgium (Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels) the Fantasia para un gentilhombre of Joaquín Rodrigo for guitar and orchestra with the Flandes Symphonical Orchestra.

José Miguel Moreno has recorded for Philipps, Emi, GLOSSA, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Astree Auvidis. At the moment he records with GLOSSA.

Through his record career Jose Miguel Moreno has received many distinctions as Choc du Monde de la Musique, Diapason d`Or, 10 of repertoire, Editor`s choice of Gramophone, CD compact prizes, Fanfare want list, CD compact prizes, Ritmo, Goldberg 5 stars, International prize of Fondaziones Giorgio Cini de Venezia etc.



"José Miguel Moreno is one of the great Spanish musicians of our century. His contribution to the commemoration of the 4th centenary of the birth of Velázquez was a concentrated review of some of the jewels of Spanish Baroque.  Moreno chose a mixed programme with an outstanding presence of theatre and courtesan vocal music, pieces that are rarely performed. In the instrumental pieces, Moreno and his colleagues-accomplices gave a class of eloquence and domination of the repertoire. It is surprising to listen to music that is normally confined to just the guitar. This is a sign of the times". Luis Gago. El País

John Dowland:" Semper dolens", 32 pièces pour voix ou instrument .Artistes divers. 2 CD, Glossa, GDCI 920109

One is never tired of listening to the beautiful pieces of this marvellous poet of the sound that John Dowland was.  And not to listen to this beautiful cd would be like to miss a beautiful poetic day, full of sweet melancholy, a reflection from the heart The deep and moving interpretation of  José Miguel Moreno (lute) and Eligio Quintero (théorbe and gittern) gives to this cd a touch of  "grande classe". Dowland is here magnificently served.  Jean Gallois  - Les petites affiches.

Chamber and Polyphonic Music.  Auditorio Nacional.  Madrid.

"Spanish Early Music is submerged in a great paradox. It continues to be little diffused and poorly studied. However José Miguel Moreno has spent more than ten years mastering the Art of a music just so deceivingly simple ... It is not easy to think of more poetic, flowing or technically perfect versions ... He has marked a before and after in recreations for the lute". Luis Gago

"A recital at the highest artistic level interpreting music from the Court of Charles V, a repertoire of one of José Miguel Moreno's most purified specialities ... stylistic authority and technical excellence was proved once again ... Clarity, rigour, emotion and faultless virtuosism in which Moreno stood out with such refine in playing the lute".   Pablo Queipo de Llano Ocaña.  Scherzo

José Miguel Moreno & La Real Cámara - Boccherini, quintets for guitar G 451

"Glossa have just launched the 3rd volume of the series The Spanish Guitar, dedicated to Mudarra and his contemporaries, a CD for the lute and Renaissance guitar, alternating various vocal and instrumental pieces with the customary proficiency and good taste of José Miguel. The real news is the 4th volume dedicated to Boccherini as there are few disks of sufficient musical quality to be found which are interpreted using original instruments ... I am longing for the summer so that I can listen to this music in the dark, while smelling the perfume from the jasmine and the nocturnal spirit of these magical recreations".  Francisco de Paula Sánchez. CD Compact

Pieces for French theorbo. José Miguel Moreno, angelica and theorbo. Glossa 920106 DDD

"It appears that the French theorbos had a relative, although forgotten today, the so-called  'angelica'. Moreno, a proven manufacturer and player of this type of instrument, has provided here a new selection of eleven pieces probably compiled by Michel Béthune in the 17th Century ... A sovereign interpretation: clarity, balance, fingering, texture, tact, and timbre beauty .. in every instrument. A splendid recording".  Artur Reverter. ABC

Konzerthaus Berlin

"José Miguel Moreno and his ensemble Orphénica Lyra, in the best of their talent, charmed the audience with the fineness of their performance, as well as with the delivery of the precise and harmonious sonority of Court Music from Charles V's time. The apotheosis of the programme, rich in peaks of perfection, was undoubtedly the gallant dialogue "Morenica dame un beso", interpreted with charm and spirit by Nuria Rial and Carlos Mena."  Boris Kehrmann, Tagesspiegel, Berlin

"...we are fascinated by the firmness and the sweetness of his plucking, impeccable articulation, exquisite phrasing, the play of light and shade, which he is able to extract from the noble vihuela.  Exciting his Mille regretz de Narvaez and captivating his version of the Fantasia de Ludovico of Mudarra, the most eloquent, vital and fastest we have ever heard."  Olivares Early Music Festival, Pable J. Vayón

The humility of the Healer

"Brave and alone with the lute.  That's how José Miguel Moreno was in the Capital of Spain at the National Auditorium in a country where mothers are obsessed about their children study piano to entertain guests.

With the only weapon of his extravagant instrument and his musical sensitivity, captivated the souls of 150 persons submissive and unconditional barely passed a few bars of the concert.  On the light and shade of the hall's platform, the formally precocious Madrilenian artist dramatized his claim of the music rooted in our today's distant memory.

Moreno's surgical precision took complete hold of our senses and the musical torrent, which he shared with us created an atmosphere that almost took our breath so as not to snub who was making us feel so much.  His magisterial self-confidence in the attacks sought the path of empathy and complicity magically generating within the walls and the stage an effect similar to "sfumato" of Leonardo's paintings, obligating us to focus our attention on his vigorous talent, proven from infancy self-taught. 

His teachings make him appear dignified as the most genius executor of the S.L. Weiss to whom he dedicated the majority of his interpretation.  Weiss, the author of more that 600 lute pieces can rest quietly because his legacy in the hands of this prestidigitator of good taste is safe and he will put it where it deserves to be throughout the four continents.

The determination of Moreno in the search of nuances, with opportune "ritardando" and "fortepianos" to play his instrument, he catapult's it to the pedestal where it belongs, seeking fidelity in execution through the use of original instruments of the era...." Roberto Carvajal, El Norte de Castilla

One does not tire from listening to the work of this marvelous poet of the sounds of John Dowland through his magnificent compositions or his lute pieces.  It is music for intimacy, always placed in doubt and redone by this composer who is never satisfied with what he wrote.  Few have pushed the art of sadness so far that it embraces the art of playing the lute, like ... a pretty formula! Certainly, today and for the lovers of techno (that breaks the eardrum) the discretion of this instrument is like a redemption either sustained by the theorbo or the Renaissance guitar, as in this case. 

It would be to deprive oneself of a beautiful day of poetry filled with bittersweet melancholy image of an unsatisfied heart.  The beauty and emotional interpretation of José Miguel Moreno (lute) and Eligio Quinteiro (theorbo and renaissance guitar) gives this recording an attractiveness of grand style.   Dowland is magnificently presented.     LES PETITES AFFICHES - Jean Gallois    


Canto del Cavallero José Miguel Moreno, Glossa, 24-02 40th Avenue. Long Island City, NY 11101

Since the new wave of popularity of the vihuela, the majority of vihuela CDs have come from British, American, and even Japanese artists. Spain, the birthplace of the vihuela,has remained inexplicably silent. Until now.

With the arrival of Canto del Cavallero (The Gentleman's Song), Spain has given us what may be the finest vihuela recording of this decade. José Miguel Moreno is a vihuelist of unequaled skill whose CD demonstrates his profound understanding of the music of 16th-century Spain. Each of the 28 tracks are a revelation, opening a window on a long-forgotten era.

Moreno wisely avoids rehashing many of the ubiquitous offerings found on contemporary lute and vihuela CDs to give us a collection of rarely heard masterworks from such underrated composers as the blind Miguel de Fuenllana, Diego Pisador, Antonio de Cabezón, Enríquez de Valderrábano, and the more applauded Luys Milán. Moreno's performances infuse each track with the passion and vitality inherent to the subtly crafted, polyphonic compositions of renaissance Spain's master performers and composers. Moreno demonstrates a unique, almost intuitive feel for the music, knowing exactly when to add ornamentations and improvisations consistent with both the spirit of the music and intent of the composer.

The BBC has a weekly radio program in which a celebrity is asked what five albums they would choose to have with them if they were stranded on an uninhabited island. I would immediately and enthusiastically reply: "Canto del Cavallero, of course!"

Marc Cramer

Baha muzikas fonds, Hipokrata iela 35-32, LV-1079, Riga, Latvija, talr.: 29208181, e-pasts: