"José Hernández Pastor, altus; Ariel Abramovich, vihuela; Hernán Cuadrado, vihuela de arco.
The artistic project of El Cortesano was born in Basle, Switzerland, in 1998, thanks to the fortunate meeting of two young musicians both passionately dedicated to renaissance music. Although both studied at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis, José Hernández and Ariel Abramovich have different musical backgrounds and life experience, which enables them to put forward both diverse and complementary visions.
Inspired perhaps by their youthful enthusiasm, the duo have rejected rigid and universalist visions of this music. In order to compensate for this departure from conventionalism, they have found it necessary to search for new answers by the in-depth study of a careful selection of the period's incredibly rich poetic and musical output. In this investigation, the members of El Cortesano have turned directly to the original sources, without the mediation of modern editors.
Guided by the conviction that, as Castiglione put it in the work the group takes its name from, declamation can make wonders out of words, the duo embarked upon the adventure of experimenting with ways of bringing the music closer to the text. Thus they began a profound
investigation, which throughout the years has been the key to defining a committed and rigorous artistic conception, widely acknowledged today. From this perspective, it is only direct communication with the audience -and the ephemeral spell this creates- that justifies the performance.
In such diverse situations and places as The Semana de la Música Antigua de Estella
and the Festival Are More in Vigo among others, performances in renowned concert halls such as the Palau de la Música de Valencia and the Príncipe Felipe in Oviedo, and presentations all over Spain, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Morocco, Ecuador and Argentina, El Cortesano has been able
to generate the same phenomenon; that of enabling the audience to participate in a singular artistic experience, inviting them to introspection and the encounter with the sensuality of this type of art.
The group’s recording career began in 2002 with El Parnasso, recorded by the French label Arcana, following an intense period of research into Castillian vihuelist's Estevan Daça's work (Valladolid, 1576), never previously recorded. This record was well received by critics and public, helping strengthen the duo’s identity and giving them the confidence to envisage future projects with enthusiasm. Among these we have, in the 2006 agenda, performances in Canada, the USA, Brazil,
Argentina and Chile, and the recording of an original and innovative second album. "
See website for more information. (ed.)
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