There is no better way to end February than with a critique like this, by Eduardo Torrico for Scherzo Magazine in its March edition. Thank you for the words, which are nothing more than the observation that a constant, intense and motivating work has a very positive result in the interpretation.
©Revista ScherzoTwo years ago, the Asturian choir El León de Oro made its record debut on the Hyperion label with a Renaissance polyphonic program, Amarae morti, which received the most enthusiastic praise. Again under the double baton of its titular director, Marco Antonio García de Paz, and its honorary director, the legendary Peter Phillips, El León de Oro returns to its natural space, that is, to Renaissance polyphony. And more specifically, to the Spanish one, with a monograph dedicated to Francisco Guerrero: Magnificat quarti toni, lamentaciones, motetes (Ave virgo sanctissima; Hei mihi, Domine; Beatus Achacius oravit; Sancta et immaculata; Regina caeli a 8 and Laudate Dominum de caelis) and songs and spiritual villains (Kings follow the star; Before you eat God; Sanctissima Maria; If your sorrows do not prove and My offense is great).
Guerrero is the third great Hispanic polyphonist, but, contrary to what happens with Tomás Luis de Victoria and Cristóbal de Morales, he has had-with honorable exceptions-no luck with phonography to date, which, unfortunately, has helped to offer a false image of the Sevillian composer. This CD places him on the site that rightfully belongs to him and stands as an absolutely referential record.
El León de Oro (38 voices on this occasion) is a tuning prodigy. As much as they are in spite of those other great (by proportion) Spanish choirs, who use in the comparison their condition of ‘professional’ as if dilettantism were a dishonorable scourge, there is not today in our country a choir that approaches the level of El León de Oro. Not in the remotest way. The sound capture (the recording took place in the Church of the Royal Monastery of San Salvador de Cornellana, in Asturias) contributes to enhance the excellence of this amazing CD.