ANTONIO LITERES: Sacred Cantatas for Alto

SKU: 170003
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ARTISTS: Carlos Mena, countertenor | Concerto 1700 | Daniel Pinteño, violin & director


“These four cantadas receive an absolutely exceptional performance in this recording. Daniel Pinteño as conductor and first violin, Carlos Mena as solo voice and the other members of Concerto 1700, give the best of themselves and give us an unforgettable CD” – Scherzo Magazine.

“The performance is really energetic and precise: impeccable countertenor Carlos Mena, as well as all the members of Concerto 1700, conducted by Daniel Pinteño” – Rivista Musica.

“Concerto 1700 knows how to find the points of enormous expressive depth, as well as those of greater energy and vitality, in a balance of well-achieved tempi and an abundant palette of dynamic resources.” – Melómano Magazine.

“Carlos Mena […] showing technical mastery and expressiveness, with an always agile and effective coloratura, exquisite diction and a great command of the word.” – Ópera Actual Magazine.

“Countertenor Carlos Mena sings with his usual fluency, without fault or reproach. However, the real sensation of this recording is the excellent orchestra, Concerto 1700, which executes its exceptionally demanding part with a precision and naturalness that impresses.” – Bayerische Runkdfunk.


«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.


De aquel fatal bocado. Cantada al Santísimo con violines y oboe (1730)
1. Recitado: De aquel fatal bocado
2. Aria (Amorosa): Pan de llanto y de dolor
3. Recitado: Tanto transforma al hombre
4. Aria (Vivo): Elévate a ese velo

Ya por el horizonte. Cantada al Santísimo con violines, oboe y clarín (1728)
5. Recitado: Ya por el horizonte
6. Aria (Vivo): Suene el alboreada
7. Grave: Ay, que si yo pudiera
8. Coplas (Airoso): Si a gozar solo aspiro
9. Recitado: Repite, ave canora
10. Aria (Vivo): De su aplauso en el empleo

Cuando a pique, Señor. Cantada al Santísimo con violines (1733)
11. Recitado: Cuando a pique, Señor
12. Aria (Alegre): Va zozobrando la navecilla
13. Recitado: ¿Qué tiene que temer?
14. Aria (Alegre): Llegue ansioso tu cuidado

Si el viento. Cantada al Santísimo con violines y oboe (ca. 1725)
15. Recitado: Si el viento busca el ave placentera
16. Aria (A medio aire): Es el divino centro del hombre
17. Recitado: Por eso ha descendido
18. Aria (Vivo): Como alegres placenteros

Additional information

Weight 0,2 kg
Dimensions 18 × 15 × 2 cm





1 CD

Total Time


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