To complement the programme, the Cuban composer Calixto Álvarez proposed a richly augmented version of his Folias Americanas. Originally composed in 2012 for viola da gamba and harpsichord, it takes its inspiration from Marin Marais’ emblematic work, Folies d’Espagne and is dedicated to his daughter Calia Álvarez. In his Folias Americanas each of the variations takes the form of a different musical genre from around the Americas. Chacarera, tango, conga and blues line up to offer a rich panorama of the American musical tradition. Is this new, never before performed version, Calixto Álvarez orchestrates his Folias for three viols, baroque guitar and harpsichord obbligato in keeping with Marais’ suites for three viols. But he goes further by using the five instruments not in the form of two solo voices and an accompanying continuo (theorbo, harpsichord and viol) but as five separate, but interdependent parts in which the role of soloist switches from one variation to the next. Because this American music is, at heart, rhythmic we have taken the liberty of adding a percussion layer (claves, maracas, guijo…) to some of the variations in order to strengthen the character of the piece.

With this disc the Ensemble Vedado continues its homage to Marin Marais, the composer who brought the art of the viola da gamba to its apogee at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries and who has been a constant companion since our earliest days. In this programme we also pay homage to our own musical heritage, to our origins and to our history. With this recording, the Ensemble Vedado is delighted to continue its pursuit of being both a ‘baroque and contemporary music’ ensemble, and one that is also ‘without borders’.