José Marín, a tenor at the court of Madrid

Il Festino - Manuel de Grange, Dagmar Saskova


José Marín (1619-1699)

Menguilla yo me muriera

Tortolilla si no es por amor

O como pasan los años Zagaleja

Ya no puedo más señora

Ahora que estáis dormida

Ojos, pues me desdeñais

Mi señora Mariantaños

Si quieres dar Marica en lo cierto

No piense Menguilla ya

La verdad de perogrullo


Il Festino

Dagmar Saskova soprano

Francisco Javier Manalich tenor and viola da gamba

Manuel de Grange guitar and direction

José Marín, a tenor at the court of Madrid

Monday August 4th – 21:00 – Valloire church

Spanish singer and composer José Marín (1619-1699) is one of the most astonishing, fascinating and ambiguous 17th century Spanish artists. Blessed with an extraordinary longevity, he was ordained in Rome in 1644, and employed as tenor at the chapel of the Royal Monastery of the Incarnation in Madrid. Indicted for robbery and murder in 1654, then again in 1656, he was arrested, tortured, unfrocked and sent to jail. The court of Madrid (a real thieves’ den under Habsburg rule) was used to this kind of wrongdoing and never really held it against this exceptional artist. Repentant, José Marín was welcome again after a few years of exile and pilgrimage, leading a most exemplary life until his death on March 8th 1699.

José Marín’s “ tonos” (songs) are among the most beautiful pages of 17th-century Spanish secular music. Following a verse-refrain pattern, with a tablature accompaniment for a 5-course guitar (baroque guitar), they  most often sing the misfortunes of love. While some of these songs praise the beautiful eyes of the beloved, others address the lamenting “hero” ensnared by an ugly, malignant shrew, with a typically Spanish realism such as is also reflected in paintings by Velázquez or plays by Lope de Vega or Calderón de la Barca.

These airs display an amazing wealth of melodies and a remarkable rhythmic variety in their often off-beat guitar accompaniment.

This concert will allow you to get acquainted with those astounding, yet little known “tonos”, in a version for soprano and tenor with the original accompaniment for baroque guitar.

Il Festino

To exalt the senses and elevate the mind through poetry, gesture and music, such is, in a nutshell, the motto that singles out this ensemble.

Il Festino’s interpretation aims at offering a faithful rendering of the aesthetic codes and rules of declamation that prevailed in the 17th century for singing and narrative, but also for instrumental music, which the musicians play on period instruments.

Mainly concerned with secular works, the ensemble endeavours to pair the verse and airs of a same period in a play of mirrors which conjures up a unique moment. For a while, the audience is invited to meet the men and women of the past, who, often with great refinement but also by simply integrating and sometimes sublimating elements from folk music, have left a trace of their passions, joys, sorrows and delight in timeless pleasures.

Il Festino’s programmes always have a thematic focus (wine, love, fragrances, etc.), thereby adding meaning and coherence to the interplay of text, declamation and music.

Known for their notable interpretation of the 17th and 18th-century repertoire, Il Festino’s singers, actors and musicians also perform with the most prestigious ensembles and theatre companies.

El Festino Website.