One of the happiest surprises of the modern early-music revival has been the rediscovery of the music of colonial Latin America and its most intrepid contemporary explorer is Argentine conductor Gabriel Garrido, who has an enterprising series called Les Chemins du Baroque ("The Pathways of the Baroque") on the French label K617. Garrido was a member of the Belgian Ricercar Consort and Jordi Savall’s Hesperion XX, before he founded Elyma, an ensemble for Baroque music, in 1981. Since that time, Garrido has specialised in the recovery of the baroque musical heritage of Latin America. Today Gabriel Garrido and Ensemble Elyma are one of the leading ensembles of early Latin American music.
The present recording was their first CD issued in 1992 before the series on K617 in this then unknown musical world and critically high acclaimed (Diapason d’or). The prestigious French classical magazine Diapason wrote then: This recording offers a particularly exotic image of the Latin-American baroque repertoire ... a hitherto little heard body of madrigalesque songs, oratorios, hymns and other paraliturgical works, sometimes written in hybrid Indian dialects ... The extreme variety of the compositions, their many and pervasive charms, the ardour and remarkable intelligence of the musical interpretation, and the beauty of the voices and tones ..., all combine to make this unusual and exhilarating recording one of the recording events of the new year.